Flying Cheap

Accident - Dec. 26, 2008 - Kansas City, Mo.

The flight, operated by Republic Airlines, was scheduled to depart from New York, N.Y. en route to Kansas City,Mo..

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

Final Summary

While descending into the destination airfield, the crew deviated course to avoid thunderstorms as turbulence was expected. The flight crew warned the flight attendants and passengers of anticipated turbulence. The captain reported that the airplane then experienced "light chop with areas of moderate to sever[e] turbulence." During the encounter, a flight attendant who was in the aft galley securing a beverage cart fell on her left side and fractured her ankle.

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

Cause

An in-flight encounter with turbulence, which resulted in a serious injury to a flight attendant.

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

Factual Narrative

On December 26, 2008 at approximately 2340 central standard time, an Embraer 170-10 encountered severe turbulence while en route to Kansas City International Airport (MCI), Kansas City, Missouri. 1 flight attendant sustained a serious injury. The 2 pilots, 1 additional flight attendant, and 73 passengers were not injured. The airplane was owned and operated by Republic Airlines. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and an instrument flight plan was filed for the 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 121 flight.

According to a statement provided by the captain, while performing the en route descent into MCI, the crew was warned by Air Traffic Control of convective activity near the landing airport. The pilots were given permission to deviate as necessary to avoid the weather. The captain stated that after utilizing the airplane's weather radar, a course was selected which would avoid the thunderstorms, but the captain anticipated turbulence. The first officer communicated the warning to the flight attendants as well as the passengers. While avoiding the thunderstorms, the captain reported that the flight encountered "light chop with areas of moderate to sever[e] turbulence."

In a statement provided by the injured flight attendant, after receiving the warning from the first officer, the flight attendant transported the beverage cart to the aft galley. The flight attendant reported that while securing the beverage cart in the aft galley, the airplane encountered a "violent surge of turbulence" which resulted in the flight attendant being thrown upwards and landed on the left side of her body, fracturing her ankle. A medical examination later determined that she had fractured her ankle.

At 2353, an automated weather reporting facility at MCI reported winds from 190 degrees at 15 knots, visibility 9 statute miles, scattered clouds at 3,000 feet, temperature 63 degrees Fahrenheit, dew point 59 degrees Fahrenheit, and a barometric pressure of 29.62 inches of Mercury. In addition, there were remarks that thunderstorm conditions ended at 2348, and occasional lightning was present in-cloud and cloud to cloud south-west of the station. Thunderstorms were present to the southwest of the station and were moving northeast.

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