Air-ground radio communications from the Bombardier Challenger 604 which crashed on a Florida highway indicate the aircraft lost thrust in both engines moments beforehand.

The aircraft (N832KD) had been operated by Fort Lauderdale business jet charter company Hop-A-Jet.

It had been preparing to land at Naples airport at around 15:10 on 9 February. While about 5nm north, it was conducting a right-hand turn inbound to runway 23, on which it had been cleared to land.

But around 90s after the clearance, one of the Challenger pilots contacted the tower controller, stating that the aircraft had “lost both engines” and was “making an emergency landing”.

The tower controller reiterated the clearance to land on runway 23, but was told: “Yeah, we’re cleared to land, but we’re not going to make the runway, we’ve lost both engines.”


Source: Hop-A-Jet

Operated by Hop-A-Jet, the Challenger 604 had five occupants on board

After rapidly losing height the jet came down on the southbound Interstate 75 carriageway, about 2.7nm northeast of the runway 23 threshold.

Another Naples controller subsequently transmitted that there was an “emergency in progress” and instructed all traffic to “stand by”. The air-ground radio exchange was captured by LiveATC.

The Challenger is powered by two General Electric CF34 engines.

According to the US FAA, the aircraft – which had departed Ohio State University airport – was transporting five occupants.

Collier County sheriff’s office states that the accident has resulted in at least two fatalities, although it has not clarified whether these individuals were on the aircraft or the ground. The crash has led to the closure of a section of Interstate 75 while investigation takes place.