LAX99LA087
LAX99LA087

On February 1, 1999, about 0710 hours Pacific standard time, a passenger sustained a fractured hip on America West Airlines Flight 5 while en route between Tampa, Florida, and Las Vegas, Nevada. The accident occurred while the aircraft was in cruise flight at flight level 310, approximately 1.5 hours after departure from Tampa. The aircraft, an Airbus A320-232, N640AW, was not damaged. The captain, first officer, 3 cabin attendants and the remaining 129 passengers were not injured. The operation was conducted under 14 CFR Part 121 of the Federal Aviation Regulations as a scheduled domestic passenger flight, which originated in Tampa at 0640 eastern standard time as a non-stop flight to Las Vegas. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and an instrument flight rules flight plan was filed.

According to the statements of the three cabin attendants and the flight crew, the aircraft had been in light to moderate turbulence for most of the flight. The seat belt sign was illuminated and several public address system announcements had been made for the passengers to remain seated with their seat belts fastened. The flight and cabin crewmembers reported that at the time of the incident the turbulence had abated and the ride was smooth; however, the seat belt sign remained illuminated. A 70-year-old male passenger in seat 23C got up and began walking toward the aft lavatory. One cabin attendant told the passenger to return to his seat unless it was an absolute necessity to visit the lavatory. The passenger, who has two artificial legs, declined to follow the cabin attendant's instruction and continued to the aft galley area where he fell, fracturing his hip. The crew obtained medical advice by radio from Med Link, and, after consultation with a physician, the aircraft continued to its destination.

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