January 12, 2007, Van Nuys, Calif., Cessna 525 CitationJet


The Airline Transport pilot and Commercial-rated copilot sustained fatal injuries and the airplane was destroyed after colliding with terrain at about 1107 Pacific time, shortly after takeoff. Visual conditions prevailed. Before departing, one of the linemen observed the copilot loading bags into the left front baggage compartment. He did not see him latch or lock it. Shortly after takeoff, the airplane turned slightly left and began descending; its wings were rocking. It then did a hard right turn, and hit the ground. Examination of the front left baggage door indicated that the key mechanism was in the unlocked position.


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