NTSB Identification: FTW96LA394.
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Scheduled 14 CFR operation of WINGS WEST (D.B.A. AMERICAN EAGLE )
Accident occurred Friday, September 20, 1996 in FORT SMITH, AR
Probable Cause Approval Date: 10/31/1997
Aircraft: Saab-Scania AB (Saab) SF-340B, registration: N320AE
Injuries: 1 Serious,26 Uninjured.

NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The airplane was landed and parked at the passenger disembarking location at 1831, and a light rain (drizzle) was falling as passengers were disembarking. The fourth passenger stated that he disembarked down the stairway with a briefcase in his right hand. He reported that as he stepped on the second-to-last step, he 'slipped' and 'reached for a handrail to support himself.' He reported that at that point, there was no handrail for him to hold onto, and he subsequently fell to the pavement injuring himself. Handrails were incorporated with the stairway. The handrails extended down the stairs (on both sides) from the cabin door to a point where it angled about 90 degrees (down & back toward the steps). The lower end of the handrails were attached at the third step from the bottom of the stairway. The lowest usable part of the handrails extended beyond the second step (from the bottom) and at least partially over the bottom step. Although light rain was reported, the stairway was reported as not wet, since it had just been extended from the aircraft, and non-slip covering of the steps was reported to be in good condition. One of the passenger's 'Docksider' shoes was found on the stairs. Also, the company reported that the passenger believed that his briefcase might have caught on something on the way down the stairs.

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

the passenger fell for undetermined reasons, while disembarking from the airplane.

Full narrative available

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