Entrepreneur Dies in CitationJet Crash

Business Jet Traveler » April 2008
Tuesday, April 1, 2008 - 5:00am

The Cessna 525 CitationJet that crashed in West Gardiner, Maine, on February 1 was owned and flown by Silicon Valley entrepreneur Jeanette Symons, an instrument-rated private pilot. The crash killed Symons and her 10-year-old son. According to the National Transportation Safety Board, the weather turned from light snow to freezing rain before the flight of the CitationJet, which reportedly was not de-iced. The NTSB said Symons did not turn on the pilot-controlled taxiway and runway lights, and the airplane reportedly went through an ice and snow-covered ditch while taxiing. Two minutes after takeoff, Symons declared an emergency and said, "We've got an attitude indicator failure." Radar contact was lost shortly after this transmission, and the wreckage was found six miles from Augusta State Airport.

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“"I've got a list of corporations that have gotten out of their airplanes [because of criticism from politicians]. It is the stupidest thing I've ever seen. When you look at the time and cost savings; it does not make sense not to fly [privately]. You can't let public perception interfere with your business decision to fly. It either is a good business decision or it isn't."”

-business aviation entrepreneur Nick Popovich