March 4, 2008, Oklahoma City, Okla., Cessna 500


At about 1515 Central time the airplane was destroyed upon impact with terrain following a loss of control shortly after takeoff. The airline transport pilot, instrument-rated commercial pilot and the three passengers sustained fatal injuries. Visual conditions prevailed.

A witness who had served 20 years as a U.S. Air Force crew chief reported a sound resembling an “engine compressor stall.” He observed the airplane descending at a 60-to-70-degree nose-down attitude and trailing gray smoke from what appeared to be the right engine. He also observed pieces of a bird falling from the sky to the water near his location. Other witnesses reported observing smoke trail the airplane as it descended and hearing a high-pitched grinding, screech or squeal coming from the airplane.

Portions of the airframe and residue removed from the horizontal and vertical stabilizer were sent to an ornithologist at the Smithsonian Institute for examination. The airplane was equipped with a cockpit voice recorder which was not operating during the accident flight.


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