CRJ2, en-route, Jefferson City USA, 2004

Summary: 

On October 14, 2004, a Bombardier CRJ-200 being operated by Pinnacle Airlines on a non revenue positioning flight crashed into a residential area in the vicinity of Jefferson City Memorial Airport, Missouri after the flight crew attempted to fly the aircraft beyond its performance limits and a high altitude stall, to which their response was inappropriate, then followed.

Event Details
When: 
14/10/2004
Event Type: 
Day/Night: 
Night
Flight Conditions: 
On Ground - Normal Visibility

18831

Flight Details
Type of Flight: 
Public Transport (Non Revenue)
Take-off Commenced: 
Yes
Flight Airborne: 
Yes
Flight Completed: 
No
Phase of Flight: 
Cruise
Location
Approx.: 
vicinity Jefferson City Airport, MI
General
Tag(s): 
Inadequate Aircraft Operator Procedures
AGC
Tag(s): 
Phraseology, Language Clarity
FIRE
Tag(s): 
Post Crash Fire
HF
Tag(s): 
Inappropriate crew response - skills deficiency, Inappropriate crew response (automatics), Violation
LOC
Tag(s): 
Loss of Engine Power, Flight Management Error, Aerodynamic Stall
EPR
Tag(s): 
“Emergency” declaration
Outcome
Damage or injury: 
Yes
Aircraft damage: 
Hull loss
Non-aircraft damage: 
Yes
Non-occupant Casualties: 
No
Occupant Fatalities: 
Most or all occupants
Off Airport Landing: 
Yes
Ditching: 
Yes
Causal Factor Group(s)
Group(s): 
Aircraft Operation
Safety Recommendation(s)
Group(s): 
Aircraft Operation, Aircraft Airworthiness
Investigation Type
Type: 
Independent

Description

On October 14, 2004, a Bombardier CRJ-200 being operated by Pinnacle Airlines on a non revenue positioning flight crashed into a residential area in the vicinity of Jefferson City Memorial Airport, Missouri after the flight crew attempted to fly the aircraft beyond its performance limits and a high altitude stall, to which their response was inappropriate, then followed.

Synopsis

This is an extract from the official report into the accident published by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), USA:

The airplane was on a repositioning flight from Little Rock National Airport, Little Rock, Arkansas, to Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, Minneapolis, Minnesota. During the flight, both engines flamed out after a pilot-induced aerodynamic stall and were unable to be restarted. The captain and the first officer were killed, and the airplane was destroyed.

The probable cause of the accident was given as:

  • the pilots’ unprofessional behavior, deviation from standard operating procedures, and poor airmanship, which resulted in an in-flight emergency from which they were unable to recover, in part because of the pilots’ inadequate training;
  • the pilots’ failure to prepare for an emergency landing in a timely manner, including communicating with air traffic controllers immediately after the emergency about the loss of both engines and the availability of landing sites; and
  • the pilots’ improper management of the double engine failure checklist, which allowed the engine cores to stop rotating and resulted in the core lock engine condition.

Contributing to this accident were

  • the core lock engine condition, which prevented at least one engine from being restarted, and
  • the airplane flight manuals that did not communicate to pilots the importance of maintaining a minimum airspeed to keep the engine cores rotating.

The Report's recommendations, beginning on page 74, also address institutional and organisational issues (see Further Reading).

Related Articles

Further Reading

For further information see the full accident report published by NTSB.

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