Video Released Of Aspen Challenger Crash


Infrared security camera video obtained by Aspen Journalism, a non-profit citizen journalism group in Aspen, Colo., shows the crash of a Challenger 601 business jet at Aspen-Pitkin County Airport on Jan. 5 that killed the co-pilot and sent the other two pilots aboard to hospital in critical condition. The video shows the aircraft, on a flight from Tucson to pick up passengers, on its second landing attempt after the pilot aborted the first try due to a 33-knot tailwind. Based on the images of the snow moving across the ramp area, the howling wind had not abated as the big bizjet hit the runway hard, with sparks flying, bounced 50 feet or more and crashed on the runway in a fireball.

Late last week the NTSB released a preliminary report (PDF) on the crash saying the bounce preceded the crash. “On the second landing attempt (the aircraft) briefly touched down on the runway, then bounced into the air and descended rapidly impacting with the ground at midfield,” the report says. Sometime after that the plane flipped on its back and was mostly consumed by the fire.