On February 9, 2024, at approximately 15:15 EST, a Bombardier Challenger 600 with five people onboard, crashed while attempting to make an emergency forced landing on Interstate 75 near Naples Florida. Both pilots were killed in the accident. Survivors include one crewmember, and two passengers. The survivors were taken to an area hospital for treatment for their injuries. Our hearts go out the pilots and their families, and we wish the passengers a speedy recovery from their injuries.

The Challenger 604 aircraft (N823KD) was manufactured by Bombardier and operated by Hop-A-Jet; a Fort Lauderdale based Part 135 aircraft charter company. The flight originated from an airport at Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio, and was scheduled to land in Naples at the time of the accident.

A Naples Airport Authority spokesperson said that the pilot contacted the control tower requesting an emergency landing, stating that the aircraft had lost both engines. The pilot was cleared to land but reported that “we’re not going to make the runway. We’ve lost both engines.”

The pilots attempted to perform a forced landing on I-75. The aircraft’s wing impacted a vehicle traveling on the freeway and departed the interstate pavement coming to rest in a grassy area. An ensuing fire consumed a large portion of the business jet’s cabin forward of the empennage.

It is exceedingly rare for a jet-powered aircraft to lose a single engine. Most pilots who fly jet aircraft will fly their entire career and not experience an engine failure. To experience a dual jet engine failure is extremely rare. Based on Aviation Law Group’s attorneys’ experience, losing both engines at the same time suggests a common source for engine failures.

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is investigating the accident. While it is too early in the investigation to determine exactly what may have caused the aircraft to lose power from both engines, the NTSB’s investigation will focus on the aircraft’s fuel quantity, fuel quality, engines, engine maintenance records, as well as human factors in its determination.

The NTSB’s investigation will also examine the possibility of bird ingestion as a possible cause of the engine failures. Bird ingestion was ultimately determined to be the cause of the famous “Miracle on the Hudson” US Airways Flight 1549’s forced ditching into the Hudson River on January 15, 2009.

Aviation Law Group (ALG) is a law firm with offices in Florida, Washington, and Hawaii that limits its law practice to only aviation accident cases. For over 30 years, the attorneys at Aviation Law Group have litigated complex aviation accidents such as this accident involving a dual engine failure. ALG attorneys bring their substantial aviation experience to litigating complex aviation cases. For instance, ALG attorney Kerry Kovarik was a head mechanic at a general aviation jet center, and other ALG attorneys have flown small business jets and Bombardier regional jets similar to the Challenger 604 that was involved in this accident. 

ALG attorney Christopher Rusing leads the Florida office located in Jupiter, Florida, and is licensed to practice law in Florida, Washington, and in Federal Court.