Event Details


Title:Turbulence injuries, Boeing 757-222, April 21, 2003
Micro summary:This Boeing 757-222 experienced turbulence during cruise flight, injuring two flight attendants.
Event Time:2003-04-21 at 1610 EDT
File Name:2003-04-21-US.pdf
Publishing Agency:National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB)
Publishing Country:USA
Report number:CHI03LA113
Pages:5
Site of event:Lithonia, GA
Departure:Orlando International Airport, Orlando, Florida, USA
Destination:O'Hare International Airport, Chicago, Illinois, USA
Airplane Type(s):Boeing 757-222
Flight Phase:Cruise
Registration(s):N504UA
Operator(s):United Airlines
Type of flight:Revenue
Occupants:186
Fatalities:
Serious Injuries:1
Minor/Non-Injured:185
Other Injuries:0
Executive Summary:

NTSB short summary:

The flight into adverse weather encountered by the flight crew, and the flight attendant's restraint not available when she was informed to take her seat. The convective associated turbulence was a contributing factor.

NTSB synopsis:

A flight attendant received serious injuries when the domestic scheduled passenger flight encountered turbulence at flight level 290. The flightcrew were diverting around an area of convective activity when moderate turbulence was encountered with a strong updraft. The flight attendant reported that she received a message from another flight attendant to return to her seat and strap in. She was on her way back to the jump seat when the turbulence began. She reported that she "flew through the air" and hit her leg on a galley counter.

NTSB factual narrative text:

On April 21, 2003, at 1610 eastern daylight time, a Boeing 757-222, N504UA, operated by United Airlines as flight 705, encountered turbulence during cruise at flight level (FL) 290 near Lithonia, Georgia. Instrument meteorological conditions with convective activity prevailed at the time of the accident. The 14 CFR Part 121 domestic passenger flight was operating on an instrument rules flight plan. One flight attendant received minor injuries and a second flight attendant received serious injuries. The 2 flight crew, 3 remaining flight attendants, and 179 passengers reported no injuries. The flight originated from Orlando International Airport, Orlando, Florida, at 1520, en route to Chicago O'Hare International Airport (ORD), Chicago, Illinois.

The flight crew reported deviating for weather. Air traffic control (ATC) cleared them to descend to flight level (FL) 290. The flight crew reported they could see the "end of the line of showers" to the north and deviated further to avoid showers. ATC then cleared them to climb to FL 310. During the climb, they experienced four to five seconds of turbulence, described as "moderate with a strong updraft for a few seconds." When they exited the top of the cloud layer, they were contacted by a flight attendant who indicated one of the flight attendants had been seriously injured. The first officer requested medical assistance and contacted dispatch to request paramedics to meet the airplane at ORD.

The injured flight attended reported receiving a message from another flight attendant to return to her seat and strap in. She stated she was on her way back to her jump seat when the turbulence started. She reported she "flew into the air" and her left leg hit a counter in the galley. The flight attendant received a fracture to her left tibia and fibia. She stated that two doctors on board the airplane came to help her after the turbulence had subsided.

The Federal Aviation Administration, Boeing, and UAL were parties to the investigation.
Learning Keywords:Operations - Turbulence
Consequence - Flight Attendant Fatality - Injury
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