NTSB Identification: DCA96MA008.
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Scheduled 14 CFR AMERICAN AIRLINES INC
Accident occurred Sunday, November 12, 1995 in EAST GRANBY, CT
Probable Cause Approval Date: 05/23/1997
Aircraft: McDonnell Douglas MD-83, registration: N566AA
Injuries: 1 Minor,77 Uninjured.

NTSB investigators traveled in support of this investigation and used data obtained from various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The airplane impacted trees, then an ILS antenna as it landed short of the runway on grass, even terrain during a night VOR approach in strong, gusty wind conditions. At the time of the accident, the indicated altitude (height above airport elevation) that the airplane's QFE altimeter was indicating was about 76 feet too high (based on the altimeter setting received at 0030), resulting in the airplane being 76 feet lower than indicated on the primary altimeters. Because the flightcrew knew that the atmospheric pressure was falling rapidly, they should have requested a current altimeter setting from the approach controller when was not given, as required, upon initial radio contact. Although the flightcrew did not use the most current QNH setting they had available (29.40 inches of Hg.) in the standby altimeter, this error did not affect the accident sequence of events because the flightcrew had the correct, but outdated, QFE setting (29.23 inches Hg.) in the altimeters they were using when the accident occurred. If the first officer had monitored the approach on instruments until reaching minimum descent altitude (MDA) and delayed his search for the airport until after reaching the MDA, he would have been better able to notice and immediately call the captain's attention to the altitude deviation below the MDA.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:

the flightcrew's failure to maintain the required minimum descent altitude until the required visual references identifiable with the runway were in sight. Contributing factors were the failure of the BDL approach controller to furnish the flightcrew with a current altimeter setting, and the flightcrew's failure to ask for a more current setting. (NTSB Report AAR-96/05 adopted 11/13/96)

Full narrative available

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