Event Details

Title:Landed short, United Air Lines, Inc., Boeing 737, N9031U, Chicago-Midway Airport, Chicago, Illinois, December 8, 1972
Micro summary:This Boeing 737 landed short while executing a non-precision approach.
Event Time:1972-12-08 at 1428 CST
File Name:1972-12-08-US.pdf
Publishing Agency:National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB)
Publishing Country:USA
Report number:NTSB-AAR-73-16
Site of event:Approach to RWY 31L; crash site 1.5 mi. SE of approach end of RWY 31L
Latitude/Longitude:N4145'51" W 08742'54"
Departure:Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport, Washington, DC, USA
Destination:Chicago Midway International Airport, Chicago, Illinois, USA
Airplane Type(s):Boeing 737-222
Flight Phase:Approach
Operator(s):United Airlines
Type of flight:Revenue
Serious Injuries:0
Other Injuries:2
Executive Summary:A United Air Lines Boeing 737-222 crashed on December 8, 1972, at 1428 CST while making a nonprecision instrument approach to Runway 31L a t the Chicago-Midway Airport, Chicago, Illinois. The accident occurred in a residential area approximately 1.5 miles southeast of the approach end of Runway 31L. The aircraft was destroyed by impact and subsequent fire. A number of houses and other structures in the impact area were also destroyed. There were 55 passengers and 6 crewmembers aboard the aircraft. Forty passengers and three crewmembers were killed. Two persons on the ground also received fatal injuries.

The aircraft was observed descending below the overcast in a nosehigh attitude and with the sound of high engine power just before it crashed into structures on the ground.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines that the probable cause of this accident was the captain's failure to exercise positive flight management during the execution of a nonprecision approach, which culminated in a critical deterioration of airspeed into the stall regime where level flight could no longer be maintained.

As a result of this accident the Safety Board again emphasized the unique demands for crew coordination and constant vigilance during nonprecision approaches. The Board also made several safety recommendations to the Federal Aviation Administration dealing with the use of flight spoilers and the occupant survival and evacuation aspects of this accident.
Learning Keywords:Operations - Airspace - Non-Precision Approach
Operations - Crew Resource Management
Operations - Controlled Flight Into Terrain
Operations - Evacuation
Operations - Unstabilized Approach
Other - Post-Crash Survivability
Consequence - Hull Loss


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