Four people were killed when a Learjet 35A crashed in California on December 27, 2021, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has confirmed. 

The business jet, registration N880Z, was carrying two flight crew and two passengers when it crashed into a residential street while on approach to Gillespie Field (SEE) in El Cajon, San Diego County, according to a notice on the FAA’s website.  

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) said in an update on December 28, 2021 that it has sent three investigators to the scene, who are expected to be there for about three days examining and documenting the evidence.  

The NTSB also provided some preliminary details of the accident, which occurred at 1914 local time on December 27, 2021 (0314 UTC, December 28). The aircraft was on an instrument approach to Runway 17 at SEE, but as it neared the airport, the pilot requested to change to a visual approach for Runway 27R.  The NTSB said shortly after receiving approval, the Learjet crashed into a residential area about 1.4 miles from the approach end of the runway.  

Local media reports cite witnesses as saying they saw flames and heard an explosion as the jet crashed. The NTSB is calling for witnesses or anyone with video footage of the crash of a Learjet in California to contact investigators via email at [email protected] 

Along with scouring the wreckage for clues as to what happened, investigators will also look to recover the aircraft’s cockpit voice recorder.  The aircraft was not equipped with a flight data recorder, however, the NTSB said.  

Investigators from the NTSB expect to publish a preliminary report within a few weeks, while the final accident report will take between 12-24 months. 

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A Learjet 35A business jet crashed in the middle of a street in a San Diego neighborhood, with casualties remaining unknown