Dec. 2, Umpire, Ark. / Cessna 501 Citation


At 12:16 CST, a Cessna 501 crashed in a hilly wooded area while in cruise flight near Umpire, Ark., killing the pilot. The flight had originated from the Mena Intermountain Municipal Airport, Mena, Ark., approximately 12 minutes prior to the accident, en route to Texarkana, Ark. Investigators learned the aircraft had been purchased in November and flown to the Goodner Aviation facility at Mena for repainting. On the day of the accident, the Citations owner/pilot arrived at Mena to pick up the airplane from the paint shop. The takeoff appeared normal and all engine sounds were normal. Approximately 20 miles south of the airport, witnesses heard the airplane, to the east of their location, flying from north to south and then observed the airplane flying to the west of their location. Witnesses said the airplane rolled into a 90-degree right bank and then continued to roll inverted, at which point the nose pitched down to near vertical. There was no evidence of in-flight fire and/or explosion or in-flight mechanical failures found.


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