Flying Cheap

Accident - April 15, 2006 - Front Royal, Va.

The flight, operated by Atlantic Southeast Airlines, was scheduled to depart from Atlanta, Ga. en route to Harrisburg,Pa..

Fatalities 0
Serious injuries1
Minor injuries0
Source: National Transportation Safety Board accident database system (ADMS2000), last updated Jan 1, 2010

Final Summary

While descending through flight level 250, and maneuvering to avoid a "cell," the airplane encountered clear air turbulence. The flight attendant, who was out of her seat at the time, was thrown to the ceiling, then fell back to the floor, resulting in a serious injury. The airplane landed at the destination airport about 15 minutes later without further incident.

Source: National Transportation Safety Board accident database system (ADMS2000), last updated Jan 1, 2010

Cause

An inadvertent encounter with clear air turbulence.

Source: National Transportation Safety Board accident database system (ADMS2000), last updated Jan 1, 2010

Factual Narrative

On April 15, 2006, about 1615 eastern daylight time, a flight attendant was seriously injured when a Bombardier CL600-2B19, N934EV, operating as Atlantic Southeast Airlines flight 4462, encountered turbulence near Front Royal, Virginia. The airplane was undamaged, and there were no injuries to the 2 certificated airline transport pilots and 48 passengers. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time. The flight was operating on an instrument flight rules plan between Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (KATL), Atlanta, Georgia, and Harrisburg International Airport (KMDT), Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. The scheduled passenger flight was conducted under 14 CFR Part 121.

According to a statement submitted by the operator, the captain reported that the airplane was descending through flight level 250, when he deviated west of course to avoid a "cell" about 125 nautical miles from Harrisburg. While doing so, the airplane encountered "moderate turbulence" which disengaged the autopilot. The captain subsequently attempted to contact the flight attendant; however, a passenger answered the call and advised the captain that she was injured. Witnesses reported that she had been "thrown up to the ceiling and rapidly back to the floor." A doctor and two passengers subsequently helped the flight attendant to her jumpseat.

After speaking with the flight attendant, the captain continued the flight to the destination, and landed about 15 minutes later without further incident. The flight attendant was then taken to a local hospital where she was treated for head injuries and a broken foot.

At the time of the accident, AIRMET Tango was in effect for occasional moderate turbulence between flight levels 240 and 400.

Source: National Transportation Safety Board accident database system (ADMS2000), last updated Jan 1, 2010