NTSB Identification: CHI04LA127.
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Scheduled 14 CFR (D.B.A. American Airlines)
Accident occurred Wednesday, May 26, 2004 in Near St. Louis, MO
Probable Cause Approval Date: 02/24/2005
Aircraft: McDonnell Douglas DC-9-82 (MD-82), registration: N573AA
Injuries: 1 Serious,1 Minor,86 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 flight attendant was seriously injured and a passenger received a minor injury when the airplane encountered turbulence during an arrival descent. The airplane was descending through 12,000 feet at 280 to 290 knots when it encountered an updraft. The captain reported they had just entered the cloud tops when they encountered an updraft that lasted about 2 seconds. The cockpit crew was then informed that a flight attendant in the rear of the airplane was thrown off her feet and injured. A passenger who was in the lavatory when the turbulence was encountered, reported that he hit his head. The flight crew declared an emergency. The flight was immediately cleared for an approach, and they were met by medical personnel after an uneventful landing. The passenger refused treatment. The flight attendant was transported to a hospital where it was determined that she suffered broken ribs, a fractured wrist, and pelvic fractures. According to crewmembers, the seatbelt sign was on when the turbulence was encountered. Although storms were not present along the flight path, SIGMETS had been issued for severe storms in the surrounding area. Approximately 15 minutes after this accident, another MD-80 reported severe turbulence along the same route.

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

The unexpected encounter with convective turbulence which resulted in a flight attendant being injured.

Full narrative available

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