Precursors

CRM accidents:

Eastern Airlines, Flight 401, Miami, Florida, December 29, 1972

Eastern Airlines Flight 401 crashed into the Florida Everglades while on approach to Miami International Airport. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) determined that the crash was the result of an inadvertent autopilot disconnection that went unnoticed by the flightcrew as they were attempting to correct an unsafe landing gear position indication. The NTSB determined that the uncommanded descent into the Everglades was the result of the flightcrew's failure to monitor the airplane's flight path and an improper division of duties on the flight deck while troubleshooting an anomalous system indication. Of the 163 persons on board 112 were killed in the crash. This accident was one of the precipitating accidents leading to the development and industry-wide adoption of flightcrew resource management philosophies and training.

NTSB accident report: Eastern Airlines Flight 401

See accident module

United Airlines, Flight 173, Portland, Oregon, December 28, 1978

On December 28, 1978 a McDonnell Douglas DC-8-61 turbofan powered airplane operated by United Airlines and registered as N8082U, crashed into a wooded suburban area while on approach to Portland International Airport, Portland, Oregon.

Upon approach to Portland International Airport, the aircraft experienced a landing gear malfunction indication and could not determine if the landing gear had been safely extended. The flight crew elected to hold at 5,000 feet to troubleshoot the landing gear anomaly, and prepare the aircraft for an emergency landing. With one exception, about 38 minutes into the hold, little was said concerning the amount of fuel onboard and what was needed to complete the approach to the airport. Approximately one hour after beginning the hold, and during the approach to the airport, the aircraft ran out of fuel and crashed approximately six miles northeast of the airport.  Of the 189 people onboard the aircraft, ten were killed and 23 were seriously injured.

NTSB accident report: United Airlines Flight 173

See accident module

Accidents with seat failures:

These accidents were studied during development of the16g seat rule (see Resulting Regulations and/or Policy Changes section for more details).  Also see the American Flight 625 lessons learned module in this database.

EventAirplaneDateLocationNTSB Accident Report
Allegheny Airlines Flight 121DC9-3123-Jun-76Philadelphia International AirportAllegheny Flight 121
Mohawk Airlines Flight 405FH227B3-Mar-72Near Albany, New YorkMohawk Flight 405
United Airlines Flight 553B737-2228-Dec-72Near Midway Airport, ChicagoUnited Flight 553
Ozark Airlines Flight 809FH227B23-Jul-73Near St. Louis, MissouriOzark Flight 809
Alaska Airlines Flight 60B727-815-Apr-76Ketchikan, AlaskaAlaska Flight 60
ALM Dutch Antillean Airlines Flight 980DC9-33F2-May-70St Croix, Virgin Islands (U.S.)ALM Flight 980
American Airlines Flight 625B727-9527-Apr-76St. Thomas, Virgin Islands (U.S.)American Flight 625
Capitol Airlines Flight C2C3/26DC8-63F27-Nov-70Anchorage, AlaskaCapitol Flight C2C2/26

The British Midland Flight 92 accident is one that showed some of the weaknesses of 9g seats and the benefits of 16g type seats.  The seats of the accident airplane were basically 16g prototype seats.  See the British Midland Flight 92 lessons learned module in this database for more on the seat performance.

British Midland, Flight 92, Kegworth, United Kingdom, January 8, 1989

Approximately 13 minutes after takeoff from London's Heathrow Airport, on a flight planned to Belfast, Ireland, the outer portion of a fan blade on the number one engine failed as the airplane was climbing through 28,000 feet. The fan blade failure resulted in high levels of airframe vibration, a series of compressor stalls in the left engine, fluctuation of the left engine parameters, and smoke and fumes in the flight deck. The flight crew, believing that the right engine had failed, reduced thrust on that engine, and subsequently shut it down. The airframe vibration ceased as soon as thrust was reduced on the right engine, reinforcing the crew's identification as the right engine having been the engine that had failed.

The crew initiated a diversion to East Midlands Airport, which progressed normally until, at 2.4 nautical miles from the runway, a fire warning and abrupt thrust loss occurred on the left engine. Attempts to restart the right engine were unsuccessful, and the airplane crashed approximately one-half mile short of the airport. Thirty-nine passengers died in the accident, and eight others died later due to their injuries. Of the other 79 occupants, 74 suffered serious injury.

Accident report: British Midland Flight 92

See accident module

Back to top