Pilots Blamed For Bahamas Learjet Crash


“Poor decision-making by the crew” was the probable cause of a fatal Learjet accident last November at Grand Bahama International Airport, according to the Bahamas’ aircraft accident investigation unit. Both crew members and seven passengers died after the jet struck a crane at about 220 feet ASL, about 3.2 nm from the runway threshold. The crew had executed a missed approach procedure due to poor visibility and rain at decision height, and was attempting a second try when the accident occurred. The crew showed poor decision-making “in initiating and continuing a descent in IMC below the authorized altitude, without visual contact with the runway environment,” according to the investigators’ report.

The crane was positioned at the Grand Bahama Shipyard, according to a news release from the Bahamas Department of Civil Aviation. When the aircraft hit the crane, “a fireball lasting approximately 3 seconds was observed,” and the right outboard wing, right landing gear and right wing fuel tank separated from the aircraft.The aircraft then traveled about 1,578 feet before crashing inverted into a pile of debris at a trash and recycling plant adjacent to the shipyard.The full report will be posted at the website of the Bahamas’ Aircraft Accident Investigation and Prevention Unit.