On January 6, 1995, about 0920 central standard time, a McDonnell Douglas MD-88, N981DL, registered to Wilmington Trust Company, operated by Delta Air Lines Inc., as a 14 CFR Part 121 scheduled, domestic, passenger flight, encountered turbulence on climbout about 30 miles east of Monroe, Louisiana. Instrument meteorological conditions prevailed and an IFR flight plan was filed. The airplane was not damaged. The airline transport pilot- in-command, airline transport first officer, 2 flight attendants, and 66 passengers were not injured. One flight attendant sustained a serious injury. The flight originated from Monroe, Louisiana, about 4 minutes before the accident, and diverted to Jackson, Mississippi.

The pilot-in-command stated the airplane encountered light to moderate turbulence on climb-out. The cabin seatbelt signs were illuminated and the flight attendants were briefed to remain seated. The airplane weather avoidance radar was on and no significant weather was present on the radar screen. An overhead compartment had opened up in the cabin area, and a flight attendant got up to secure the overhead compartment. The airplane encountered a couple of seconds of intense moderate turbulence, and the flight attendant collided with the cabin overhead panels.

The digital flight data recorder (DFDR) was removed from the airplane by Delta Airlines personnel for retrieval and analysis. Examination of the DFDR revealed the airplane was climbing through 9,187 feet when the airplane was subjected to intense vertical acceleration (or "g") activity for about 2 1/2 seconds. The DFDR revealed a peak "g" value of 1.771 to a minimum value of -0.276 for a total of 1.9 "g" excursion.

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