- Northwest Airlines Flight 1482
Collision between Northwest Airlines Flight 1482 and Flight 299 Accident summary Date 3 December 1990 Type Ground collision in low visibility Site Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport, Romulus, Michigan
Total injuries 10 Total fatalities 8 Total survivors 190 First aircraft Type Douglas DC-9-14 Operator Northwest Airlines Tail number N3313L Flight origin Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport Destination Pittsburgh International Airport Passengers 40 Crew 4 Injuries 10 Fatalities 8 Survivors 36 Second aircraft Type Boeing 727-251 Operator Northwest Airlines Tail number N278US Flight origin Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport Destination Memphis International Airport Passengers 146 Crew 8 Injuries 0 Fatalities 0 Survivors 154
Northwest Airlines Flight 1482 was a flight scheduled from Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport to Pittsburgh International Airport. On the 3 December 1990 a Douglas DC-9-14 commercial jet operated for the route taxied on to the active runway by mistake in dense fog and was hit by a departing Boeing 727 operating Northwest Airlines Flight 299 to Memphis. One crew and seven occupants of the DC-9 were killed.
Northwest 1482 was cleared from the gate towards Runway 03C, but it missed turning onto taxiway Oscar 6 and instead entered the Outer taxiway. To correct the error they were instructed to turn right onto Taxiway Xray but they turned onto the active runway 03C. They realised the mistake and contacted air traffic for instructions who told them to leave the runway immediately, five seconds later (at 13:45 EST) the crew saw a Boeing 727 heading towards them. The Boeing 727 was operating the Northwest 299 flight to Memphis and had just been cleared for take-off. The 727 wing hit the right-hand side of the DC-9 and cut through the fuselage just below the windows until it cut off the DC-9s #2 engine. The DC-9 caught fire and was destroyed, the 727 just had a damaged wing and was later repaired.
The captain escaped from the aircraft through the left sliding window. 18 people escaped from the aircraft from the left overwing exit. 13 persons got out through the left main boarding door. 4 people jumped from the right service door. The rear jumpseat flight attendant and a passenger died from smoke inhalation; the flight attendant was found on the catwalk inside the tailcone below the release handle, and the passenger was found partially lying on the tailcone release slide. The tailcone had not been jettisoned.
Of the surviving passengers, the NTSB stated that 10 received serious injuries and 23 received minor or no injuries. The three surviving crew members received minor or no injuries. The NTSB added that it did not receive medical records for three passengers who were admitted to a burn center; for the purposes of the report, the NTSB labeled their injuries as serious. The NTSB did not receive medical records for the copilot and 6 passengers who were treated and released from area hospitals; for the purposes of the report the NTSB assumed that they received minor injuries.
InvestigationA lack of proper crew coordination, including a virtual reversal of roles by the DC-9 pilots, which led to their failure to stop taxiing their airplane and alert the ground controller of their positional uncertainty in a timely manner before and after intruding onto the active runway.
Contributing to the cause of the accident were (1) deficiencies in the air traffic control services provided by the Detroit tower, including failure of the ground controller to take timely action to alert the local controller to the possible runway incursion, inadequate visibility observations, failure to use progressive taxi instructions in low-visibility conditions, and issuance of inappropriate and confusing taxi instructions compounded by inadequate backup supervision for the level of experience of the staff on duty; (2) deficiencies in the surface markings, signage, and lighting at the airport and the failure of Federal Aviation Administration surveillance to detect or correct any of these deficiencies; and (3) failure of Northwest Airlines, Inc., to provide adequate cockpit resource management training to their line aircrews.Contributing to the fatalities in the accident was the inoperability of the DC-9 internal tail cone release mechanism. Contributing to the number and severity of injuries was the failure of the crew of the DC-9 to properly execute the passenger evacuation.
Milio Rinna, a passenger of Flight 1482 who assisted survivors off of the aircraft, later filed a lawsuit against the airline.
- ^ a b c Aviation Safety Net
- ^ a b Aviation Safety Net
- ^ "In reply refer to: A-91-3 thru 8." National Transportation Safety Board. January 8, 1991. Retrieved on December 3, 2009.
- ^ "Aircraft Accident Report NTSB/AAR-91/05." National Transportation Safety Board. 11 (20/178). Retrieved on December 3, 2009.
- ^ "Flight 1482 crash hero files first lawsuit against Northwest Airlines. (Milio Rinna) (transcript)." PR Newsire. December 5, 1990. Retrieved on December 3, 2009.
- Aviation Safety Network N3313L
- Aviation Safety Network N278US
- National Transportation Safety Board Aircraft Accident Report NTSB/AAR-91/05
- Levin, Doron P. COLLISION IN DETROIT; At Least 8 Die in Collision On Detroit Airport Runway." The New York Times. Tuesday December 4, 1990. Section B, Page 16, New York edition.
← 1989 · Aviation accidents and incidents in 1990 · 1991 →Incidents resulting in at least 50 deaths shown in italics. Deadliest incident shown in bold smallcaps.
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