NTSB RELEASES UPDATE ON CRASH OF LEARJET 35 INVOLVING PROFESSIONAL GOLFER PAYNE STEWART, 5 OTHERS
October 29, 1999, Damage to the cockpit voice recorder recovered from the Learjet 35 that crashed near Mina, South Dakota, on October 25 prevented the National Transportation Safety Board from immediately extracting information. However, the NTSB expects to retrieve the information after repairs to the CVR’s controller. The CVR arrived at NTSB headquarters in Washington, D.C., on Thursday evening. All of the solid state recorder’s memory chips remained attached despite the severity of the crash, but the controller circuit board that decodes the contents of the memory was damaged. The NTSB took the CVR to Universal Navigation Corp. in Redmond, Washington, where it is working with the manufacturer to repair the controller.
The NTSB hopes it will have information from the CVR early next week. The CVR has a 30-minute recording capability. The NTSB has nearly completed the field portion of the investigation. Robert Benzon, Investigator-in-Charge, reports that all of the wreckage has been recovered and moved to a hangar at Aberdeen Regional Airport. Investigators will work through the weekend to clean and identify parts and examine in greater detail those parts that are most significant for this investigation. The engines will be transported to their manufacturer, Allied Signal Aerospace in Phoenix, Arizona, for further examination under NTSB supervision. NTSB investigators have reviewed maintenance, service and flight crew information at the Sanford, Florida, headquarters of Sunjet Aviation, the operator of the airplane. Investigators are planning to leave South Dakota early next week.
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