Pilot incapacitated before fatal Citation V crash

The sole occupant pilot who died in the Cessna Citation V N3RB crash on January 9, 2021, near Warm Springs, Oregon, lost control of the jet after being incapacitated for reasons that could not be determined, according to a NTSB Probable Cause Report published on August 12. An NTSB investigation determined that the N3RB appeared to have no mechanical issues when it was destroyed after touching down at 1:37 p.m. PST.

During the first 15 minutes of the flight, the 72-year-old pilot, who had 12,350 TT hours but not a Citation V type rating, appeared to have difficulty maintaining assigned headings and altitudes. After reaching FL270, the aircraft began to deviate approximately 30 degrees to the right while continuing to climb. The controller alerted the pilot who did not respond and the airplane continued its climb. Two minutes later, the aircraft entered a spiral descent that lasted eight minutes until the aircraft impacted the ground at high speed in a low upright attitude.

According to the NTSB, a review of the pilot’s medical history revealed several conditions and medications not reported to the FAA. Although these conditions or medications did not directly cause incapacitation, the pilot may have had an undiagnosed illness or an acute event that would have rendered him incapacitated, the NTSB said, noting that the available evidence is consistent with a loss of control of the plane following the pilot. inability.

Kevin A. Perras