Chapter 1 - Air Law, The Clean Aircraft Concept


Date:  March 17, 1979

Location:  Moscow, Russia, USSR

Airline:  Aeroflot

Aircraft:  Tupolev TU-104B

Fatalities/No. Aboard:  90:90

Details:  The aircraft crashed in freezing rain and fog shortly after taking off.

Date:  January 13, 1982

Location:  Washington, D.C.

Airline:  Air Florida

Aircraft:  Boeing 737-200

Fatalities/No. Aboard:  74:79 + 4

Details:  The aircraft crashed into the 14th St. bridge and the Potomac River and sank shortly after taking off from Washington National Airport. The aircraft reached a peak altitude of 300 ft. The causes were the crew's failure to use the engine anti-icing system during takeoff and failure to de-ice the plane a second time before takeoff with snow/ice on the critical surfaces of the aircraft. Ice that accumulated on the engine pressure probes resulted in erroneously high Engine Pressure Ratio (EPR) readings. When the throttles were set to takeoff EPR, the engines were actually developing significantly less than takeoff thrust. The crew's inexperience in icing conditions was a contributing factor.

Date:  February 01, 1985

Location:  Minsk, Belarus, USSR

Airline:  Aeroflot

Aircraft:  Tupolev TU-134A

Fatalities/No. Aboard:  58:80

Details:  The aircraft crashed during takeoff. Icing. Double engine failure.

Date:  December 12, 1985

Location:  Gander, Newfoundland, Canada

Airline:  Arrow Airways

Aircraft:  Douglas DC-8-63PF

Fatalities/No. Aboard:  256:256

Details:  The aircraft stalled and crashed during takeoff. There is controversy surrounding this crash. The majority opinion of the Safety Board was that the cause of the sequence leading up to the stall and crash could not be determined, with icing a possibility.

Date:  November 15, 1987

Location:  Denver, Colorado

Airline:  Continental Airlines

Aircraft:  Douglas DC-9-14

Fatalities/No. Aboard:  28:82

Details:  During a snowstorm in Denver, the flight was delayed 27 minutes after deicing. When the aircraft took off, the crew experienced a rapid rotation during takeoff, overturned and crashed. Icing. Failure of the captain to de-ice a second time.

Date:  10 March 1989

Location:  Dryden Ontario, Canada

Airline:  Air Ontario

Aircraft:  F28-1000

Fatalities/No Aboard:  24/65

Details:  The aircraft crashed just after takeoff due to icing on the aircraft's critical surfaces. This crash resulted in a major investigation that led to the Air Regulation changes that are in place today.

Date:  12/27/1991

Location:  Stockholm, Sweden

Airline:  Scandinavian Airlines (SAS)

Aircraft:  McDonnell Douglas MD-80 (MD-81)

Fatalities/No. Aboard:  0:129

Details:  The aircraft reached an altitude of 3,000 feet and then made an emergency descent, clipping trees and crash landing in a field. Failure of both engines due to improper deicing of the aircraft led to chunks of ice breaking off and being ingested into both engines, leading to engine failure.

Date:  22 March 1992

Location:  New York, NY

Airline:  USAir

Aircraft:  F28-4000

Fatalities/No Aboard:  27/51

Details:  The aircraft crashed just after takeoff due to icing on the aircraft's wings. The aircraft was departing from La Guardia airport in snowy conditions.

Date:  4 Jan 2002

Location:  Birmingham, England

Airline:  Corporate

Aircraft:  Canadair Challenger CL-600-2B16

Fatalities/No Aboard:  5/5

Details:  The aircraft was parked overnight on the Western Apron. There was no precipitation while the aircraft was at Birmingham. The air temperature remained below zero with a minimum temperature of minus 9°C at 0550 hrs. Initially, the sky was clear but the amount of cloud increased to give variable cloud cover after midnight. The surface wind remained southeasterly at less than 5 kt. The next morning, one of the crew, together with one of the passengers, arrived at the aircraft at approximately 1040 hrs. The commander arrived at approximately 1100 hrs. At different times, each crewmember was seen to carry out an independent external inspection of the aircraft. Aircraft refueling commenced at about 1105 hrs and the aircraft fuel tanks were reported full (20,000 lb) at about 1140 hrs. During the morning, other witnesses stated that they had seen frost or ice on the wing surfaces of N90AG prior to departure. Other aircraft, which had been parked overnight, were de-iced during the morning, with associated reports of moderate to severe ice or frost accumulations. Neither crewmember requested deicing, so N90AG was not de-iced prior to departure. The aircraft crashed just after takeoff due to icing on the aircraft's critical surfaces.

When in Doubt... Ask, Investigate, Check!