Event Details

Title:Stall on takeoff, Air Florida, Inc., Boeing 737-222, N62AF, Collision With 14th Street Bridge, Near Washington National Airport, Washington, D.C., January 13, 1982
Micro summary:This Boeing 737-222 stalled on takeoff, colliding with a bridge and settling in a nearby river.
Event Time:1982-01-13 at 1601 EST
File Name:1982-01-13-US.pdf
Publishing Agency:National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB)
Publishing Country:USA
Report number:NTSB-AAR-82-08
Site of event:Potomac River, 0.75 nmi from departure end of RWY 36
Latitude/Longitude:N3851' W07702'
Departure:Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport, Washington, DC, USA
Destination:Fort Lauderdale Hollywood International, Florida, USA
Airplane Type(s):Boeing 737-222
Flight Phase:Takeoff
Operator(s):Air Florida
Type of flight:Revenue
Serious Injuries:5
Other Injuries:8
Executive Summary:On January 13, 1982, Air Florida Flight 90, a Boeing 737-222 (N62AF) was a scheduled flight to Fort Lauderdale, Florida, from Washington National Airport, Washington, D.C. There were 74 passengers, including 3 infants, and 5 crewmembers on board. The flight's scheduled departure time was delayed about 1 hour 45 minutes due to a moderate to heavy snowfall which necessitated the temporary closing of the airport. Following takeoff from runway 36, which was made with snow and/or ice adhering to the aircraft, the aircraft crashed at 1601 EST into the barrier wall of the northbound span of the 14th Street Bridge, which connects the District of Columbia with Arlington County, Virginia, and plunged into the ice-covered Potomac River. It came to rest on the west side of the bridge 0.75 nmi from the departure end of runway 36. Four passengers and one crewmember survived the crash.

When the aircraft hit the bridge, it struck seven occupied vehicles and then tore away a section of the bridge wall and bridge railing. Four persons in the vehicles were killed; four were injured.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines that the probable cause of this accident was the flightcrew's failure to use engine anti-ice during ground operation and takeoff, their decision to take off with snow/ice on the airfoil surfaces of the aircraft, and the captain's failure to reject the takeoff during the early stage when his attention was called to anomalous engine instrument readings. Contributing to the accident were the prolonged ground delay between deicing and the receipt of ATC takeoff clearance during which the airplane was exposed to continual precipitation, the known inherent pitchup characteristics of the B-737 aircraft when the leading edge is contaminated with even small amounts of snow or ice, and the limited experience of the flightcrew in jet transport winter operations.

["Other" = 4 fatalities + 4 injuries]
Learning Keywords:Operations - Crew Resource Management
Operations - Icing
Operations - Uncontrolled Flight into Terrain
Systems - Engine - Engine Management
Systems - Flight Instruments
Systems - Pitot/Static System
Consequence - Hull Loss
Close match:Stall on takeoff, Birgenair, Boeing 757, TC-GEN
Loss of airspeed displays, Serious incident, 05.04.1998, near Frankfurt/Main Airport, to an Airbus A320-200
Incorrect airspeed indications, UPS 747-200 at Dublin Airport, May 12, 2000
In-flight loss of both engines, McDonnell Douglas MD-82, June 4, 2002
Runway Overrun Following Rejected Takeoff, Continental Airlines Flight 795, McDonnell Douglas MD-82, N18835, Laguardia Airport, Flushing, New York, March 2, 1994
In-flight upset, Northwest Airlines, Inc., Boeing 727-251, N274US, Near Thiells, New York, December 1, 1974
Erroneous airspeed indications/stickshaker, Boeing 717-200, VH-NHX, February 28, 2006
Stall in climb, Boeing 757-200, TF-FII, October 20, 2002


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