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Last updated: 19 October 2021
Date:Tuesday 23 December 2003
Type:Silhouette image of generic LJ24 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Learjet 24B
Registration: N600XJ
MSN: 24-190
First flight: 1969
Engines: 2 General Electric CJ610
Crew:Fatalities: 2 / Occupants: 2
Passengers:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 0
Total:Fatalities: 2 / Occupants: 2
Aircraft damage: Damaged beyond repair
Location:5 km (3.1 mls) SE of Helendale, CA (   United States of America)
Phase: En route (ENR)
Departure airport:Chino Airport, CA (CNO/KCNO), United States of America
Destination airport:Hailey-Sun Valley Airport, ID (SUN/KSUN), United States of America
Learjet 24B N600XJ departed Chino (CNO) at 08:58 and was cleared to climb to an altitude of 29,000 feet. About 09:09, after the airplane climbed through an altitude of 26,000 feet, the first officer requested a return to Chino. The controller asked if he needed to declare an emergency, and the first officer replied that he did not. The controller then directed the flight crew to maintain an altitude of 24,000 feet. As the flight was cleared directly to HECTOR, the airplane descended below the assigned altitude, at a rate of about 6,500 fpm. About 09:11:24, while the airplane was descending at a rate of about 10,000 fpm, the first officer stated, "we're declaring an emergency now." This was the last contact with the flight. The airplane impacted the top of a ridgeline in desert terrain at an elevation of 3,350 feet.

Probable Cause:

PROBABLE CAUSE: "A loss of airplane control for undetermined reasons."

Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: NTSB
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 2 years and 5 months
Accident number: NTSB AAB-06-04
Download report: Final report

Loss of control



photo of Learjet-24B-N600XJ
accident date: 23-12-2003
type: Learjet 24B
registration: N600XJ
photo of Learjet-24B-N600XJ
accident date: 23-12-2003
type: Learjet 24B
registration: N600XJ
photo of Learjet-24B-N600XJ

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 Chino Airport, CA to Hailey-Sun Valley Airport, ID as the crow flies is 1091 km (682 miles).
Accident location: Approximate; accuracy within a few kilometers.

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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