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Status:Preliminary - official
Date:Tuesday 5 October 2021
Type:Silhouette image of generic FA20 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Dassault Falcon 20C
Operator:Sierra West Airlines
Registration: N283SA
MSN: 83
First flight: 1967
Crew:Fatalities: 2 / Occupants: 2
Passengers:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 0
Total:Fatalities: 2 / Occupants: 2
Aircraft damage: Destroyed
Aircraft fate: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:1,3 km (0.8 mls) W of Thomson-McDuffie County Airport, GA (   United States of America)
Phase: Approach (APR)
Departure airport:Lubbock Preston Smith International Airport, TX (LBB/KLBB), United States of America
Destination airport:Thomson-McDuffie County Airport, GA (KHQU), United States of America
Sierra West Airlines flight PKW887, a Dassault Falcon 20CC, N283SA, was destroyed when it impacted trees and terrain while on approach to Thomson-McDuffie County Airport (HQU/KHQU), Thomson, Georgia. The captain and first officer were fatally injured.
At 05:03 local time, flight 887 requested information about the Notices to Airman (NOTAMs) for the instrument landing system (ILS) localizer runway 10 approach procedure at Thomson. Atlanta Center informed the flight crew of two NOTAMs; the first
pertained to the ILS runway 10 glidepath being unserviceable and the second applied to the localizer being unserviceable. The controller informed the flight crew that the localizer NOTAM was not in effect until later in the morning after their expected arrival, which was consistent with the published NOTAM.
About 05:26, the flight crew requested an ILS runway 10 approach, which was approved by ATL center. At 05:43, flight 887 had just crossed the CEDAR Initial Approach Fix (IAF) and requested to cancel their IFR clearance.
A surveillance video showed the airplane approaching runway 10 in a relatively constant descent and heading; however, about 25 seconds before the airplane’s landing lights disappeared, a momentary right turn, followed by a left turn and increased descent rate was observed. No explosion or glow of fire was observed when the landing lights disappeared about 05:44.

The final ADS-B data point (located 1.1 nautical miles from Rwy 10 threshold) showed a descent rate of -1,600 feet per minute at 700 ft pressure altitude (820 ft MSL) and a ground speed of 133 Kts. The Field elevation is 500.9' MSL. Lowest permitted decent on any approach to Rwy 10 is 400/1.

Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: NTSB
Status: Investigation ongoing
Accident number: ERA22FA004
Language: English

» flight track

METAR Weather report:
09:50 UTC / 05:50 local time:
METAR KHQU 050950Z AUTO 00000KT 7SM HZ SCT012 SCT033 OVC090 20/ A3004 RMK AO2 LTG DSNT N AND W


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This map shows the airport of departure and the intended destination of the flight. The line is connecting ADS-B datapoints from FlightAware.
Distance from Lubbock Preston Smith International Airport, TX to Thomson-McDuffie County Airport, GA as the crow flies is 1774 km (1109 miles).
Accident location: Exact; as reported in the official accident report.

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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Falcon 20

  • 514 built
  • 50th loss
  • 18th fatal accident
  • 14th worst accident
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