Ozark Airlines Flight 650

Ozark Airlines Flight 650

Infobox Airliner accident|name=Ozark Airlines Flight 650
Type=Collision with vehicle
Date=December 20, 1983
Site=Sioux Falls, South Dakota
Fatalities=1 (on the ground)
Aircraft Type=McDonnell Douglas DC-9-31
Origin=Sioux Gateway Airport, Sioux City, Iowa
Destination=Sioux Falls Regional Airport, Sioux Falls, South Dakota
Operator=Ozark Airlines
Tail Number=N994Z
Survivors =86

Ozark Airlines Flight 650 was a regularly scheduled flight between Sioux Gateway Airport in Sioux City, Iowa and Sioux Falls Regional Airport in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. While landing on runway 3 in a snow storm on December 20, 1983 it struck a snow plow on the runway. The impact ripped the right wing from the plane destroying the snow plow and killing its driver. The leaking fuel from the wing briefly created a fireball that engulfed the snow plow. The plane spun through 180° before coming to rest off the runway to the left of the centerline. Passenger evacuation was initiated through the front two doors. No passengers were injured in the evacuation but two flight attendants suffered minor injuries.

The resulting NTSB investigation determined that the snow removal operations were controlled from the tower. The snow plow, callsign Sweeper 7, had been routinely directed to exit the runway to accomodate arrivals and departures. When flight 650 was handed off from approach control to the tower it did not initiate contact with the tower. The tower controller eventually contacted the flight and cleared it to land. No communications had been made between the tower and Sweeper 7 after flight 650 was handed off to the tower controller. Neither the approach or tower controller had advised flight 650 that snow removal operations were in progress. The hourly ATIS broadcast advised that blowing snow conditions were present. The crew was not concerned on landing that snow was observed blowing on the runway. Shortly after touchdown when they entered the snow cloud the plane struck the snow plow. The board concluded the snow removal operations were inadequately supervised by the tower.

The aircraft involved in the accident was eventually returned to service. A replacement for the right wing was attached to it salvaged from another DC-9 accident. The fuselage of Air Canada Flight 797 was destroyed by fire after an emergency landing at Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport earlier that year. It was acquired by Republic Airlines and flew with Northwest Airlines after their merger until it was retired in 2006.


* [http://amelia.db.erau.edu/reports/ntsb/aar/AAR85-01S.pdf NTSB report]

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