NTSB Identification: DCA92MA025.
The docket is stored on NTSB microfiche number 45540.
Scheduled 14 CFR operation of USAIR, INC.
Accident occurred Sunday, March 22, 1992 in FLUSHING, NY
Probable Cause Approval Date: 01/31/1994
Aircraft: FOKKER 28-4000, registration: N485US
Injuries: 27 Fatal,9 Serious,12 Minor,3 Uninjured.

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

THE AIRPLANE HAD BEEN DEICED 2 TIMES BEFORE LEAVING THE GATE. HOWEVER, 35 MINUTES HAD ELAPSED BETWEEN THE 2ND DEICING & TAKEOFF DURING WHICH TIME ICE ACCUMULATED ON THE WING. THIS TIME PERIOD EXCEEDED THE TYPE I DEICING FLUID SAFE HOLDOVER TIME (11 MIN). THE 1ST OFFICER CALLED VR 11 KTS EARLY, AND THE CAPT ROTATED ABOUT 5 KTS EARLY. AFTER LIFTOFF THE AIRPLANE STALLED AND CAME TO REST PARTIALLY INVERTED AND SUBMERGED IN THE BAY. AT THE TIME OF THE ACCIDENT, THE OPERATOR DID NOT REQUIRE A SPECIFIC EXTERIOR INSPECTION FOR ICE CONTAMINATION OF F-28 AIRPLANES DURING PERIODS OF FREEZING PRECIPITATION. ACCIDENT HISTORY SHOWS THAT NONSLATTED, TURBOJET, TRANSPORT-CATEGORY AIRPLANES HAVE BEEN INVOLVED IN A DISPROPORTIONATE NUMBER OF TAKEOFF ACCIDENTS WHERE UNDETECTED UPPER WING ICE CONTAMINATION HAS BEEN CITED AS THE PROBABLE CAUSE OR SOLE CONTRIBUTING FACTOR.

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

THE FAILURE OF THE AIRLINE INDUSTRY AND THE FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION TO PROVIDE FLIGHTCREWS WITH PROCEDURES, REQUIREMENTS, AND CRITERIA COMPATIBLE WITH DEPARTURE DELAYS IN CONDITIONS CONDUCIVE TO AIRFRAME ICING AND THE DECISION BY THE FLIGHTCREW TO TAKE OFF WITHOUT POSITIVE ASSURANCE THAT THE AIRPLANE'S WINGS WERE FREE OF ICE ACCUMULATION AFTER 35 MINUTES OF EXPOSURE TO PRECIPITATION FOLLOWING DEICING. THE ICE CONTAMINATION ON THE WINGS RESULTED IN AN AERODYNAMIC STALL AND LOSS OF CONTROL AFTER LIFTOFF. CONTRIBUTING TO THE CAUSE OF THE ACCIDENT WERE THE INAPPROPRIATE PROCEDURES USED BY, AND INADEQUATE COORDINATION BETWEEN, THE FLIGHTCREW THAT LED TO A TAKEOFF ROTATION AT A LOWER THAN PRESCRIBED AIRSPEED. (NTSB REPORT AAR-93/020)

Full narrative available

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