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Animation for Aircraft Accident, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, June 4, 2007
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Animation for Aircraft Accident, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, June 4, 2007

October 14, 2009
Aircraft Accident Report - Loss of Control and Impact with Water, Marlin Air Cessna Citation 550, N550BP, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, June 4, 2007


Flight Path
Crash of Cessna 550


Milwaukee, Wisconsin
June 4, 2007


Animation Description/Disclaimer

This animation depicts the flight path of the Cessna 550 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, on June 4, 2007. The animation begins as the airplane takes off from General Mitchell International Airport at 3:57:45 PM CDT and ends at 4:00:53. Flight path information based on radar data is displayed as a yellow line on a satellite photo of the area. Selected comments from the cockpit voice recorder transcript are displayed in the upper left portion of the screen. The local time and the airplane’s altitude and calculated airspeed are displayed in the lower left portion of the screen. Weather and visibility conditions at the time of the accident are not depicted. This animation contains audio.

Voice Over

  1. The airplane took off just before 3:58 pm central daylight time.
  2. The flight had a routine initial take off, although, the pilots did not perform a formal challenge-response checklist.
  3. After rotation, the captain, the flying pilot, called for yaw damper activation and turned the airplane to the assigned heading.
  4. The captain made the comment that he was "fighting the controls".
  5. For a second time, he said that he was fighting the controls.
  6. Then a third time, the captain stated that he was fighting the controls and the first officer asked about trim settings.
  7. Note that these initial comments do not state the nature of the control problem.
  8. The captain stated that the airplane wanted to turn left hard and the first officer again inquired about trim.
  9. During this portion of the flight the airplane continued to climb and remained on the assigned heading.
  10. The captain said that there was something wrong with the rudder trim.
  11. Again, the captain said that there was a problem with the rudder of the airplane but that he did not know the reason.
  12. The first officer responded, saying "How's that? Any better?" 
  13. The captain re-iterated that there was a trim problem.
  14. The captain said that the airplane was rolling and asked for help.
  15. The captain then instructed the first officer to pull the autopilot circuit breaker and the first officer responded “where is it”.
  16. Here, the airplane had leveled off and its air speed was about 270 knots.
  17. During this portion of the flight, the airplane was in a descending left turn back toward the airport.
  18. The airspeed remained about 250 knots.
  19. The captain told Air Traffic Control that he did not know what was wrong with the airplane.
  20. The captain relinquished control of the airplane to the first officer. Shortly thereafter, the airplane crashed into the lake.

Selected CVR comments:

  1. 15:57:19.9        HOT-2:        power set. airs—. airspeed—. airspeed alive.
  2. 15:57:26.8        HOT-2:        eighty knots.
  3. 15:57:31.7        HOT-2:        V one.
  4. 15:57:33.4        HOT-2:        rotate.
  5. 15:57:37.3        HOT-1:        positive rate gear up.
  6. 15:57:40.5        HOT-1:        lights off yaw damper on.
  7. 15:57:51.0        RDO-2:        okay zero five zero and start my turn and thanks for the help.
  8. 15:57:51.3        HOT-1:        why am I fighting the controls here? damn it.
  9. 15:57:57.1        HOT-1:        I’m fighting the controls @.
  10. 15:58:03.2        HOT-1:        gear up.
  11. 15:58:05.0        HOT-1:        flaps up.
  12. 15:58:06.9        HOT-1:        what the hell's going on? I’m fighting the controls.
  13. 15:58:12.5        CAM-2:        how's your trim set? is that the way you want it?
  14. 15:58:21.4        HOT-1:        I’m fighting the controls. it wants to turn left hard.
  15. 15:58:24.3        CAM-2:        how's— how's your trim down here?
  16. 15:58:27.4        HOT-1:        trim has nothing—. I—. I—.
  17. 15:58:44.9        HOT-1:        something is wrong with the trim.
  18. 15:58:48.4        HOT-1:        the rudder trim. what— what's our altitude clearance? @.
  19. 15:58:52.1        CAM-2:        three thousand three thousand.
  20. 15:58:57.4        HOT-1:        all right something is wrong with our rudders. and I don't know what.
  21. 15:59:07.1        CAM-2:        how's that. any better?
  22. 15:59:09.4        HOT-1:        huh no we got a trim problem.
  23. 15:59:16.0        HOT-1:        tell 'em we got to come back and land.
  24. 15:59:19.1        HOT-1:        @ she's rolling on me. help me help me.
  25. 15:59:24.1        HOT-1:        the autopilot is—. pull circuit breakers on autopilot.
  26. 15:59:27.4        CAM-2:        where is it?
  27. 15:59:28.6        HOT-1:        tell 'em we got a control problem.
  28. 15:59:30.2        RDO-2:        Milwauk—. eh approach Citation one bravo tango has got a control problem we’ve got to come back in.
  29. 15:59:43.8        RDO-2:        Milwaukee approach we got a—. Milwaukee we got uh a runaway trim. we got an emergency.
  30. 15:59:50.4        CAM-2:        which circuit breakers?
  31. 15:59:57.0        CAM-1:        yes ma'am. answer her @. keep turning *.
  32. 16:00:05.0        RDO-1:        zero bravo pap declaring an emergency yes.
  33. 16:00:06.2        HOT-1:        we're coming back to Milwaukee.
  34. 16:00:12.5        RDO-2:        coming back to Milwaukee.
  35. 16:00:13.5        RDO-1:        landing any runway at uh at Milwaukee. guide us in please. zero bravo pap.
  36. 16:00:26.1        RDO-1:        I don't know what's wrong.
  37. 16:00:30.1        HOT-1:        I don't know what's wrong @. I see the airport. keep **. #.
  38. 16:00:35.9        RDO-1:        @ you hold it I’m gonna try to pull circuit breakers.
  39. 16:00:40.0        RDO-1:        @ we’re not—.
  40. 16:00:40.1        HOT-1:        holding it.
  41. 16:00:40.6        CAM-2:        I’m pulling.

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