Event Details

Title:Momentary contact with water, Northeast Airlines, Inc., McDonnell Douglas DC-9-31, N982NE, Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts, June 22, 1971
Micro summary:This McDonnell Douglas DC-9-31 momentarily contacted with the water while executing a non-precision approach.
Event Time:1971-06-22 at 0830 EDT
File Name:1971-06-22-US.pdf
Publishing Agency:National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB)
Publishing Country:USA
Report number:NTSB-AAR-72-04
Site of event:3 miles from Martha's Vineyard RWY 24
Departure:New Bedford Regional Airport, New Bedford, Masachusetts, USA
Destination:Martha's Vineyard Airport, Martha's Vineyard, Masachusetts
Airplane Type(s):Douglas DC-9-31
Flight Phase:Approach
Operator(s):Northeast Airlines
Type of flight:Revenue
Serious Injuries:0
Other Injuries:0
Executive Summary:Northeast Airlines, Inc., Flight 938, a McDonnell Douglas, DC-9-31, N982UE, was a regularly scheduled passenger flight operating from John F. Kennedy International Airport, New York, to Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts, with an intermediate stop in New Bedford, Massachusetts. The flight from New York to New Bedford was without reported incident. Flight 938 departed from New Bedford a t 0822 eastern daylight time and proceeded direct to Martha's Vineyard. While on a VOR final approach to the airport, in instrument flight conditions, the aircraft struck the water, received minor damage but remained airborne. The incident occurred at 0830 EDT approximately 3 miles from the end of Runway 24 at Martha's Vineyard. The captain then flew the aircraft to Logan International Airport a t Boston, Massachusetts, where he made a normal landing. None of the five crewmembers and three passengers were injured.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines that the probable cause of this incident was the lack of crew coordination in monitoring the altitude during the performance of a nonprecision instrument approach, the misreading of the altimeter by the captain, and a lack of altitude awareness on the part of both pilots.

The Board has previously made several recommendations following the investigation of similar accidents and incidents. Our most recent correspondence to the Administrator, Federal Aviation Administration, is attached as Appendix D.

The Board noted during this investigation that N982NE was not equipped with a radio or radar altimeter.

Therefore the Board recommends that:

1. The Administrator require all air carrier aircraft to be equipped with a ground proximity warning device, in addition to barometric altimeters.

2. The Administrator establish appropriate operating procedures for such equipment.
Learning Keywords:Operations - Bounce
Operations - Crew Resource Management
Operations - Controlled Flight Into Terrain
Operations - In-flight Collision with Ground Structure
Operations - Runway Underrun


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