N26DK Premier 1A crash Mar 17 2013 South Bend IND


N26DK Premier 1A (2008 build) less than 300 hours on this aircraft.

Owner is Wes Caves, owner of DigiCut Systems of Tulsa OK and registered to a Limited Liability Corp in Montana.

Reportedly the aircraft’s crew had been in contact with ATC regarding electrical issues, a landing attempt was made, but the aircraft aborted without touching down. Aircraft crashed for unknown reasons south of South Bend Regional Airport in the 1600 Block of N. Iowa Street.

Unconfirmed but reported as hit the roof of one house, collided with a 2nd house, and impacted and entered a 3rd house.

Of the 4 persons on board, 2 fatal, 2 serious but non-life threatening injuries.

On the ground, 2 person reported fatal, and 1 with minor injuries.

South Bend Tribune photos


CEO of Digicut Systems Wes Caves (age 58) - owner of the doomed jet, was also flying the aircraft when it crashed.
Also killed in the crash was his friend, former University of Oklahoma quarterback Steven Davis (age 60).


Click Here crash caught on CCTV security camera.

From pilot witness,

I was waiting to taxi when SBN tower told us they were working an emergency. Unfortunately, I saw the whole thing. They attempted to land, looked like they were going to land about 3/4 of the way down the runway and went around. Started a slight right turn, nose pitched up,steep turn to the right, very nose high then rolled on its back. Spun twice inverted rolled back over and hit the ground. I didn’t see any smoke. CFR at SBN took off immediately.
What a horrible sight to see. God bless them and their families. Amazed that there were survivors.


NTSB Identification: CEN13FA196
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Sunday, March 17, 2013 in South Bend, IN
Aircraft: Hawker Beechcraft Corporation 390, registration: N26DK
Injuries: 2 Fatal,3 Serious.

This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed. NTSB investigators either traveled in support of this investigation or conducted a significant amount of investigative work without any travel, and used data obtained from various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

On March 17, 2013, at 1623 eastern daylight time, a Hawker Beechcraft model 390 (Premier IA) business jet, N26DK, serial number RB-226, collided with three residential structures and terrain following an aborted landing attempt on runway 9R located at the South Bend Regional Airport (KSBN), South Bend, Indiana. The private pilot and pilot-rated-passenger occupying the cockpit seats were fatally injured. An additional two passengers and one individual on the ground sustained serious injuries. The airplane was registered to 7700 Enterprises of Montana, LLC and operated by Digicut Systems of Tulsa, Oklahoma, under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 while on an instrument flight plan. Day visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the business flight that departed Richard Lloyd Jones Jr. Airport (KRVS), Tulsa, Oklahoma, at 1358 central daylight time.

According to preliminary air traffic control information, at 1610:31, the accident pilot established radio communications with South Bend Approach Control while at 11,000 feet mean sea level (msl). The air traffic controller cleared the flight direct to KNUTE intersection and told the pilot to expect a visual approach to runway 9R. At 1611:44, the flight was cleared to descend to 10,000 feet msl. At 1613:06, the flight was cleared to 3,000 feet msl. At 1615:00, the approach controller told the pilot to make a 5-degree left turn to align with runway 9R and asked the pilot to report when he had the airport in sight. At 1615:07, the pilot declared an emergency because of a lack of engine power, reporting that they were “dead stick” and without any power. About 23 seconds later, at 1615:30, the pilot transmitted “we’ve lost all power, and we have no hydraulics.” When the controller asked if the airplane remained controllable, the pilot replied “ah, barely controllable.” The controller advised that all runways at KSBN were available for landing and issued the current winds, which were 130-degrees at 10 knots. At 1615:22, the pilot transmitted that the airplane’s navigational systems were inoperative and requested a radar vector toward the airport. The controller replied that the airport was 9 miles directly ahead of the airplane’s current position. At 1616:12, the controller told the pilot to turn 10-degrees left to intersect runway 9R. At 1616:15, the pilot replied “26DK, turning left.” No additional voice communications were received from the accident airplane. The approach controller continued to transmit radar vectors toward runway 9R without any response from the accident pilot. At 1618:58, the approach controller told the accident airplane to go-around because the main landing gear was not extended. (The tower controller had informed the approach controller that only the nose landing gear was extended) The accident airplane was then observed to climb and enter a right traffic pattern for runway 9R. The airplane made another landing approach to runway 9R with only the nose landing gear extended. Several witnesses observed the airplane bounce several times on the runway before it ultimately entered a climbing right turn. The airplane was then observed to enter a nose low descent into a nearby residential community.


Audio from the tower…faa.gov/data_research/accide … thBend.wav