Event Details


Title:Turbulence on descent, Boeing 777-223, February 25, 2003
Micro summary:This Boeing 777-223 encountered turbulence on descent, injuring two flight attendants.
Event Time:2003-02-25 at 1616 EST
File Name:2003-02-25-US.pdf
Publishing Agency:National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB)
Publishing Country:USA
Report number:MIA03LA067
Pages:6
Site of event:Miami, FL
Departure:Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport, Dallas & Fort Worth, Texas, USA
Destination:Miami International Airport, Miami, Florida, USA
Airplane Type(s):Boeing 777-223
Flight Phase:Descent
Registration(s):N790AN
Operator(s):American Airlines
Type of flight:Revenue
Occupants:133
Fatalities:
Serious Injuries:2
Minor/Non-Injured:131
Other Injuries:0
Executive Summary:

NTSB short summary:

The flight crew's inadvertent encounter with turbulence while attempting to maneuver through an area of convective activity during descent.

NTSB synopsis:

While descending into Miami, the flight crew began deviating "well" south of a few small cumulous developments. They had begun reducing speed to turbulence penetration "prior to encountering a few pockets of light chop at about FL240." The captain gave a "PA to the FA'S and passengers leaving FL180, asking that the cabin be prepared for landing early, due to possible chop during our approach." They encountered a very brief pocket of moderate chop. The seatbelt sign was on, the cabin crew was in the process of securing the cabin for landing, and the purser had made the announcement for passengers to prepare for landing right after the captain's pre-landing announcement. Several minutes after the event, the number one flight attendant, advised the captain that two of the flight attendants in the aft part of the airplane had been injured during the turbulence event. A convective SIGMET was valid for Florida and coastal waters at the time of the turbulence encounter. Radar images from the Miami Weather Surveillance Radar (WSR-88D) identified multiple storm cells in the area at the time of the turbulence encounter. The radar data indicated that the core intensity of these cells was strong to intense (40 to 50 dBZ). A radar image taken about the time of the turbulence encounter shows the airplanes path came about five nautical miles from the core of one cell and three nautical miles from the core of a second cell. During this event, the airplane experienced a 2.04 g vertical acceleration load, 6 degree of left roll and a pitch change from -0.4 degrees to -2.1 degrees.


NTSB factual narrative text:

On February 25, 2003, about 1616 eastern standard time, a Boeing 777-223, N790AN, operated by American Airlines Inc. (Flt AA1614), as a Title 14 CFR Part 121 scheduled domestic flight, encountered turbulence while on descent to Miami International Airport, Miami, Florida. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed. An instrument flight rules flight plan was filed. The airplane was not damaged. The two airline transport-rated pilots, six flight attendants, and 123 passengers reported no injuries. Two flight attendants reported serious injuries. The flight had departed from the Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport, Arlington, Texas en route to Miami, Florida, at 1356 eastern standard time.

According to the captain, while descending into Miami, they began deviating well south of a few small cumulous developments. The first officer was flying the airplane at the time of the event. They had begun reducing speed to turbulence penetration prior to encountering a few pockets of light chop at about FL240. The captain gave a public address system announcement to the flight attendants and passengers leaving FL180, asking that the cabin be prepared for landing early, due to possible chop during our approach. Air Traffic Control was advised of the speed reductions, and subsequently caused traffic behind them to also have to slow. As they approached the tops of a very thin cloud layer at about 11,000 feet, descending to 10,000 feet, at a speed of about 260 knots, they encountered a very brief pocket of moderate chop. Several minutes after the event, the number one flight attendant, advised the captain that two of the flight attendants in the aft part of the airplane had been injured during the turbulence event. She requested that medical assistance meet the airplane.

According to interviews with the cabin crew, the seatbelt sign was on, they were in the process of securing the cabin for landing, and the purser had made the announcement for passengers to prepare for landing right after the captain's pre-landing announcement. During the turbulence encounter, most of the flight attendants reported being lifted off their feet, and thrown to the floor. Three of the flight attendants commented that they were able to steady themselves with hand holds which kept them from falling. Following the turbulence encounter, two flight attendants noted a passenger exiting a lavatory uninjured. A few passengers had left their seats following the turbulence encounter to assist the injured flight attendants. After arriving at the gate, paramedics boarded the airplane, then the passengers were deplaned, and two flight attendants were transported to the hospital by ambulance.

Meteorological information obtained by an NTSB Meteorologist showed a convective SIGMET was valid for Florida and coastal waters at the time of the turbulence encounter. The convective SIGMET was issued in response to a developing area of thunderstorms moving from 260 degrees at 10 knots with tops extending to 32,000 feet. Radar images from the Miami Weather Surveillance Radar (WSR-88D) identified multiple storm cells in the area at the time of the turbulence encounter. The radar data indicated that the core intensity of these cells was strong to intense (40 to 50 dBZ). A radar image taken about the time of the turbulence encounter shows the airplanes path came about five nautical miles from the core of one cell and three nautical miles from the core of a second cell.

The digital flight data recorder (DFDR) was removed from the airplane after the accident and sent to the NTSB Vehicles Recorder Laboratory, Washington, D.C. The recorder was in good condition, and the data were extracted normally from the recorder. The DFDR was downloaded to hard disk using NTSB readout equipment. The acquired accident data were verified for accuracy by examining take-off, cruise, and landing performance of the aircraft previously recorded on the medium. The data were found to be consistent with the normal operation of the aircraft.

The DFDR recording contained approximately 98 hours of data. The accident flight was the third from the end of the recording and began at approximately Subframe Reference Number (SRN) 292056. The duration of the incident flight was approximately 2 hours 48 minutes. The turbulence event occurred approximately 2 hours 20 minutes into the flight at approximately SRN 298456, while the aircraft was descending through an altitude of approximately 12,836 feet, on a heading of 115 degrees. During this event, the data shows the aircraft with a 2.04 g vertical acceleration load and 6 degrees of left roll. The pitch changed from -0.4 at SRN 298456 to -2.1 at SRN 298457. The autopilot remained on throughout the event and was turned off at SRN 298781. The DFDR was returned by NTSB to American Airlines on July 12, 2004.

Recorded radar data from the FAA Miami Air Route Traffic Control Center show that at about the time of the turbulence encounter the airplane was at position 25 degrees 56 minutes 50 seconds North latitude and 81 degrees 15 minutes 9 seconds West longitude, or about bearing 280 degrees at 53 nautical miles from Miami International Airport.
Learning Keywords:Operations - Turbulence
Consequence - Flight Attendant Fatality - Injury
Close match:Turbulence, Report on the accident to Airbus A330-342 B-HYA within the Manila Flight Information Region on 18 July 2003
Accident involving turbulence and Aer Arann ATR-42-300 on descent to Donegal International Airport, Ireland, on December 2, 2001
Turbulence injuries, Boeing 747-443, G-VROM
Turbulence injuries, Boeing 777-236, G-VIIO
Turbulence injuries, Airbus A300B4-605R, G-MONR
Severe turbulence, Boeing 777-236, G-YMME
Turbulence, Boeing 747-436, G-CIVP
Turbulence injuries, Boeing 777-200, N786UA
Turbulence injury, Boeing 777, April 25, 2006
Turbulence injury, Boeing 757-223, June 5, 2005
Turbulence injury, Boeing 737-700, April 29, 2005
Turbulence injury, Boeing 767-232, September 29, 2004
Turbulence injury, Boeing 777, July 25, 2004
Turbulence injury, Airbus A319, July 17, 2004
Turbulence injury, McDonnell Douglas DC-9-82, July 15, 2004
Turbulence injury, Boeing 737-7H4, June 4, 2004
Turbulence injury, McDonnell Douglas DC-9-82, May 26, 2004
Turbulence injury, Boeing 767-300, April 10, 2004
Turbulence injury, Boeing 757-200, March 1, 2004
Turbulence injuries, Boeing 737-500, November 1, 2003
Turbulence injuries, Pan American World Airways, Inc., Boeing 747-121, N739PA, near Nantucket, Massachusetts, November 4, 1970
Turbulence, Northwest Airlines, Inc., Boeing 747-151, N606US, Over the North Pacific Ocean, 105 Nautical Miles West of 150 East Longitude at 36 North Latitude, April 12, 1972
Turbulence injuries, National Airlines, Inc., Boeing 747-135, N77772, Near Lake Charles, Louisiana, January 4, 1972
Turbulence injuries, Air France, Boeing 707-B-328B, F-BLCA, Near O-Neill, Nebraska, May 13, 1974
Turbulence injuries, Air Canada Flight 965, Lockheed L-1011, C-FTNJ, Near Charleston, South Carolina, November 24, 1983
Turbulence injury, Boeing 757-232, September 15, 1993
Turbulence injury, Boeing 747-400, February 12, 1994
Turbulence on descent involving a Boeing 737-790, near Anchroage, Alaska, on November 13, 2000
Turbulence injuries, Boeing 737-400, December 22, 1996
Turbulence injuries, Boeing 727-200, July 28, 2000
Turbulence injuries, Boeing 737-200, April 17, 2001
Turbulence injury, Boeing 757-200, May 29, 2002
Turbulence injury, McDonnell Douglas DC-9-82, November 6, 2002
Turbulence injuries, Boeing 727-200, March 16, 1995
Turbulence injuries, Boeing 737-200, April 28, 1997
Turbulence injuries, McDonnell Douglas DC-9-80, February 8, 1999
Turbulence injury, Boeing 777-223, August 22, 2000
Turbulence injuries, Boeing 757-200, April 18, 2002
Turbulence injuries, Boeing 757-222, April 21, 2003
Turbulence injury, Airbus A319-111, June 2, 2003
Turbulence injuries, Boeing 777-222, June 11, 1999
Turbulence injuries, McDonnell Douglas DC-9-81, August 7, 2003
Turbulence injuries, Boeing 737-201, June 22, 1996
Turbulence injuries, Boeing 767-222, June 20, 1995
Turbulence injuries, Boeing 757, August 4, 1995
Turbulence injury, McDonnell Douglas DC-9-51, January 28, 1997
Turbulence injuries, Boeing 747-422, September 14, 1997
Turbulence injuries, Boeing 767-223, July 22, 1998
Turbulence injuries, Boeing 737-222, May 5, 1999
Turbulence injuries, McDonnell Douglas DC-10-30, March 22, 2002
Turbulence injury, Boeing 757-2B7, May 24, 1998
Turbulence injury, Boeing 737-3H4, June 25, 1999
Turbulence injury, Boeing 757-223, April 7, 1996
Turbulence injuries, Boeing 737-824, July 8, 1999
Turbulence injury, Boeing 757-2G7, January 11, 2000
Turbulence Injury, Boeing 757-2G7, April 2, 2000
Turbulence injury, Airbus A320-232, April 19, 2001
Turbulence injury, Boeing 737-500, August 9, 2001
Turbulence injury, Boeing 747-422, May 1, 2002
Turbulence injury, McDonnell Douglas MD-82, June 12, 2003
Turbulence injuries, Boeing 747-422, October 17, 1995
Turbulence injury, Boeing 747-122, November 1, 1995
Turbulence injury, Boeing 747-422, November 19, 1996
Turbulence injury, December 22, 1996
Turbulence injuries, Boeing 737-242C, March 4, 1998
Turbulence injury, Boeing 737-300, December 13, 1998
Turbulence on descent, Airbus A320-231, September 16, 1999
Turbulence injuries, Boeing 767-332ER, September 20, 2000
Turbulence injury, Boeing 757-2G7, May 28, 2001
Turbulence injury, Airbus A320-232, August 20, 2001
Turbulence injury, McDonnell Douglas MD-88, Janaury 6, 1995
Turbulence injury, McDonnell Douglas DC-9-82, October 1, 1997
Turbulence injury, Boeing 737-724, February 19, 2002
Turbulence injury, Boeing 767-224, April 22, 2002
Turbulence injury, Boeing 767-300, May 7, 2003
Turbulence injury, Boeing 737-800, August 16, 2003
Turbulence injury, Airbus A300B4-605R, January 7, 1997
Turbulence injury, Boeing 747-200, April 18, 1998
Turbulence injury, Bombardier DHC-8-102, September 27, 1998
Turbulence injury, September 30, 1999
Turbulence injuries, Boeing 767-332ER, November 4, 2000
Turbulence injury, Boeing 737-522, November 25, 1995
Turbulence injury, Boeing 737-2H4, July 7, 1994
Turbulence injury, Boeing 737-291A, June 11, 1997
Tubulence, December 28, 1997, Boeing 747-122, December 28, 1997
Turbulence injuries, Boeing 777-236, G-VIIP, May 14, 2006
Turbulence injuries, Airbus A340-300, D-AIGK, September 18, 1996
Turbulence injuries, Boeing 757-2Q8, N755AT, March 2, 1997
Turbulence injuries, Airbus A340-300, D-AIGK, August 6, 2003

 




Accident Reports on DVD, Copyright © 2006 by Flight Simulation Systems, LLC.  All Rights Reserved.
 All referenced trademarks are the property of their respective owners.
www.fss.aero