Event Details

Title:Power loss in thunderstorm, Air Wisconsin, Swearingen SA-226 Metro, N650S, Valley, Nebraska, June 12, 1980
Micro summary:This SA-226 Metro lost power to both engines while operating near severe thunderstorms, and crashed.
Event Time:1980-06-12 at 1546 CDT
File Name:1980-06-12-US.pdf
Publishing Agency:National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB)
Publishing Country:USA
Report number:NTSB-AAR-80-15
Site of event:Near Valley, NE
Latitude/Longitude:N4121'42" W9620'30"
Departure:Minneapolis/St. Paul International Airport, Minnesota, USA
Destination:Lincoln Airport (Lincoln Municipal Airport), Lincoln, Nebraska
Airplane Type(s):Swearingen SA-226 Metro
Flight Phase:Cruise
Operator(s):Air Wisconsin
Type of flight:Revenue
Serious Injuries:2
Other Injuries:0
Executive Summary:About 1546 CDT, on June 12, 1980, an Air Wisconsin, Inc., Swearingen SA-226 Metro, operating as Flight 965, crashed near Valley, Nebraska. Flight 965 encountered severe thunderstorms while at an altitude of less than 6,000 ft and experienced a simultaneous loss of power to both engines because of massive water ingestion. Although the engines were subsequently restarted the aircraft crashed in a field and was destroyed. Of the 15 persons aboard Flight 965, 13 were killed and 2 were injured seriously.

There had been thunderstorm activity in the vicinity of the accident site for several hours, and a severe storm warning had been issued for the Omaha area. The meteorologists in the Minneapolis Air Route Traffic Control Center (ARTCC) had alerted supervisory air traffic control personnel of the severity of the weather conditions; however, the information was not disseminated to the controllers or to the flightcrew of Flight 965.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines that the probable cause of the accident was the flightcrew's continued flight into an area of severe thunderstorms, and the resultant precipitation induced flameout or loss of power of both engines at an altitude from which recovery could not be made.

Contributing to the cause of the accident was the failure of the flightcrew to utilize all available sources of weather information and the failure of the air traffic control system to disseminate critical weather information to the air traffic controllers and to the crew of Flight 965, the failure of air traffic control supervisory personnel to accomplish key job functions, and the failure of Center Weather Service Unit meteorologists to disseminate critical weather information to the Omaha Radar Approach Control Facility supervisors. Also contributing was the precipitation induced X-band radar attenuation which limited the ability of airborne weather radar to detect the extent and intensity of the weather disturbances.
Learning Keywords:Operations - Airspace - Air Traffic Control
Operations - Controlled Flight Into Terrain
Operations - Deadstick/Power Loss
Systems - Engine - Contained Engine Failure
Consequence - Hull Loss
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