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CL60, Montrose USA, 2004

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On 28 November 2004, the crew of a Bombardier Challenger 601 lost control of their aircraft soon after getting airborne from Montrose and it crashed and caught fire killing three occupants and seriously injuring the other three. The Investigation found that the loss of control had been the result of a stall caused by frozen deposits on the upper wing surfaces after the crew had failed to ensure that the wings were clean or utilise the available ground de/anti ice service. It was concluded that the pilots' lack of experience of winter weather operations had contributed to their actions/inactions.
Event Details
When November 2004
Actual or Potential
Event Type
Fire Smoke and Fumes, Ground Operations, Human Factors, Loss of Control
Day/Night Day
Flight Conditions IMC
Flight Details
Aircraft BOMBARDIER Challenger 600
Operator Global Aviation
Domicile South Africa
Type of Flight Public Transport (Passenger)
Origin Montrose
Intended Destination South Bend Regional Airport
Take off Commenced Yes
Flight Airborne Yes
Flight Completed No
Flight Phase Take Off
Location - Airport
Airport Montrose
Tag(s) Inadequate Aircraft Operator Procedures
Tag(s) Post Crash Fire
Tag(s) Aircraft acceptance,
Inappropriate crew response - skills deficiency,
Procedural non compliance
Tag(s) Ground de/anti icing ineffective
Tag(s) Flight Control Error"Flight Control Error" is not in the list (Airframe Structural Failure, Significant Systems or Systems Control Failure, Degraded flight instrument display, Uncommanded AP disconnect, AP Status Awareness, Non-normal FBW flight control status, Loss of Engine Power, Flight Management Error, Environmental Factors, Bird or Animal Strike, ...) of allowed values for the "LOC" property.,
Environmental Factors
Safety Net Mitigations
Stall Protection Available but ineffective
Damage or injury Yes
Aircraft damage Hull loss
Injuries Many occupants
Fatalities Many occupants ()
Causal Factor Group(s)
Group(s) Aircraft Operation
Safety Recommendation(s)
Group(s) Aircraft Operation
Investigation Type
Type Independent

Loss of Control - Airframe Icing


On 28 November 2004, a Challeger 601 operated by Global Aviation crashed on takeoff from Montrose, Colorado, USA, following loss of control due to airframe icing.


This is an extract from the Summary of the official report into the accident published by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) (USA)

“On November 28, 2004, about 0958 mountain standard time, a Canadair, Ltd., CL-600-2A12, N873G, registered to Hop-a-Jet, Inc., and operated by Air Castle Corporation dba Global Aviation as Glo-Air flight 73, collided with the ground during takeoff at Montrose Regional Airport (MTJ), Montrose, Colorado. The on-demand charter flight was operated under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 135 on an instrument flight rules (IFR) flight plan. Instrument meteorological conditions prevailed, and snow was falling. Of the six occupants on board, the captain, the flight attendant, and one passenger were killed, and the first officer and two passengers were seriously injured. The airplane was destroyed by impact forces and postcrash fire. The flight was en route to South Bend Regional Airport (SBN), South Bend, Indiana.“

The probable cause of the accident was given as:

“…the flight crew's failure to ensure that the airplane’s wings were free of ice or snow contamination that accumulated while the airplane was on the ground, which resulted in an attempted takeoff with upper wing contamination that induced the subsequent stall and collision with the ground. A factor contributing to the accident was the pilots’ lack of experience flying during winter weather conditions.”

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