December 7, 2012, Grand Forks, N.D. – Cessna 501 Citation I/SP


The business jet was substantially damaged at about 2234 Central time during recovery from an in-flight upset. The two pilots and four passengers were not injured. Night instrument conditions prevailed.

While climbing through approximately 7000 feet msl with the autopilot engaged, the pilots stated the left-side attitude indicator became inoperative and the autopilot rolled the aircraft into an unusual attitude. The pilot disengaged the autopilot and recovered the aircraft to level flight, primarily by referencing the turn needle and directional gyro. Both wings were substantially damaged by aerodynamic forces during the recovery maneuver. The pilots diverted to a nearby airport and landed without further incident.


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