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Last updated: 29 October 2020
Status:
Date:Wednesday 12 February 2020
Type:Silhouette image of generic C560 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Cessna 560 Citation Encore
Operator:SC Cole Aviation LLC
Registration: N654CE
C/n / msn: 560-0654
First flight: 2004
Engines: 2 Pratt & Whitney Canada PW535A
Crew:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 1
Passengers:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 1
Total:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 2
Aircraft damage: Substantial
Location:over Benbrook, TX (   United States of America)
Phase: En route (ENR)
Nature:Executive
Departure airport:Dallas-Love Field, TX (DAL/KDAL), United States of America
Destination airport:Midland International Air and Space Port, TX (MAF/KMAF), United States of America
Narrative:
A Cessna 560 Citation Encore airplane, N654CE, was substantially damaged when two engine cowlings departed the airplane inflight over Benbrook, Texas. The pilot and the one passenger were not injured.
The airplane was climbing through flight level (FL) 225 for FL 380, when the pilot heard a "loud crashing noise" followed by a "turbulent air sound" he described as similar to flying with the main landing gear extended. At time of the initial noise, the pilot reported the airplane was on a heading of 255, the airspeed was about 265 to 270 kts, and the autopilot system was engaged. The autopilot system was set to lateral navigation and the vertical speed was set for 1,500 ft per minute for climbing.
The pilot reacted to the initial noise by disconnecting the autopilot system, announcing the issue to air traffic control (ATC), slowing down the airplane to 170 kts, and descending to 11,000 ft above mean sea level. There were no master caution or warning lights illuminated on the cockpit annunciation panel. The pilot initially thought the airplane had a main landing gear malfunction based of the sound of the airflow around the cabin. The pilot slowed the airplane further, cycled the main landing gear, cycled the flaps, and moved the flight controls. He reported everything checked out normal except the "turbulent air sound" which was exacerbated with rudder movement. The pilot decided the main landing gear was functioning normally and there was a problem with the empennage.

The pilot located the closest airport with a paved runway greater than a 5,000 ft length, contacted ATC, and proceeded to land at the Mineral Wells Airport (MWL), Texas. The pilot executed an uneventful landing at 15:45 and shutdown the airplane without further incident.
A post landing inspection revealed the top and bottom cowling for the number 2 (right) engine were missing.
A portion of the separated cowlings was found wrapped around the inboard section of the right horizontal stabilizer. A portion of the separated cowlings impacted the area between the leading edge of the vertical stabilizer and the top of the fuselage, resulting in substantial damage.
The remaining pieces of the separated cowlings have not been recovered.
According to the operator, the airplane was maintained through an Approved Aircraft Inspection Program and the last maintenance work performed on the right engine occurred 153.6 flight hours prior to the accident.

Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: NTSB
Status: Investigation ongoing
Accident number: CEN20LA082
Download report: Preliminary report


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Map
This map shows the airport of departure and the intended destination of the flight. The line between the airports does not display the exact flight path.
Distance from Dallas-Love Field, TX to Midland International Air and Space Port, TX as the crow flies is 509 km (318 miles).

This information is not presented as the Flight Safety Foundation or the Aviation Safety Network’s opinion as to the cause of the accident. It is preliminary and is based on the facts as they are known at this time.
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