SEA96LA026
SEA96LA026

On November 25, 1995, at 1523 hours Pacific standard time, N953UA, a Boeing 737-522, operated as United Airlines Flight 2026, encountered turbulence while descending for landing at the Portland International Airport, Portland, Oregon. A cabin crew member was seriously injured during the encounter. The other four crew members and 107 passengers were not injured. The airplane was not damaged. Instrument meteorological conditions prevailed and an instrument flight rules flight plan had been filed. The flight departed San Francisco, California, at 1409 and was en route to Portland. The flight was operated under 14 CFR 121.

In a written statement, the captain reported that at the beginning of the descent from 28,000 feet above mean sea level (msl), he turned on the seatbelt sign and informed the cabin crew "... that there might be some chop in [descent] and to put things away early." The captain reported that the airplane then encountered "moderate turbulence lasting approximately 15 [seconds]." The captain immediately informed the flight attendants to be seated.

While securing the cabin at the time of the turbulent encounter, one of the flight attendants fell backwards onto a stove in the galley and fractured his scapula. Another flight attendant, who was in the aisle, reported that she grabbed the back of a passenger seat and immediately sat down on the aisle. Nearby passengers held onto the flight attendant so that she would not be thrown around.

The captain further stated that "no [turbulence was] reported other than [light] chop" prior to the accident. No evidence was found from either the captain's statement or flight attendants' statements to indicate that the captain urged the flight attendants to immediately take their seats prior to the turbulent encounter.

According to documentation provided by United Airlines personnel, other aircraft reported, via the Aircraft Communication Addressing and Reporting System (ACARS), that during the climb and descent phase, there was significant wind shears between 20,000 feet msl to 28,000 feet msl near the time of the accident. The National Weather Service high level significant weather chart forecasted moderate turbulence between 30,000 feet msl to 37,000 feet msl over Oregon.

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