East Coast Jets Charter Flight
Location: Owatonna, Minnesota
Date: July 31, 2008
Aircraft: Hawker BAE 125-800A
The Motley Rice aviation team is investigating this accident and any legal responsibility that East Coast Jets, MVA Aircraft Leasing, the airport authority and the manufacturer of the aircraft may have to the families of the victims of this disaster. If you or someone you know is interested in seeking legal recourse due to wrongful death as a result of this accident, please contact Motley Rice aviation attorney Mary Schiavo by email or call +1 800.868.6456.
On July 31, 2008, two pilots and six passengers were killed when an East Coast Jets' chartered flight, which originated in Atlantic City, New Jersey, crashed on landing at Degner Regional Airport in Owatonna, Minnesota. The Hawker aircraft, which had been cleared for landing, attempted an approach and touched down. It appears that upon touching down, the flight crew decided to take off again and attempt a second landing.
Although there were heavy thunderstorms and wind gusts reaching 80 mph earlier that day, at the time of the crash the weather was calm with only light rain in the area. Eyewitness reports are conflicting, but one of the aircraft's wings may have struck an antenna. The jet was unable to gain altitude and crashed into a cornfield at the end of the runway.
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is investigating the crash and has issued a preliminary report. According to the report, the flight plan was filed under Instrument Flight Rules (IFR) but the flight plan was cancelled right before the aircraft was about to land. Pilot error, weather conditions, air traffic control, and the aircraft's condition are potential contributing factors to the crash. The flight was chartered by Revel Entertainment to carry Revel employees and with other customers to Viracon, a glass company in Minnesota. The customers were traveling to Minnesota to examine possible exteriors for a new casino project in Atlantic City, NJ.
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) database states that the 1990 Raytheon Hawker BAE 125-800A aircraft was owned by MVA Aircraft Leasing, Inc, located in Greenwich, CT. East Coast Jets operated and leased the aircraft. British Aerospace (BA) originally manufactured the Hawker aircraft, however, Raytheon Company bought out BA in 1993. Raytheon Aircraft Company, including the Hawker line, became Hawker Beechcraft in March 2007.