Event Details

Title:Flight Into Terrain During Missed Approach, USAir Flight 1016, DC-9-31, N954VJ, Charlotte/Douglas International Airport, Charlotte, North Carolina, July 2, 1994
Micro summary:This McDonnell Douglas DC-9-31 crashed into trees and a residence while executing a missed approach and encountering a microburst.
Event Time:1994-07-02 at 1843 EDT
File Name:1994-07-02-US.pdf
Publishing Agency:National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB)
Publishing Country:USA
Report number:NTSB-AAR-95-03
Site of event:Missed approach
Latitude/Longitude:N3513' W08057'
Departure:Columbia Metropolitan Airport, Columbia, South Carolina, USA
Destination:Charlotte-Douglas International Airport, Charlotte, North Carolina, USA
Airplane Type(s):Douglas DC-9-31
Flight Phase:Missed Approach
Type of flight:Revenue
Serious Injuries:20
Other Injuries:0
Executive Summary:On July 2, 1994, about 1843 eastern daylight time, a Douglas DC-9-31, N954VJ, operated by USAir, Inc., as flight 1016, collided with trees and a private residence near the Charlotte/Douglas International Airport, Charlotte, North Carolina, shortly after the flightcrew executed a missed approach from the instrument landing system approach to runway 18R. The captain, first officer, one flight attendant, and one passenger received minor injuries. Two flight attendants and 14 passengers sustained serious injuries. The remaining 37 passengers received fatal injuries. The airplane was destroyed by impact forces and a postcrash fire. Instrument meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident, and an instrument flight rules flight plan had been filed. Flight 1016 was being conducted under 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 121 as a regularly scheduled passenger flight from Columbia, South Carolina, to Charlotte.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines that the probable causes of the accident were: 1) the flightcrew's decision to continue an approach into severe convective activity that was conducive to a microburst; 2) the flightcrew's failure to recognize a windshear situation in a timely manner; 3) the flightcrew's failure to establish and maintain the proper airplane attitude and thrust setting necessary to escape the windshear: and 4) the lack of real-time adverse weather and windshear hazard information dissemination from air traffic control, all of which led to an encounter with and failure to escape from a microburst-induced windshear that was produced by a rapidly developing thunderstorm located at the approach end of runway 18R.

Contributing to the accident were: 1) the lack of air traffic control procedures that would have required the controller to display and issue airport surveillance radar (ASR-9) weather information to the pilots of flight 1016; 2) the Charlotte tower supervisor's failure to properly advise and ensure that all controllers were aware of and reporting the redaction in visibility and the runway visual range value information, and the low level windshear alerts that had occurred in multiple quadrants; 3) the inadequate remedial actions by USAir to ensure adherence to standard operating procedures; and 4) the inadequate software logic in the airplane's windshear warning system that did not provide an alert upon entry into the windshear.

The safety issues in this report focused on standard operating procedures for both air traffic controllers and flightcrews, the dissemination of weather information to flightcrews, and USAir flightcrew training.

Safety recommendations concerning these issues were addressed to the Federal Aviation Administration, USAir, and the National Weather Service.
Learning Keywords:Operations - Airspace - Air Traffic Control
Operations - Controlled Flight Into Terrain
Operations - In-flight Collision with Ground Structure
Operations - Windshear or Microburst
Consequence - Hull Loss


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