Event Details

Title:Crashed short, Delta Air Lines, Inc., Douglas DC-9-31, N975NE, Boston, Massachusetts, July 31, 1973
Micro summary:This DC-9 crashed into the seawall on approach to Logan RWY 4R.
Event Time:1973-07-31 at 1108 EDT
File Name:1973-07-31-US.pdf
Publishing Agency:National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB)
Publishing Country:USA
Report number:NTSB-AAR-74-3
Site of event:Seawall 3000' short of threshold, RWY 4R
Departure:Manchester-Boston Regional Airport, Manchester, New Hampshire, USA
Destination:General Edward Lawrence Logan International Airport, Boston, Massachusetts, USA
Airplane Type(s):Douglas DC-9-31
Flight Phase:Landing
Operator(s):Delta Air Lines
Type of flight:Revenue
Serious Injuries:0
Other Injuries:0
Executive Summary:About 1108 EDT on July 31, 1973, Delta Air Lines Flight 723, a DC-9-31, crashed into a seawall while executing an instrument landing system (ILS) approach to runway 4R on the Logan International Airport, Boston, Massachusetts. There were 83 passengers, 5 crewmembers, and a cockpit observer on board. All occupants, except one passenger, were killed in the crash. The lone survivor, who had been injured critically, died on December 11, 1973.

The aircraft struck the seawall about 165 feet to the right of the extended runway centerline and about 3,000 feet short of the runway displaced threshold. The aircraft was destroyed.

The accident occurred during daylight hours. The weather was characterized by lowering ceilings and visibilities; sea fog of-increasing density was moving across the airport from an easterly direction.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines that the probable cause of the accident was the failure of the flightcrew to monitor altitude and to recognize passage of the aircraft through the approach decision height during an unstabilized precision approach conducted in rapidly changing meteorological conditions. The unstabilized nature of the approach was due initially to the aircraft's passing the outer marker above the glide slope at an excessive airspeed and thereafter compounded by the flightcrew's preoccupation with the questionable information presented by the flight director system. The poor positioning of the flight for the approach was in part the result of nonstandard air traffic control services.

As a result of this accident, the Safety Board has made several recommendations to the Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).
Learning Keywords:Operations - Airspace - Air Traffic Control
Operations - Crew Resource Management
Operations - Controlled Flight Into Terrain
Operations - Unstabilized Approach
Systems - Flight Instruments
Systems - Navigation Systems
Consequence - Hull Loss


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