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N337DR accident description

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Crash location 36.212500°N, 115.196111°W
Nearest city North Las Vegas, NV
36.198859°N, 115.117501°W
4.5 miles away
Tail number N337DR
Accident date 05 May 2005
Aircraft type Gulfstream 695A
Additional details: None

NTSB Factual Report


On May 5, 2005, at 0914 Pacific daylight time, a Gulfstream 695A, N337DR, collided with terrain several hundred feet short of the approach end of runway 12R at the North Las Vegas Airport, North Las Vegas, Nevada. The pilot owned the airplane and operated it under the provisions of 14 CFR Part 91. The airline transport pilot experienced an incapacitating event during the flight and was the only fatality. One passenger was seriously injured and the other received minor injuries, and the airplane was substantially damaged. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan had been filed. The flight originated at the North Las Vegas Airport at 0830, with an intended destination of San Diego, California.

The passengers stated they departed North Las Vegas Airport about 0830, en route to San Diego. The airplane was level at 9,700 feet with one passenger in the copilot's seat (right seat) and one passenger seated behind the pilot. As they proceeded south of Boulder City, Nevada, the pilot started to cough repeatedly and donned the oxygen mask. He then contacted departure control and told the controller they were returning to North Las Vegas. Shortly after making the turn back to North Las Vegas the pilot collapsed against the control yoke. The passenger in the right seat took the controls and donned the radio headset. The passenger behind the pilot held the pilot back and away from the controls. It took both passengers a few minutes to locate and disconnect the autopilot, and then the passenger in the right seat started flying the airplane. He attempted to contact North Las Vegas tower on the radio with no success, but he had visually located the airport. The passenger behind the pilot's seat attended to the pilot but he was unresponsive. The passenger flying the airplane began to make a landing pass. The passenger behind the pilot was now kneeling between the pilot and copilot seats and had successfully established communications with the tower. Tower cleared them to land on any runway. They attempted three landing passes; each one was too high by their judgment. On the fourth pass they flew low over the nearby buildings, pitched the nose up, and landed the plane hard on its belly in a runway overrun area. Both passengers then egressed the airplane via the emergency exit. The pilot was transported to University Medical Center Trauma and did not recover from his medical condition.


A review of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) airman records revealed that the pilot held an Airline Transport Pilot (ATP) certificate dated January 29, 2003, with a multiengine land (MEL) rating and an A/CE-500 (Cessna Citation) type rating. The pilot's flight logbook was not located. The pilot reported in the FAA airman medical application dated October 11, 2004, that he had 2,285 hours of flight time with 65 hours in the previous 6 months.

The passenger in the right seat had no aviation experience other than some glider training 25 years ago and did not hold any pilot certificates.

The passenger in the seat behind the pilot had no aviation experience and did not hold any pilot certificates.


FAA airman medical records were requested from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, and reviewed. The Airline Transport Pilot held a first-class medical certificate dated October 11, 2004, with the limitation that the holder shall possess glasses that correct for near vision. The pilot was issued a Statement of Demonstrated Ability Waiver for defective color vision dated October 6, 1999, and an FAA letter of demonstrated ability for the same condition dated December 2, 2004. The pilot did not report any heart or vascular trouble on the examination form (FAA Form 8500-8), however, he did report having the flu in June 2002. A routine electro cardiogram (ECG) test was performed for this exam and for previous FAA medical exams on January 23, 2003, December 5, 2001, and June 28, 1999.

The Clark County Coroner completed an autopsy and investigation. The coroner reported that the wife of the pilot said that the pilot had been battling what appeared to be a sinus infection for the past 2 weeks and that his physician had 'cleared' him for flight on May 2, 2005. The FAA Bioaeronautical Sciences Research Laboratory in Oklahoma City performed toxicological analysis from tissue samples obtained during the autopsy. The results of analysis were negative for carbon monoxide, cyanide, ethanol, and positive for atropine. The autopsy report states that the cause of death was arteriosclerotic cardiovascular disease.

NTSB Probable Cause

The incapacitation of the pilot.

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