NTSB Identification: CHI02LA043.
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Accident occurred Friday, November 30, 2001 in Romulus, MI
Probable Cause Approval Date: 12/06/2002
Aircraft: McDonnell Douglas DC-9-82, registration: N488AA
Injuries: 1 Serious,89 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.

A passenger sustained a serious in-flight injury when the flight encountered turbulence. The passenger stated, "When I got up to go to bathroom there was no warning of any turbulence, there was no seat belt sign. Outside weather, lighting conditions I recall as normal. ... I do not recall any voice announcement of turbulence while I was in the toilet. ... As I was coming out, may be two feet from the entrance of the toilet I was thrown up-down a number of times. I tried to sit or catch the seats in vain. I saw two flight attendants seated and every attempt I made to catch something was failed. It was extremely severe turbulence. ... I fell on the ground. I saw my rt ankle is completely dislocated." The Captain stated, "Seatbelt sign was on from beginning of flight due to light chop. Ride began to deteriorate at [Flight Level] FL280 so we descended to FL240. Ride was still light chop until a point past [London VOR] YXU30 on [Jet airway] J36. We encountered a pocket of severe turb[ulence]. Immediately requested descent to FL200. After receiving clearance to descend ride smoothed out passing FK200. Flight attendants called up on the interphone and reported a man who was exiting aft lav as we hit the turb had injured his foot. Flight attendants reported to captain that foot was possibly broken. Crew notified [Air Traffic Control] ATC of medical emergency and requested landing at DTW and for medical assistance to meet aircraft. ... Uneventful landing was made. Paramedics came up aft airstair at the gate and assisted injured passenger." A flight attendant stated, "Then [the], (passenger) got up and came to the back. I told him that 'the seat belt sign was on and that he should be in his seat with his seat belt on.' He continues to the RH bathroom. [The #4 flight attendant] got up and a PA from the aft PA. She told the passengers that, 'the seat belt sign was on and they should remain in their seat with their seat belts on.' She then returned to row 30 seat F. About 1-2 minutes after her PA the passenger ... came out of the lav. It was bumpier then so I told him to take a seat. Right now in row 30-seat D. As he started in for row 30 we hit severe turbulence."

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

The turbulence encountered in-flight and the passenger not complying with the flight and cabin crew’s warning of the turbulance.

Full narrative available

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