Event Details

Title:Wheels-up Landing, Continental Airlines Flight 1943, Douglas DC-9, N10556, Houston, Texas February 19, 1996
Micro summary:This Douglas DC-9 landed with wheels up.
Event Time:1996-02-19 at 0902 CST
File Name:1996-02-19-US.pdf
Publishing Agency:National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB)
Publishing Country:USA
Report number:NTSB/AAR-97/0l
Site of event:IAH, RWY 27
Latitude/Longitude:Final resting place: N29°58'40", W95°20'23"
Departure:Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport, Washington, DC, USA
Destination:George Bush Intercontinental Airport, Houston, Texas, USA
Airplane Type(s):Douglas DC-9-32
Flight Phase:Landing
Operator(s):Continental Airlines
Type of flight:Revenue
Serious Injuries:12
Other Injuries:0
Executive Summary:EXECUTIVE SUMMARY On February 19, 1996, at 0902 central standard time, Continental Airlines (COA) flight 1943, a Douglas DC-9-32, N10556, landed wheels up on runway 27 at the Houston Intercontinental Airport, Houston, Texas. The airplane slid 6,850 feet before coming to rest in the grass about 140 feet left of the runway centerline. The cabin began to fill with smoke, and the captain ordered the evacuation of the airplane. There were 82 passengers, 2 flightcrew members, and 3 flight attendants aboard the airplane. No fatalities or serious injuries occurred; 12 minor injuries to passengers were reported. The airplane sustained substantial damage to its lower fuselage. The regularly scheduled passenger flight was operating under Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 121 and had originated from Washington National Airport about 3 hours before the accident. An instrument flight rules flight plan had been filed; however, visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the landing in Houston.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines that the probable cause of this accident was the captain’s decision to continue the approach contrary to COA standard operating procedures that mandate a go-around when an approach is unstabilized below 500 feet or a ground proximity warning system alert continues below 200 feet above field elevation. The following factors contributed to the accident: (1) the flightcrew’s failure to properly complete the in-range checklist, which resulted in a lack of hydraulic pressure to lower the landing gear and deploy the flaps; (2) the flightcrew’s failure to perform the landing checklist and confirm that the landing gear was extended; (3) the inadequate remedial actions by COA to ensure adherence to standard operating procedures; and (4) the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) inadequate oversight of COA to ensure adherence to standard operating procedures.

Safety issues discussed in this report include checklist design, flightcrew training, adherence to standard operating procedures, adequacy of FAA surveillance, and flight attendant tailcone training. Safety recommendations concerning these issues were made to the FAA.
Learning Keywords:Operations - Checklists/Procedures
Operations - Crew Resource Management
Operations - Evacuation
Operations - Runway Overrun
Operations - Training Flight
Operations - Unstabilized Approach
Systems - Flight Controls - Flap Configuration
Systems - Hydraulics
Systems - Landing Gear
Systems - Landing Gear - Gear-up Landing
Close match:Aircraft incident at Helsinki-Vantaa Airport, December 7, 1997, Finland
Late gear and flap selection, Boeing 767-200, N653US
Uncommanded pitch-up, Fokker F27-600 Friendship, G-CHNL
Loss of Pitch Control During Takeoff, Air Midwest Flight 5481, Raytheon (Beechcraft) 1900D, N233YV, Charlotte, North Carolina, January 8, 2003
Stall on takeoff, Bombardier CL-600-2B16 (CL-604), C-FTBZ , Mid-Continent Airport, Wichita, Kansas, October 10, 2000
Uncontrolled Impact With Terrain, Fine Airlines Flight 101, Douglas DC-8-61, N27UA, Miami, Florida, August 7, 1997
Crash on takeoff, Northwest Airlines, Inc., McDonnell Douglas DC-9-82, N312RC, Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport, Romulus, Michigan, August 16, 1987
Runway excursion, United Air Lines, Inc., Boeing 727 QC, N7425U, Chicago O'Hare International Airport, Illinois, March 21, 1968
Flaps-up takeoff, Pan American World Airways, Inc., Boeing 707-321C, N799PA, Elmendorf Air Force Base, Anchorage, Alaska, December 26, 1968
Crashed short, National Airlines, Inc., B-727-235, N47MNA, Escambia Bay, Pensacola, Florida, May 8, 1978


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