2008 South Carolina Learjet 60 crash

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South Carolina Learjet 60
N999LJ crash.png
The remains of N999LJ
DateSeptember 19, 2008 (2008-09-19)
SummaryRunway overrun due to maintenance error and pilot error
Site2860 Edmund Highway
33°56′13″N 81°06′19″W / 33.937°N 81.1053°W / 33.937; -81.1053Coordinates: 33°56′13″N 81°06′19″W / 33.937°N 81.1053°W / 33.937; -81.1053
Aircraft typeLearjet 60
OperatorGlobal Exec Aviation[1]
Flight originColumbia Metropolitan Airport
DestinationVan Nuys, California

On the night of September 19, 2008, a Learjet 60 business jet (registration N999LJ)[2] crashed during take-off from Columbia Metropolitan Airport in South Carolina.[3][4] The aircraft overran the runway end, crashed through the airport boundary fence, crossed South Carolina Highway 302 and came to rest onto an embankment, bursting into flames.

Four of the six people on board died in the crash. The survivors, musician Travis Barker and disc jockey Adam "DJ AM" Goldstein, were critically injured.[5] The jet had been due to fly Barker, Goldstein and their entourage to Van Nuys, California, after their TRV$DJAM band's performance at a concert in Five Points.

Victims and survivors[edit]

Pilot Sarah Lemmon, 31, of Anaheim Hills, California; co-pilot James Bland, 52, of Carlsbad, California; Chris Baker, 29, of Studio City, California; and security guard Charles "Che" Still, 25, of Los Angeles died.

Barker and Goldstein escaped the plane and told first responders four others were on board. Both suffered second and third degree burns.[3]


On the cockpit voice recorder (CVR) the pilot indicates she is reacting to the apparent sound of a tire burst and attempting a rejected takeoff. Pieces of a tire were found at the crash site.[6] The plane did not carry a flight data recorder.

The NTSB's report attributed the accident to tire bursts during take-off and the pilot's resulting decision to abort at high speed. Several tires were severely under-inflated and punctured during take-off. The captain aborted at 144 knots (267 km/h). The normal operating procedure for Learjet 60s is never to abort above the "go/no-go" decision speed V1 , which for this particular take-off was 136 knots (252 km/h). The co-pilot can be heard saying the appropriate "go go go" on the CVR.[7]


Both survivors, as well as the estates of two of the deceased, sued for damages from parties including Learjet, tire manufacturer Goodyear, and, in at least Goldstein's case, against the estates of the dead pilots.[8]


  1. ^ "NTSB releases final report on plane crash involving Travis Barker, DJ AM". WISTV.com. Retrieved 23 March 2017.
  2. ^ "FAA Registry (N999LJ)". Federal Aviation Administration.
  3. ^ a b "Crew in crash died of burns, smoke inhalation". TODAY.com. NBC News Digital. Associated Press. 22 September 2008. Retrieved 30 March 2018.
  4. ^ Meg Kinnard "Experts: Pilots of doomed Learjet should've lifted off SC runway instead of trying to stop", NewsDay, (Associated Press) October 22, 2008
  5. ^ Boucher, Geoff; Jennifer Oldham (2008-09-20). "Former Blink-182 drummer, popular DJ survive plane crash that killed 4". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on 21 September 2008. Retrieved 2008-09-20.
  6. ^ Davenport, Jim (2008-09-21), "Feds say doomed SC jet crew thought tire blew out", Examiner.com
  7. ^ "Aircraft Accident Report 10/02" (PDF). NTSB. Retrieved 4 August 2011.
  8. ^ "DJ 'seeks $20m over plane crash'". BBC. 2009-03-17. Archived from the original on 18 March 2009. Retrieved 17 March 2009.

External links[edit]