MaxAvSafety (Today-Historic) 1/13/82; AirFl90, Air Foil Ice, Pilot Error!

MaxSez: I remember this one. Just got off shift from the Pentagon. My route home via the 14th St Bridge was closed for hours during the DC Beltway Rush. Took me 4 hours bumper to bumper to go 20 miles. Watched the Park Service Helo do its thing from afar. Pilot Error, Tragic, burned into my memory. Remember this one?

Accident description
Last updated: 13 January 2018
Status: Final
Date: Wednesday 13 January 1982
Time: 16:01
Type:


Boeing 737-222
Operator: Air Florida
Registration: N62AF
C/n / msn: 19556/130
First flight: 1969-02-15 (12 years 11 months)
Total airframe hrs: 23608
Cycles: 29549
Engines: 2 Pratt & Whitney JT8D-9A
Crew: Fatalities: 4 / Occupants: 5
Passengers: Fatalities: 70 / Occupants: 74
Total: Fatalities: 74 / Occupants: 79
Ground casualties: Fatalities: 4
Airplane damage: Destroyed
Airplane fate: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location: 1,4 km (0.9 mls) N of Washington-National Airport, DC (DCA) [Potomac River] ( United States of America)
Phase: Initial climb (ICL)
Nature: Domestic Scheduled Passenger
Departure airport: Washington-National Airport, DC (DCA/KDCA), United States of America
Destination airport: Tampa International Airport, FL (TPA/KTPA), United States of America
Flightnumber: 90
Narrative:
Air Florida Flight 90 was scheduled to leave Washington National Airport at 14:15 EST for a flight to Fort Lauderdale International Airport, FL (FLL), with an intermediate stop at the Tampa, FL (TPA).
The aircraft had arrived at gate 12 as Flight 95 from Miami, FL, at 13:29. Because of snowfall, the airport was closed for snow removal from 13:38 to 14:53. At about 14:20 maintenance personnel began de-icing the left side of the fuselage with de-icing fluid Type II because the captain wanted to start the de-icing just before the airport was scheduled to reopen (at 14:30) so that he could get in line for departure. Fluid had been applied to an area of about 10 feet when the captain terminated the operation because the airport was not going to reopen at 14:30. Between 14:45 and 14:50, the captain requested that the de-icing operation be resumed.
The left side of the aircraft was de-iced first. No covers or plugs were installed over the engines or airframe openings during de-icing operations.
At 15:15, the aircraft was closed up and the jet way was retracted and the crew received push-back clearance at 15:23. A combination of ice, snow, and glycol on the ramp and a slight incline prevented the tug, which was not equipped with chains, from moving the aircraft. Then, contrary to flight manual guidance, the flight crew used reverse thrust in an attempt to move the aircraft from the ramp. This resulted in blowing snow which might have adhered to the aircraft. This didn’t help either, so the tug was replaced and pushback was done at 15:35. The aircraft finally taxied to runway 36 at 15:38.
Although contrary to flight manual guidance, the crew attempted to deice the aircraft by intentionally positioning the aircraft near the exhaust of the aircraft ahead in line (a New York Air DC-9). This may have contributed to the adherence of ice on the wing leading edges and to the blocking of the engine’s Pt2 probes.
At 15:57:42, after the New York Air aircraft was cleared for takeoff, the captain and first officer proceeded to accomplish the pre-takeoff checklist, including verification of the takeoff engine pressure ratio (EPR) setting of 2.04 and indicated airspeed bug settings. Takeoff clearance was received at 15:58. Although the first officer expressed concern that something was ‘not right’ to the captain four times during the takeoff, the captain took no action to reject the takeoff. The aircraft accelerated at a lower-than-normal rate during takeoff, requiring 45 seconds and nearly 5,400 feet of runway, 15 seconds and nearly 2,000 feet more than normal, to reach lift-off speed. The aircraft initially achieved a climb, but failed to accelerate after lift-off. The aircraft’s stall warning stick shaker activated almost immediately after lift-off and continued until impact. The aircraft encountered stall buffet and descended to impact at a high angle of attack. At about 16.01, the aircraft struck the heavily congested northbound span of the 14th Street Bridge and plunged into the ice-covered Potomac River. It came to rest on the west end of the bridge 0.75 nmi from the departure end of runway 36. When the aircraft struck the bridge, it struck six occupied automobiles and a boom truck before tearing away a 41-foot section of the bridge wall and 97 feet of the bridge railings. Four persons in vehicles on the bridge were killed; four were injured, one seriously.
Probable Cause:

PROBABLE CAUSE: " The flight crew’s failure to use engine anti-ice during ground operation and takeoff, their decision to take off with snow/ice on the airfoil surfaces of the aircraft, and the captain’s failure to reject the takeoff during the early stage when his attention was called to anomalous engine instrument readings. Contributing to the accident were the prolonged ground delay between de-icing and the receipt of ATC takeoff clearance during which the airplane was exposed to continual precipitation, the known inherent pitch up characteristics of the B-737 aircraft when the leading edge is contaminated with even small amounts of snow or ice, and the limited experience of the flight crew in jet transport winter operations."

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I saw the air disasters about it plus many other documentaries, as well as reading the wiki from start to finish, definitley sad. Many hero’s were born too, from the reporter that jumped into the water to save that one persons life, to the other man, who decided to go last, so he knew that others made it out alive. Definitely heroism right there. Thx for the report Max

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PIC L. Wheaton was a friend and neighbor on Bay Point Key. I remember him flying right seat in DC3 in the late '70’s. Sad ending.
F/A hoisted up is Heather Duncan, her mom was a F/A manager for DL, her dad a pilot.
I don’t think she ever flew crew again.
Thanks @Maxmustang for reminding us that aviation is the most unforgiving industry in the world.

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Pure ignorance right here, didn’t take in the fact that he had peoples’ lives on the line. Thanks for posting max.

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Even time I’m in DC and see signs for the 14th Street Bridge, this incident immediately comes to mind. It is very sad.

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I have watched this on Air Disasters several times. Very sad.

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As a pilot of 23years for Emirates, any crash or collision is horrible. I as the Captain have full responsibility for all souls on board!!!

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I was in DC about a year and a half ago. Drove by the bridge and was instantly reminded of this.
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Considering the amount of training pilots have, pilot error should never happen. It’s boils down to the ignorance of the captain, he should have aborted the takeoff as soon as the co-pilot indicated that something was wrong. Truly one of the sadder air accidents.

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Are you saying I am ignorant? As a airline pilot.

@GolferRyan… MaxSez. This Accidant was the catalyst for the Sterile Cockpit Rule and Line Captains loseing there Crown. When I was young Line Captains did not accept suggestion of subtle correctionsno just say AyAy Sir. Captains where absolute King. That was then, this is now we are human and error prone… tell it like it is…

Let me reword that, all people make mistakes. Perfection is listening!

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I watched the video for this a while ago great read really sad

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No, I am saying that the captain of this flight was. The co-pilot knew something was wrong yet refused to reject the takeoff

@Joseph_S_Mcneer… MaxSez… Some of us have seen the elephant Captain Joe, some will! The exuberance of youth, Gofers ok, a typical Golfer always close… He will be talking with his hand soon enough LOL.
Respectful Regards

Strerile cockpit, is one thing! Error is another…

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Never exclude another opportunity.

Max I love reading your posts, as a real world pilot. Worked for Emirates for 23years and in February will be 55. “Retirement””

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And your right , is always Pilot error. But the people making that decision are often past tense… Nothing in life or what it appears maybe reality. Peace be upon you!

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@Joseph_S_Mcneer … MaxSez: 55 Your just a babe! Fly for some Gulf Prince , Your just turning a page in the book of life. In shaa Allah, G’nite

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You are the man, Jazak Allah!_

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