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Report: unlicensed pilot stalls unairworthy Learjet following fuel starvation
20 December 2012
Learjet D-CMMM at Prague in May 2010 (photo Vaclav Kudela)

Learjet D-CMMM at Prague in May 2010 (photo Vaclav Kudela)

The accident involving a Learjet 24 at Bornholm, Denmark earlier this year was caused by inadequate en route fuel management which resulted fuel starvation and a stall on final approach, an investigation concluded. The Danish Accident Investigation Board (AIB DK) also noted that the airplane had no valid certificate of airworthiness and the pilot also did not posses the right license.

On September 15, 2012, Learjet 24D, D-CMMM, departed Strausberg Airport, Germany on a private flight to Bornholm-Rønne Airport. There were two occupants, one pilot and a passenger who was seated on the right hand side on the flight deck. The flight was refueled and had an estimated total endurance of approximately 01:00 hrs for the 30-minute flight.
Enroute a low fuel quantity warning light was presented to the pilot.

While on finals to Bornholm Airport, both engines flamed out as a result of fuel starvation of the wing fuel tanks. The airplane stalled and impacted terrain in a corn field with a low forward airspeed and a steep descent. Both occupants sustained serious injuries.

The German Aviation Authorities informed the AIB DK that the certificate of aircraft registration for D-CMMM was cancelled in 2012. The latest valid Airworthiness Certificate was from the 8th of March 2004 and valid up to the 31st of March 2005.
On board the aircraft in the pilot’s personal belongings, the AIB DK found two Airline Transport Pilot Licenses (ATPL) issued by the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). These two licenses had the same FAA license number but the names of the license holders were different. The names of the license holders were inconsistent with the pilot’s Iranian identity.
The BFU informed the AIB DK that the pilot was neither in possession of a valid German pilot license nor a German validation of an US license, which was required to operate a German registered aircraft. The NTSB informed the AIB DK that the pilot was not in possession of a valid US pilot license.
Additionaly, according to the approved flight manual, the minimum flight crew should consist of a pilot and a copilot. On the accident there was just one pilot.

From a systemic point of view, the AIB DK finds it thought-provoking that a non-registered aircraft was accepted by the regulated aviation system (12 times in 2012).

 

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