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Last updated: 16 October 2021
Status:Final
Date:Wednesday 20 December 2000
Time:01:26
Type:Silhouette image of generic H25B model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
British Aerospace BAe-125-700A
Operator:Million Air Dallas
Registration: N236BN
MSN: 257051/NA0236
First flight: 1979
Total airframe hrs:8348
Engines: 2 Garrett TFE731-3R-1H
Crew:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 2
Passengers:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 2
Total:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 4
Aircraft damage: Damaged beyond repair
Location:Jackson Hole Airport, WY (JAC) (   United States of America)
Phase: Landing (LDG)
Nature:Domestic Non Scheduled Passenger
Departure airport:Austin-Bergstrom International Airport, TX (AUS/KAUS), United States of America
Destination airport:Jackson Hole Airport, WY (JAC/KJAC), United States of America
Narrative:
A British Aerospace BAe-125-700A corporate jet, registered N236BN, was substantially damaged when it impacted snow covered terrain during landing at Jackson Hole Airport (elevation 6,445 feet), Wyoming. The airline transport pilot captain, the airline transport pilot first officer, and the two passengers were not injured.
Instrument meteorological conditions prevailed for the night cross-country non-scheduled passenger flight that originated from Austin, Texas, 3 hours 20 minutes before the accident. The pilot had filed an IFR flight plan. One of the passengers was actress Sandra Bullock.

The airplane was flying a full instrument landing system (ILS) approach to runway 18 at a high altitude airport (elevation 6,445 feet), in a mountainous area, at night. The control tower was closed for the night. The airport was located in a national park, and, therefore, the runway lights were not left on during the night. During non-tower operation hours, the procedure for turning on the runway lights called for the pilot to key the microphone multiple times on the Common Traffic Advisory Frequency (CTAF), which was the tower frequency. The copilot of the accident airplane made multiple attempts to turn on the runway lights using the UNICOM frequency, which had been the CTAF until about 6 months before the accident. The captain continued his landing approach below approach minimums without the runway lights being on. While in the landing flare, the captain reported that strong cross-winds and blowing snow created a "white-out" weather condition. The airplane touched down 195 feet left of the runway centerline in snow covered terrain between the runway and taxiway. Two ILS runway 18 approach plates were found in the airplane. One was out of date and showed the UNICOM frequency as the CTAF. The other was current and showed the tower frequency as the CTAF.

Probable Cause:

PROBABLE CAUSE: "The pilot's failure to follow IFR approach procedures and perform a missed approach when the runway was not in sight below approach minimums. Contributing factors were the copilot's failure to follow current ILS approach procedures and use the correct frequency to turn on the runway lights, the snowy whiteout conditions near the ground, and the dark night light conditions."

Accident investigation:
cover
Investigating agency: NTSB
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 1 year and 2 months
Accident number: DEN01FA030
Download report: Summary report

Classification:
Runway excursion

Sources:
» NTSB


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Map
This map shows the airport of departure and the intended destination of the flight. The line between the airports does not display the exact flight path.
Distance from Austin-Bergstrom International Airport, TX to Jackson Hole Airport, WY as the crow flies is 1874 km (1171 miles).

This information is not presented as the Flight Safety Foundation or the Aviation Safety Network’s opinion as to the cause of the accident. It is preliminary and is based on the facts as they are known at this time.
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