ASN Aircraft accident Cessna 560 Citation V N3RB Pine Grove, OR
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Status:Accident investigation report completed and information captured
Date:Saturday 9 January 2021
Type:Silhouette image of generic C560 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Cessna 560 Citation V
Operator:SX Transport LLC
Registration: N3RB
MSN: 560-0035
First flight: 1989
Total airframe hrs:13727
Engines: 2 Pratt & Whitney Canada JT15D-5A
Crew:Fatalities: 1 / Occupants: 1
Passengers:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 0
Total:Fatalities: 1 / Occupants: 1
Aircraft damage: Destroyed
Aircraft fate: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:23 km (14.4 mls) SE of Pine Grove, OR (   United States of America)
Phase: En route (ENR)
Departure airport:Troutdale Airport, OR (TTD/KTTD), United States of America
Destination airport:Boise Air Terminal, ID (BOI/KBOI), United States of America
A Cessna 560 Citation V, registration N3RB, was destroyed when it impacted the terrain in the Mutton Mountains area southeast of Pine Grove, Oregon. The pilot was killed in the accident.

The aircraft departed Troutdale Airport, Oregon at 22:08 UTC. After departure, while in contact with Portland Approach and subsequently Seattle Center, the pilot had problems following the controllers' instructions with regards to headings and radio frequency.
The aircraft was cleared to climb to FL370 by Seattle Center and continued to climb, until 13:28:45, when it reached its highest altitude of 31,000 ft. The airplane began to descend, and remained for the next eight minutes in a spiraling and descending 1-mile radius right turn. The last ADS-B target was recorded at 13:36:27, with the airplane on a northwest heading at an altitude of 3,800 ft. The airplane struck the ground in the Mutton Mountain Range, at an elevation of 3,600 ft.

FAA records did not indicate that the pilot held a type rating for the Citation 560. He had taken Citation 560 training toward the end of 2020 at a training facility in Arizona, however the owner of the facility stated that the pilot had not performed to a level sufficient to be issued a type rating or single pilot exemption.
During the training, he struggled significantly in high workload environments and had difficulty operating the airplane’s avionics suite, which had recently been installed. He revealed to a fellow pilot that he preferred to “hand fly” the airplane rather than use the autopilot.
Review of historical flight data, and statements provided by acquaintances of the pilot, indicate that this was likely the first time he had flown the airplane on his own.

Probable Cause:

Probable Cause: "A loss of airplane control due to pilot incapacitation for reasons that could not be determined."

Accident investigation:

Investigating agency: NTSB
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 1 year and 7 months
Accident number: WPR21LA082
Download report: Summary report




photo of Cessna-560-Citation-V-N3RB

This map shows the airport of departure and the intended destination of the flight. The line is connecting ADS-B datapoints from FlightAware.
Distance from Troutdale Airport, OR to Boise Air Terminal, ID as the crow flies is 533 km (333 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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Citation V

  • 777 built
  • 18th loss
  • 10th fatal accident
  • The worst accident
» safety profile

 United States of America
  • 60th worst accident
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