NTSB Identification: NYC02LA065.
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Scheduled 14 CFR Continental Airlines Inc.
Accident occurred Tuesday, February 19, 2002 in Beaumont, TX
Probable Cause Approval Date: 04/17/2003
Aircraft: Boeing 737-724, registration: N24736
Injuries: 1 Serious,74 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.

The Boeing 737 departed into an area of known thunderstorms. After departure, at an altitude of 15,000 feet, the flight was operating in and out of clouds. The pilot reported that he was not receiving any significant weather radar returns ahead of the airplane. However, as he cleared a layer of clouds, he observed a cumulus cloud that was ahead of the airplane. The cloud was too close to avoid and he flew through the top of the cloud. While in the cloud, the airplane encountered turbulence which threw a flight attendant located in the rear of the airplane into the air, and he subsequently fell and fractured his ankle. The captain had briefed the crew prior to departure, but did not include any specific comments about delaying the start of cabin service until clear of the thunderstorms, nor was he specifically required to. The airline had no written direction for the flight attendants to know when they could leave their seats and begin cabin service.

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

An inadvertent encounter with convective induced turbulence, which injured a flight attendant. Factors were the failure of the airline to supply direction to the flight crew to indicate when the flight attendants could begin cabin service, and the convective induced turbulence.

Full narrative available

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