Event Details


Title:Turbulence injury, McDonnell Douglas DC-9-82, July 15, 2004
Micro summary:This McDonnell Douglas DC-9-82 experienced turbulence in descent, injuring a flight attendant.
Event Time:2004-07-15 at 2304 CDT
File Name:2004-07-15-US.pdf
Publishing Agency:National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB)
Publishing Country:USA
Report number:CHI04LA196
Pages:5
Site of event:Sheridan, IL
Departure:Albuquerque International Sunport, Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA
Destination:O'Hare International Airport, Chicago, Illinois, USA
Airplane Type(s):McDonnell Douglas DC-9-82 (MD-82)
Flight Phase:Descent
Registration(s):N585AA
Operator(s):American Airlines
Type of flight:Revenue
Occupants:30
Fatalities:
Serious Injuries:1
Minor/Non-Injured:29
Other Injuries:0
Executive Summary:

NTSB short summary:

The convection induced turbulence and the flight attendant not being restrained.

NTSB synopsis:

A McDonnell Douglas DC-9-82 scheduled passenger carrying flight encountered turbulence upon entering "buildup" while descending through 15,000 feet mean sea level (MSL). Night visual meteorological conditions prevailed prior to entering the cloud. The only injury to those aboard was to a flight attendant who was not seated and restrained at the time of the encounter. The seat belt sign had been on but the flight attendants were not instructed to be seated. The captain stated that weather radar displayed a faint green return from the cloud before the event. No lightning or precipitation was observed from the cloud. The first officer stated the radar showed some activity south of their course. The radar indicated a line of three or four well defined cells on the 80-mile range "painting green." They saw lightning "well" south of the airplane. Directly ahead, on the northern most side of the line, the radar displayed five to seven green dots. They estimated the top to be about 17,000 feet MSL.



NTSB factual narrative text:

On July 15, 2004, at 2304 central daylight time, a McDonnell Douglas DC-9-82, N585AA, operated by American Airlines Inc., as flight 1114, encountered turbulence during descent through 17,000 feet mean sea level (MSL) about 1.6 nautical miles southwest of Sheridan, Illinois. Night visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident. The 14 CFR Part 121 passenger flight was operating on an instrument rules flight plan. One flight attendant was seriously injured. The flight originated from Albuquerque International Sunport Airport, Albuquerque, New Mexico, at 1916 mountain daylight time, en route to Chicago O'Hare International Airport (ORD) Chicago, Illinois, where it landed without incident.

The captain stated the airplane was in a clean configuration, speed brakes retracted, wing level, and approximately 3-5 degrees nose low when they encountered "moderate turbulence" with a "severe bump" within a cloud. The gross weight of the airplane was 102,000 pounds. The seat belt sign had been on for at least three minutes.

According to the captain, weather radar displayed a faint green return from the cloud before the event. No lightening or precipitation was observed from the cloud.

The first officer stated the radar showed some activity south of their course. The radar indicated a line of three or four well defined cells on the 80-mile range "painting green." They saw lightening "well" south of the airplane. Directly ahead, on the northern most side of the line, the radar displayed five to seven green dots. They were descending through 15,000 feet MSL in clear night conditions. They could see the buildup in front of them and estimated the top to be about 17,000 feet MSL.

He asked the captain if he wanted to come left but he captain declined. The first officer asked if he was to sit the flight attendants down. The captain said he would take care of it and gave the 'Prepare for landing' over the public address. They entered the buildup at 280 knots and experienced sudden moderate to severe turbulence. The captain turned left and they were out of the turbulence in less than 10 seconds.

A flight attendant sustained a broken ankle following the turbulence event.

There was no damage to the airplane.

Flight data recorder information provided by American Airlines Inc., recorded at N 41 degrees 30.7 minutes, W 088 degrees 42.35 minutes, maximum and minimum vertical accelerations of +2.25 g and -0.52 g.

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