Event Details

Title:Hard landing, Eastern Air Lines, Inc., DC-9-31, N8961E, Fort Lauderdale, Florida, May 18, 1972
Micro summary:This Douglas DC-9-31 experienced a hard landing, resulting in significant structural failure.
Event Time:1972-05-18 at 1521 EDT
File Name:1972-05-18-US.pdf
Publishing Agency:National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB)
Publishing Country:USA
Report number:NTSB-AAR-72-31
Site of event:Landing RWY 9L
Departure:Miami International Airport, Miami, Florida, USA
Destination:Fort Lauderdale Hollywood International, Florida, USA
Airplane Type(s):Douglas DC-9-31
Flight Phase:Landing
Operator(s):Eastern Air Lines
Type of flight:Revenue
Serious Injuries:3
Other Injuries:0
Executive Summary:Eastern Air Lines, Inc., Flight 346 was involved in a landing accident on May 18, 1972, at approximately 1521 eastern daylight time, at the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport, Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

The accident occurred following a straight-in localizer approach to Runway 9L when the aircraft touched down hard on the runway, resulting in the failure of the main gear and the separation of the tail section from the aircraft. The aircraft was destroyed by subsequent ground fire.

At the time of the accident, heavy rainshowers, associated with thunderstorm activity, were occurring at the airport. The Fort Lauderdale weather information, transmitted to the flight prior to commencement of the approach, was: "estimated seven hundred overcast, one-half mile, thunderstorm, heavy rainshower."

There were six passengers and a crew of four aboard the aircraft, and injuries were sustained by the captain, one stewardess, and one passenger.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines that the probable cause of this accident was the decision of the pilot to initiate and continue an instrument approach under weather conditions which precluded adequate visual reference and the faulty techniques used by the pilot during the landing phase of that approach.

The Safety Board also finds that the flightcrew's nonadherence to prescribed operational practices and procedures compromised the safe operation of the flight.

The Safety Board recommended that the Federal Aviation Administration:

1. Reemphasize to flight crewmembers the necessity for total crew coodination and adherence to approved procedures.

2. Insure that all flight crewmembers are currently apprised of the contents of Air Carrier Operations Bulletin 71-9, emphasizing that a "nonprecision" approach requires as much, if not more, crew coordination than a "precision" approach because of the lack of precise guidance from electronic navigational aids outside the aircraft.
Learning Keywords:Operations - Airspace - Non-Precision Approach
Operations - Crew Resource Management
Operations - Hard Landing
Consequence - Damage - Airframe or fuselage
Consequence - Hull Loss


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