Event Details

Title:Crash on runway in windshear, Allegheny Airlines, Inc., Douglas DC-9, N994VJ, Philadelphia International Airport, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, June 23, 1976
Micro summary:This Douglas DC-9 crashed on the runway in a severe windshear during a missed approach.
Event Time:1976-06-23 at 1712 EDT
File Name:1976-06-23-US.pdf
Publishing Agency:National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB)
Publishing Country:USA
Report number:NTSB-AAR-78-2
Site of event:Landing, runway 27R 6000' down, 350' to the right.
Departure:Bradley International Airport, Windsor Locks, Connecticut, USA
Destination:Philadelphia International Airport, Philadelphia, Pensylvania, USA
Airplane Type(s):Douglas DC-9
Flight Phase:Missed Approach
Operator(s):Allegheny Airlines
Type of flight:Revenue
Serious Injuries:86
Other Injuries:1
Executive Summary:About 1712 EDT on June 23, 1976, Allegheny Airlines, Inc., Flight 121, a Douglas DC-9-31, crashed on the Philadelphia International Airport, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; the wreckage came to rest about 6,000 feet beyond the threshold and about 350 feet to the right of the centerline of runway 27R. Of the 106 persons onboard, 86 persons were injured; there were no fatalities.

The captain of Flight 121 had conducted an instrument approach to runway 27R in visual conditions as a thunderstorm passed over the airport in a north-northeasterly direction. When near the threshold the captain initiated a go-around from a low altitude and entered rain of increasing intensity. Shortly thereafter the aircraft was seen descending in a noseup attitude with the landing gear retracted. After striking tail first on a taxiway about 4,000 feet beyond the threshold of runway 27, the aircraft slid about 2,000 feet and stopped.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines that the probable cause of this accident was the aircraft's encounter with severe horizontal and vertical wind shears near the ground as a result of the captain's continued approach into a clearly marginal severe weather condition. The aircraft's ability to cope under these conditions was borderline when flown according to standard operating procedures; however, if the aircraft's full aerodynamic and power capability had been used, the wind shear could probably have been flown through successfully. Contributing to the accident was the tower controller's failure to provide timely below-minimum RVR information.
Learning Keywords:Operations - Airspace - Air Traffic Control
Operations - Controlled Flight Into Terrain
Operations - Runway Excursion
Operations - Tailstrike
Operations - Unstabilized Approach
Operations - Windshear or Microburst
Consequence - Damage - Airframe or fuselage
Consequence - Hull Loss


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