Sunday, January 09, 2022

Airbus A320-232, N1902U: Accident occurred January 10, 2020 in New Orleans, Louisiana

Aviation Accident Final Report - National Transportation Safety Board

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board:

United Airlines Inc

Location: New Orleans, Louisiana
Accident Number: DCA20CA058
Date and Time: January 10, 2020, 22:45 UTC 
Registration: N1902U
Aircraft: Airbus A320
Aircraft Damage: None
Defining Event: Turbulence encounter 
Injuries: 1 Serious, 158 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 121: Air carrier - Scheduled


On January 10, 2020, at about 2245 universal coordinated time, United Airlines flight 1754, an Airbus A320, N1902U, encountered turbulence near the top of climb from New Orleans International Airport (KMSY), New Orleans, Louisiana. Of the 159 passengers and crew onboard, one flight attendant sustained serious injuries. The airplane was not damaged. The flight was operating under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 121 as a regularly scheduled passenger flight from the KMSY to Newark Liberty International Airport (KEWR), Newark, New Jersey.

According to the flight crew, they advised the flight attendants (FA) to expect some light turbulence during the climb out, and stated they would leave the seatbelt sign illuminated for passengers until they had reached smooth air. During the climb to their assigned altitude of flight level (FL) 370, the weather radar was active and air traffic control advised of weather directly in front of the flight. As the flight was climbing through about FL 305 , the flight was in clear air but the crew realized they were not going to stay above the clouds ahead of the airplane and requested, and were approved, to deviate to the right to avoid the buildups.
During the turn, the captain made an announcement on the public address (PA) system for the FAs to “take their jumpseats” and subsequently encountered “a couple bumps of light chop.” Almost immediately after, they received a call from the cabin, that the purser had been injured.

According to the FAs, they were preparing for cabin service when the turbulence was encountered. The forward FA fell to the floor as she was walking through the first-class cabin. Subsequently, the flight crew’s announcement for the “flight attendants take your jump seats” came over the PA system. The injured FA was assisted by medically qualified passengers and remained in a passenger seat for the remainder of the flight. Paramedics met the airplane at the gate and the FA was transported to the hospital where she was diagnosed with a fractured ankle.

Post accident examination of the weather data determined that the turbulence was encountered when the airplane was flying over an area of general thunderstorms. Cloud tops up to FL400 were located within 10 miles of the turbulence encounter but there were no pilot reports (PIREPs) in the vicinity indicating turbulence prior to the event. There was a Center Weather Advisory current for the area for isolated thunderstorms, which was included in the flights weather briefing.

Probable Cause and Findings

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:
an encounter with convectively induced turbulence while overflying an area of known convective activity.


Environmental issues Convective turbulence - Effect on personnel

Factual Information

History of Flight

Enroute-climb to cruise Turbulence encounter (Defining event)

Pilot Information

Certificate: Airline transport; Commercial
Age: 60, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Multi-engine land
Seat Occupied: Right
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None 
Restraint Used: 5-point
Instrument Rating(s): Airplane 
Second Pilot Present:
Instructor Rating(s): None 
Toxicology Performed:
Medical Certification: Class 1 With waivers/limitations 
Last FAA Medical Exam: November 25, 2019
Occupational Pilot: Yes
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: March 12, 2019
Flight Time: 17828 hours (Total, all aircraft), 11690 hours (Total, this make and model), 15917 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 80 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft)

Co-pilot Information

Certificate: Airline transport; Commercial 
Age: 48, Female
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine land; Multi-engine land
Seat Occupied: Left
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used: 5-point
Instrument Rating(s): Airplane
Second Pilot Present:
Instructor Rating(s): None
Toxicology Performed:
Medical Certification: Class 1 Without waivers/limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: August 22, 2019
Occupational Pilot: Yes 
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: November 9, 2018
Flight Time: 1638 hours (Total, all aircraft), 526 hours (Total, this make and model), 30 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 30 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft)

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Airbus 
Registration: N1902U
Model/Series: A320 232 
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 2006 
Amateur Built:
Airworthiness Certificate: 
Transport Serial Number: 2714
Landing Gear Type: Retractable - Tricycle
Seats: 159
Date/Type of Last Inspection: October 29, 2019 Continuous airworthiness
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 169756 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection: Engines: 2
Airframe Total Time: 40846 Hrs at time of accident 
Engine Manufacturer:
ELT: Installed
Engine Model/Series:
Registered Owner: 
Rated Power:
Operating Certificate(s) Held: Flag carrier (121)

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Unknown
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation:
Distance from Accident Site:
Observation Time: 
Direction from Accident Site:
Lowest Cloud Condition: Unknown 
Lowest Ceiling: Unknown 
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: / 
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual: Convective /
Wind Direction: 
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual: Moderate /
Altimeter Setting:
Temperature/Dew Point:
Precipitation and Obscuration:
Departure Point: New Orleans, LA (MSY)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: IFR
Destination: Newark, NJ (EWR)
Type of Clearance: IFR
Departure Time: 15:40 Local
Type of Airspace: Class A

Airport Information

Airport: Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport MSY
Runway Surface Type:
Airport Elevation: 
Runway Surface Condition: Unknown
Runway Used: 
IFR Approach: Unknown
Runway Length/Width:
VFR Approach/Landing: Unknown

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Serious, 7 None 
Aircraft Damage: None
Passenger Injuries: 151 None 
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: Aircraft
Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 Serious, 158 None
Latitude, Longitude: 29.960527,-90.079589(est)

1 comment:

  1. Not a lot of hours total time for a 48yo first officer of an airliner (or any professional pilot of that age for that matter). She must have gotten her career off to a very late start. Better late than never I suppose.