An unstabilized approach rarely leads to a good landing.
The flight had departed Venice, Fla., Municipal Airport at 1149 for a 2-hr. flight. The pilot had filed an IFR flight plan. The en route phase was routine. At 1340, the airplane was at 7,300 ft. when an Atlanta Center controller approved a frequency change to the local airport common traffic advisory frequency (CTAF). The pilot acknowledged the frequency change, and no further communication was received by center controllers.
The pilot was 62 years old. He held a private certificate with ratings for airplane single- and multiengine land, and instrument airplane. He had a type rating in the Citation 501. Investigators said a review of the pilot's logbook revealed that he had accumulated a total flight experience of approximately 1,159 hr. About 185 hr. were in the accident airplane — all flown during the previous two years. He had flown the Citation about 8 hr. and 16 hr. during the 30-day and 90-day periods preceding the accident.
Review of performance data for the make and model airplane revealed that at an estimated landing weight of 9,500 lb., the airplane required a landing distance of approximately 2,180 ft. on a dry runway, without wind factored. The distance also assumed a landing reference speed (Vref) of 99 kt., a temperature of 25C and no use of thrust reversers.
Thenoted that the pilot had been involved in a prior accident on March 12, 2006, when he was PIC of a Piper PA32-301 that departed the side of a runway while landing. The probable cause of that accident was "the failure of the pilot to maintain directional control during the landing roll with a crosswind, resulting in collapse of the nose landing gear."
In its final report on the Citation accident, the NTSB noted, “Although manufacturer data revealed single-engine reversing has been demonstrated during normal landings and is easily controllable, the airplane had already porpoised and bounced during the landing. The pilot's subsequent activation of only the right engine's thrust reverser would have created an asymmetrical thrust and most likely exacerbated an already uncontrolled touchdown. Had the touchdown been controlled, the airplane could have stopped on the remaining runway or the pilot could have performed a go-around uneventfully.”
The Safety Board determined the probable cause(s) of this accident was “the pilot's failure to achieve a stabilized approach, resulting in a nose-first, bounced landing. Contributing to the accident was the pilot's activation of only one thrust reverser, resulting in asymmetrical thrust.”