Event Details


Title:Turbulence injury, Airbus A319, July 17, 2004
Micro summary:This Airbus A319 encountered turbulence, which ended up in a flight attendant breaking a leg.
Event Time:2004-07-17 at 1842 EDT
File Name:2004-07-17-US.pdf
Publishing Agency:National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB)
Publishing Country:USA
Report number:NYC04LA168
Pages:5
Site of event:Flat Rock, VA
Departure:Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport, Phoenix, Arizona, USA
Destination:Washington Dulles International Airport, Washington, DC, USA
Airplane Type(s):Airbus A319
Flight Phase:Descent
Registration(s):N812AW
Operator(s):America West Airlines
Type of flight:Revenue
Occupants:111
Fatalities:
Serious Injuries:1
Minor/Non-Injured:110
Other Injuries:0
Executive Summary:

NTSB short summary:

An inadvertent encounter with turbulence in clouds during descent.

NTSB synopsis:

While the airplane was in level flight at 17,000 feet, it encountered turbulence for approximately 10 seconds. A flight attendant reported that another flight attendant working with him in the rear galley had suffered a broken leg. The flight continued, and landed uneventfully. The injured flight attendant stated that he had received notification from the lead flight attendant that it was going to get bumpy on the way down, and to clean up the cabin for landing. The captain stated that at least 10 minutes prior to the encounter with turbulence, he notified the lead flight attendant of the possibility of turbulence on the arrival. The lead flight attendant asked if the captain wanted her to do the "Final" and have all flight attendants take their seats, which he responded yes. The weather reported at an airport located about 22 miles east of the accident location, included 5 miles of visibility, light rain, mist, broken clouds at 2,800 feet, and an overcast cloud layer at 15,000 feet. Thunderstorm activity was also reported in the area.

NTSB factual narrative text:

On July 17, 2004, at 1842 eastern daylight time, an Airbus Industries A319, N812AW, operated by America West Airlines Inc., as flight 855, was not damaged during an encounter with turbulence, while descending near Flat Rock, Virginia. The two certificated airline transport pilots, two flight attendants, and 106 passengers were not injured. An additional flight attendant was seriously injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the flight that departed from the Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport (PHX), Phoenix, Arizona; destined for the Washington Dulles International Airport (IAD), Dulles, Virginia. An instrument flight rules flight plan was filed for the scheduled air carrier flight conducted under 14 CFR Part 121.

The captain stated that at least 10 minutes prior to the encounter with turbulence, he notified the lead flight attendant of the possibility of turbulence on the arrival. The lead flight attendant asked if the captain wanted her to do the "Final" and have all flight attendants take their seats, which he responded yes. The airplane was level at 17,000 feet, and encountered turbulence for approximately 10 seconds. An additional flight attendant reported that another flight attendant working with him in the rear galley had suffered a broken leg. The flight continued to IAD and landed uneventfully.

The lead flight attendant, who was stationed near the forward bulkhead of the airplane, stated that the captain informed her that "it would get real bumpy as we got closer," and to alert the other flight attendants to finish cleaning up the cabin. The lead flight attendant completed her duties and sat down, unaware of the status of the remaining flight attendants who were stationed at the rear of the airplane. The airplane then encountered a 'horrendous bump," which lasted about 2-3 seconds, throwing the other two flight attendants to the ground.

The injured flight attendant stated that he had received notification from the lead flight attendant that it was going to get bumpy on the way down, and to clean up the cabin for landing. He recalled that there was no urgency in the lead flight attendants voice during the notification. About 10 minutes later, while sealing the BOB cart, the airplane went through a small patch of "violent, intense" turbulence, causing the airplane to go downward and then back up in a jerk type motion. During the upward movement of the airplane, the flight attendant fell and broke his leg.

The weather reported at an airport located about 22 miles east of Flat Rock, included 5 miles of visibility, light rain, mist, broken clouds at 2,800 feet, and an overcast cloud layer at 15,000 feet. Thunderstorm activity was also reported in the area.
Learning Keywords:Operations - Turbulence
Consequence - Flight Attendant Fatality - Injury
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