Corporate Airlines Flight 5966

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Corporate Airlines Flight 5966
Corporate Airlines 5966 - Photograph of main wreckage area.jpg
Photograph of main wreckage area. The forward section of the airplane is in the foreground, and the tail section is in the background (the aft pressure bulkhead is indicated by the red arrow)
DateOctober 19, 2004 (2004-10-19)
SummaryControlled flight into terrain[1]
SiteAdair County, near Kirksville, Missouri, United States
Aircraft typeBritish Aerospace Jetstream 32
OperatorCorporate Airlines
Flight originSt. Louis Lambert International Airport
DestinationKirksville Regional Airport
Injuries2 (serious)

Corporate Airlines Flight 5966 was a scheduled passenger flight from St. Louis, Missouri to Kirksville, Missouri. On October 19, 2004, the Jetstream 32 operating the flight crashed on approach to Kirksville Regional Airport due to pilot error. Thirteen people were killed.

Flight information[edit]

Flight 5966 was a flight route from St. Louis Lambert International Airport in St. Louis, Missouri, United States to Kirksville Regional Airport in unincorporated Adair County, Missouri, near the city of Kirksville. Corporate Airlines (later RegionsAir, now defunct) flew the route as part of the AmericanConnection network, an affiliate of American Airlines.


A Jetstream 32EP similar to the accident aircraft

On October 19, 2004, the Jetstream 32 twin-engine turboprop flying the route crashed on the approach to Kirksville Airport. The crash killed both pilots and 11 of the 13 passengers aboard. The two surviving passengers were seriously injured.[1]:5,15

Seating map of Corporate Airlines Flight 5966 produced by the NTSB.

Some of the 13 passengers were doctors from other states who had been due to attend a seminar at the A. T. Still University. These included Steven Z. Miller, who was killed in the crash. Dr. Miller was director of pediatric emergency medicine at New York-Presbyterian Hospital, a prominent figure in "humanism in medicine" movement.[3]


The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) determined that the probable cause of the accident was the pilots’ failure to follow established procedures and properly conduct a non-precision instrument approach at night in instrument meteorological conditions, including their descent below the minimum descent altitude before required visual cues were available (which continued un-moderated until the airplane struck the trees) and their failure to adhere to the established division of duties between the flying and non-flying (monitoring) pilot. The NTSB analysis of the Cockpit Voice Recorder suggests that both pilots were looking outside the cockpit for visual cues to the location of the airport and failed to realize how low they had descended below the minimum descent altitude.

Contributing to the accident were the pilots’ failure to make standard callouts and the current Federal Aviation Regulations that allow pilots to descend below the minimum descent altitude into a region in which safe obstacle clearance is not assured based upon seeing only the airport approach lights. The pilots’ failure to establish and maintain a professional demeanor during the flight and their fatigue likely contributed to their degraded performance.[1]

In popular culture[edit]

The television series Aircrash Confidential featured the incident in the third episode of Season 2, titled Pilot Fatigue.[4]


  1. ^ a b c "Collision with Trees and Crash Short of the Runway, Corporate Airlines Flight 5966, BEA Systems BAE-J3201, N875JX, Kirksville, Missouri, October 19, 2004" (PDF). National Transportation Safety Board. January 24, 2006. NTSB/AAR-06/01. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  2. ^ "FAA Registry (N875JX)". Federal Aviation Administration.
  3. ^ Bayot, Jennifer (October 23, 2004). "Steven Z. Miller, A Pediatrician, Is Dead at 46". The New York Times. Retrieved December 27, 2017.
  4. ^ Aircrash Confidential, season 2 - Pilot Fatigue (accessed 2019-02-19)

 This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the National Transportation Safety Board.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 40°03′53″N 92°32′35″W / 40.064618°N 92.543186°W / 40.064618; -92.543186