Event Details

Title:Runway overrun, USAir, Inc., Boeing 737-400, Laguardia Airport, Flushing, New York, September 20, 1989
Micro summary:This Boeing 737-400 overran the runway on takeoff.
Event Time:1989-09-20 at 2321:21.9 EDT
File Name:1989-09-20-US.pdf
Publishing Agency:National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB)
Publishing Country:USA
Report number:NTSB-AAR-90-03
Site of event:LGA RWY 31
Latitude/Longitude:N4056'36" W07352'24"
Departure:LaGuardia International Airport, New York, New York, USA
Destination:Charlotte-Douglas International Airport, Charlotte, North Carolina, USA
Airplane Type(s):Boeing 737-400
Flight Phase:Takeoff
Type of flight:Revenue
Serious Injuries:21
Other Injuries:0
Executive Summary:On September 20, 1989, USAir, Inc. flight 5050 was departing New York City's LaGuardia Airport, Flushing," New York, for Charlotte Douglas International Airport, Charlotte, North Carolina. As the first officer began the takeoff on runway 31, he felt the airplane drift left. The captain noticed the left drift also and used the nosewheel tiller to help steer. As the takeoff run progressed, the aircrew heard a "bang" and a continual rumbling noise. The captain then took over and rejected the takeoff but did not stop the airplane before running off the end of the runway into Bowery Bay. Instrument flight conditions prevailed at the time and the runway was wet.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines that the probable cause of this accident was the captain's failure to exercise his command authority in a timely manner to reject the takeoff or take sufficient control to continue the takeoff, which was initiated with a mistrimmed rudder. Also causal was the captain's failure to detect the mistrimmed rudder before the takeoff was attempted.

The safety issues discussed in this report were the design and location of the rudder trim control on the Boeing 737-400, air crew coordination and communication during takeoffs, crew pairing, and crash survivability.
Learning Keywords:Operations - Bang, pop, crack, sizzle!
Operations - Crew Resource Management
Operations - Trim Misset
Operations - Pilot Experience - Pairing
Operations - Runway Overrun
Operations - Upset - Uncommanded or excessive Yaw
Other - Post-Crash Survivability
Consequence - Hull Loss


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