NTSB Identification: CHI99LA055.
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Scheduled 14 CFR operation of AMERICAN EAGLE AIRLINES INC (D.B.A. AMERICAN EAGLE )
Accident occurred Thursday, December 17, 1998 in TRAVERSE CITY, MI
Probable Cause Approval Date: 05/09/2001
Aircraft: Aerospatiale ATR-42-300, registration: N47AE
Injuries: 43 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.

American Eagle, flight 4047, was substantially damaged when it veered off runway 28 and impacted runway lights during touchdown. Night instrument meteorological conditions with a visibility of 1/2 sm in snow and freezing fog prevailed at the time of the accident. Flight 4047 was cleared for the ILS 28 approach and began its descent at a point 1.6 nm inbound from the outer marker. While on the final approach segment, the airplane reached a descent rate of 2,000 fpm and the alerts defining the outer and inner envelopes of the ground proximity warning system sounded. During the descent, the airplane's indicated airspeed varied from 160 knots to 122.8 knots. The flight crew briefed an icing approach speed of 123 knots with the first officer acting as the flying pilot. Fifty-six seconds prior to touchdown, air traffic control (ATC) issued winds 070 degrees at 17 knots with a runway 28 Mu of 82,85,81 and chemically treated thin loose snow over patchy ice. The tailwind component was 14.722 knots. The first officer transferred the flight controls to the captain at approximately 400-500 feet agl. Two seconds prior to touchdown, ATC issued winds 060 degrees at 20 knots. The tailwind component was 15.320 knots. The southern runway lights extending from 2,574 feet - 3,311 feet down the runway were damaged. Flight data recorder information indicated that flight 4047 touched down in a 7 degree left bank attitude. American Eagle had in place 'stabilized approach criteria' to define conditions which required a mandatory missed approach. The American Eagle Aircraft Operating Manual stated that the limiting tailwind component for the airplane was 10 knots. Following the accident, an AE crew chief stated that the #1 MLG tire was peeled off the rim and 'ripped up bad.' He described the #2 MLG tire as having side ways scuff marks on the treaded portion of the tire. He stated that he performed an A/S test and if it was bad that he would have entered it into the minimum equipment list. The aircraft received a ferry permit, after the accident, to be flown to Marquette for repair. The ferry captain reported that he flew the aircraft from TVC to Marquette. Prior to leaving the gate, he tested the antiskid (A/S) system and one of the fault lights came on momentarily in which the captain described the duration as 'just a blink'. The Captain then executed a high speed taxi, braked and then stopped the aircraft. He then tested the A/S light, and no light illuminated. He also reported that there were no problems en route or upon landing at Marquette. He added that there was no fault light illumination during or after landing at Marquette.

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

The crew's failure to execute a missed approach and the flying pilot's (captain) failure to maintain directional control upon touchdown with a seven degree left bank and a right quartering tailwind. Factor's were the snow covered runway/landing area and the night conditions.

Full narrative available

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