ANC01LA018
ANC01LA018

On November 13, 2000, about 1212 Alaska standard time, a Boeing 737-790 airplane, N611AS, encountered moderate turbulence during initial approach to the Ted Stevens International Airport, Anchorage, Alaska. The flight was conducted under Title 14, CFR Part 121, as a scheduled domestic passenger flight, operated by Alaska Airlines, Inc., as Flight 135. There were no injuries to the two pilots, 95 passengers, or two of the three flight attendants aboard. The remaining flight attendant sustained serious injuries. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and an instrument flight plan had been filed for the flight from Chicago, Illinois.

During a telephone conversation with the National Transportation Safety Board investigator-in-charge on November 14, the captain reported that prior to starting the descent, he received reports of moderate turbulence in the area of the Ted Stevens International Airport. He said that he instructed the cabin attendants to secure the cabin early in anticipation of turbulence during the approach. While descending through 13,000 feet the captain made an announcement over the airplane's public address system, stating "Flight attendants, if you have not already done so, please be seated now." The captain said that in the process of making the announcement, he emphasized the term now. During the initial descent the captain characterized the turbulence as "basically smooth" until reaching about 11,000 feet. He added that as he turned the aircraft to an assigned heading of 240 degrees, and while descending through 11,000 feet, the airplane experienced a substantial vertical drop. The captain said that during the rest of the descent, the turbulence continued to be moderate until descending through 4,000 feet, where it dissipated. The flight continued to the Ted Stevens International Airport, and landed without further incident. He added that he was unaware that anyone had been injured until after landing, when one of the other flight attendants informed him of the aft flight attendant's injuries.

During an interview with the National Transportation Safety Board investigator-in-charge on November 16, the injured flight attendant related that before the flight crew initiated the descent, the attendants were asked to ready the cabin early in anticipation of turbulence. She said that after storing all of the service equipment, the captain made the announcement over the public address system, reminding the flight attendants be seated, "now." She said that as she walked to the back of the airplane, and just before she was to be seated, she noticed that a few remaining service carts located in the aft galley were not locked down. She stated that as she locked down one of the last remaining service carts, "the floor just fell out from under my feet, my head hit the ceiling, and I landed back on the floor, on my right leg."

The flight attendant sustained a broken right ankle.

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