Pinnacle Airlines flight 9E3701 : on October 14, 2004, about 2215:06 central daylight time, Pinnacle Airlines flight 3701 (doing business as Northwest Airlink), a Bombardier CL-600-2B19, N8396A, crashed into a residential area about 2.5 miles south of Jefferson City Memorial Airport, Jefferson City, Missouri.
The airplane was on a repositioning flight from Little Rock National Airport, Little Rock, Arkansas, to Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, Minneapolis, Minnesota.
During the flight, both engines flamed out after a pilot-induced aerodynamic stall and were unable to be restarted.
The captain and the first officer were killed, and the airplane was destroyed. No one on the ground was injured.
The flight was operating under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 on an instrument flight rules flight plan. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident.
pilots stated that some pilots had expressed curiosity about operating the airplane at 41,000 feet and that a “ [ flight level ] 410 club” existed at the airline.
The probable causes of this accident were
- the pilots’ unprofessional behavior, deviation from SOP standard operating procedures, and poor airmanship, which resulted in an in-flight emergency from which they were unable to recover, in part because of the pilots’ inadequate training;
- the pilots’ failure to prepare for an emergency landing in a timely manner, including communicating with air traffic controllers immediately after the emergency about the loss of both engines and the availability of landing sites; and
- the pilots’ improper management of the double engine failure checklist, which allowed the engine cores to stop rotating and resulted in the core lock engine condition.
Contributing to this accident were
- the core lock engine condition, which prevented at least one engine from being restarted, and
- the airplane flight manuals that did not communicate to pilots the importance of maintaining a minimum airspeed to keep the engine cores rotating.