Dave Hirschman

Mustang Rodeo

May 19, 2008 by Dave Hirschman, Senior Editor

Some of the best minds in aviation training have been focusing on VLJs with a goal of improving pilot performance and reducing insurance rates. A Cessna Citation Mustang accident in California last month shows there’s still lots of work to be done.

A Mustang suffered extensive damage at Carlsbad’s McClelland-Palomar Airport on April 19 when it landed long and fast and ground-looped at the departure end of the Runway 24. The NTSB said the airplane operated by California Natural Products was about 15 knots fast when it touched down about halfway down the 4,897-foot runway, and the pilot/owner intentionally ground-looped to avoid going down a steep embankment.

The pilot had reported a flickering primary flight display during the flight and failed electric trim that required using the manual trim for approach and landing. The pilot descended through clouds from about 5,000 feet to about 2,600 feet and made a visual approach. The pilot also said he was fatigued by the demands of hand-flying the airplane for 45 minutes leading up to the accident.

See the NTSB brief for more information.

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