NTSB Identification: IAD00IA032.
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Scheduled 14 CFR operation of DELTA AIRLINES (D.B.A. COMMERCIAL AIRLINE )
Incident occurred Thursday, March 30, 2000 in NEW YORK CITY, NY
Probable Cause Approval Date: 05/08/2001
Aircraft: Boeing 767-332, registration: N182DN
Injuries: 225 Uninjured.
NTSB investigators used data provided by various sources and may not have traveled in support of this investigation to prepare this aircraft incident report.
During climb out at night over water, the airplane was straight and level and heading towards an intersection. The first officer was hand flying the airplane and the auto-pilot was not engaged. While climbing through 6,500 feet, the airplane rolled to the right and reached a maximum of 65.5 degrees. The first officer used left aileron, followed by left rudder input and returned to level flight. The crew declared an emergency, dumped 20,000 pounds of fuel and landed uneventfully at the departure airport. The captain reported there were no traffic collision avoidance system alerts or engine indication and crew alerting system warnings. The captain reported there was a thin deck of clouds at 6,500 feet, and it was a dark night with no moon. The international relief pilot stated there was no discernable horizon, and the first officer stated there was no horizon, stars, or moon, and all he saw was darkness. An examination of the airplane's systems revealed there were no mechanical or computer related discrepancies. The digital flight data recorder data revealed the rolls to the right were initiated by control wheel input.
The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this incident to be: The first officer's failure to maintain control of the airplane during climb out over water at night, which was a result of spatial disorientation. Factors in the incident were the cloud layer and dark night. Full narrative available
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