At Least 2 Killed in Florida Challenger Accident

The business jet came down on Interstate 75 in Naples.

A Bombardier Challenger 600, like the one pictured here, went down in Naples on Friday. [Adrian Pingstone – CC0/Wikimedia Commons]

Authorities in Florida report at least two people are dead following the crash of a private jet on Interstate 75 in Naples, Florida. According to the Florida Highway Patrol, the jet hit a car.

According to local broadcast news outlets, there were five people on board the Bombardier Challenger 600 which was flying from Ohio State University Airport (KOSU) in Columbus to Naples, then intended to continue on to Fort Lauderdale. The aircraft had left Ohio around 12:30 p.m.

According to Robin King, director of communication with the Naples Airport Authority, the Challenger was on approach to the airport when the flight crew radioed the airport reporting they had lost power in both engines. That was the final transmission just before the accident at 3:10 p.m.

The airplane came down on the interstate which runs north-south. Authorities have not said if the fatalities were persons in cars or in the aircraft.

Video and photographs of the scene showed fire and black billowing smoke and lines of cars in backed up traffic. Authorities have closed down a six mile stretch of the highway. It is expected to stay closed for at least 24 hours.

According to the FAA, the aircraft registration number of the Bombardier Challenger 600 is N823KD, which according to FAA records is owned by East Shore Aviation LLC out of Fort Lauderdale. Initial reports quoted by the Tampa Bay Times indicate the aircraft was operated by Hop-a-Jet Worldwide Charter.

The FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board are investigating the accident.

This is a developing story. More information will be published as it becomes available.

Meg Godlewski has been an aviation journalist for more than 24 years and a CFI for more than 20 years. If she is not flying or teaching aviation, she is writing about it. Meg is a founding member of the Pilot Proficiency Center at EAA AirVenture and excels at the application of simulation technology to flatten the learning curve. Follow Meg on Twitter @2Lewski.

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