The Learjet 35 involved in the fatal accident near Teterboro Airport (TEB), New Jersey, on May 15 was “less than a mile” from Runway 6 on the ILS approach when it crashed during the right turn for the circling approach to land on Runway 1, according to the National Transportation Safety Board's preliminary report. “Aircraft typically start the right turn at the final approach fix for Runway 6, which is located 3.8 nm from the end of Runway 6,” TEB ATC told the Safety Board. The two pilots were killed on the Part 91 positioning flight from Philadelphia.
As the aircraft neared TEB in day VMC, New York Tracon cleared the flight for the ILS Runway 6 approach, circle to land Runway 1. At about nine miles from the airport, ATC instructed the crew to contact TEB tower, but the crew did not comply until four miles from the airport. The tower cleared the flight to land on Runway 1 and reported the TEB winds of 320 degrees at 16 knots, gusting to 32 knots.
A TEB controller reported that he observed the airplane bank hard to the right, and he could see its belly with the wings almost perpendicular to the ground. The airplane then appeared to level out for just a second before the left wing dropped, showing the entire top of the airplane. Some witnesses described seeing the airplane’s wings “wobbling” before the left wing dropped and the airplane descended to the ground. The accident site was located on a 180-degree bearing about a half-mile from the threshold of Runway 1.
The Safety Board said the cockpit voice recorder was found to be operating at the time of the accident and a transcript will be produced.