NTSB Identification: DCA91MA010B.
The docket is stored on NTSB microfiche number 41950.
Scheduled 14 CFR NORTHWEST AIRLINES
Accident occurred Monday, December 03, 1990 in ROMULUS, MI
Probable Cause Approval Date: 05/03/1993
Aircraft: BOEING 727-251, registration: N278US
Injuries: 8 Fatal,10 Serious,26 Minor,154 Uninjured.

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

"THIS CASE WAS MODIFIED 1/17/2008."

ON DECEMBER 3, 1990, AT 1345 EST, NORTHWEST FLIGHT 1482, A DC-9 (N3313L), AND NORTHWEST FLIGHT 299, A BOEING 727 (N278US), COLLIDED NEAR THE INTERSECTION OF RUNWAY 09/27 AND 03C/21C IN DENSE FOG AT DETRIOT METROPOLITAN/WAYNE COUNTY AIRPORT, ROMULUS, MI. AT THE TIME OF THE COLLISION, THE B-727 WAS ON ITS TAKEOFF ROLL, AND THE DC-9 HAD JUST TAXIED ONTO THE ACTIVE RUNWAY. THE B-727 WAS SUBSTANTIALLY DAMAGED, AND THE DC-9 WAS DESTROYED. SEVEN OF THE 40 PASSENGERS AND 1CREWMEMBER ABOARD THE DC-9 RECEIVED FATAL INJURIES. NONE OF THE 146 PASSENGERS AND 8 CREWMEMBERS ABOARD THE B-727 WERE INJURED. (SEE NTSB/AAR-91/05 FOR FURTHER INFORMATION).

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

LACK OF PROPER CREW COORDN, INCLUDING VIRTUAL REVERSAL OF ROLES BY THE DC-9 PLTS, WHICH LED TO THEIR FAILURE TO STOP TAXIING & ALERT GND CTLR OF THEIR POSITIONAL UNCERTAINTY IN A TIMELY MANNER BFR & AFTER INTRUDING ONTO THE ACTIVE RWY. CONTRIBUING TO CAUSE OF ACDNT WERE (1) DEFICIENCIES IN ATC SVCS PROVIDED BY DETROIT TWR, INCLUDING FAILURE OF GND CTLR TO TAKE TIMELY ACTN TO ALERT LCL CTLR TO PSBL RWY INCURSION, INADQT VIS OBS, FAILURE TO USE PROGRESSIVE TAXI INSTRNS IN LOW-VIS CONDS, & ISSUANCE OF INAPPROPRIATE & CONFUSING TAXI INSTRNS COMPOUNDED BY INADQ BACKUP SUPERVISION FOR LEVEL OF EXPERIENCE OF STAFF ON DUTY; (2) DEFICIENCIES IN SURFACE MARKINGS, SIGNAGE & LGTG AT ARPT & FAILURE OF FAA SURVEILLANCE TO DETECT OR CORRECT ANY OF THESE DEFICIENCIES; (3) FAILURE OF NORTHWEST AIRLINES TO PROVIDE ADQT COCKPIT RESOURCE MAN- AGEMENT TRNG TO LINE AIRCREWS. CONTRIBUTING TO FATALITIES WAS INOPERABILITY OF DC-9 INTERNAL TAILCONE RLS MECHANISM. CONTRIBUTING TO NUMBER & SEVERITY OF INJURIES WAS FAILURE OF CREW OF DC-9 TO PROPERLY EXECUTE THE PSGR EVACUATION.

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