DCA06MA009
DCA06MA009

The Safety Board's full report is available at http://www.ntsb.gov/publictn/publictn.htm. The Aircraft Accident Brief number is NTSB/AAR-07/06.

On December 8, 2005, about 1914 central standard time, Southwest Airlines (SWA) flight 1248, a Boeing 737-7H4, N471WN, ran off the departure end of runway 31 center (31C) after landing at Chicago Midway Airport (MDW), Chicago, Illinois. The airplane rolled through a blast fence, and airport perimeter fence, and onto an adjacent roadway, where it struck an automobile before coming to a stop. A child in the automobile was killed, one automobile occupant received serious injuries, and three other automobile occupants received minor injuries. Eighteen of the 103 airplane occupants (88 passengers, 3 flight attendants, and 2 pilots) received minor injuries, and the airplane was substantially damaged. The airplane was being operated under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 121 and had departed from Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport (BWI), Baltimore, Maryland, about 1758 eastern standard time. Instrument meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident flight, which operated on an instrument flight rules flight plan.

According to the CVR transcript, when the pilots contacted the MDW Air Traffic control Tower (ATCT) at 1909:53.7, controllers advised them to "continue for [runway] 31C the winds zero nine zero at nine, brakin' action reported good for the first half, poor for the second half." About 1912:28, the first officer received a landing clearance from the ATCT. Flight data recorder (FDR) data indicated that the airplane was aligned on the runway centerline as it touched down at an airspeed of about 124 knots. The speed brakes deployed and the brake pressure increased within about 1 second. Both pilots described the touchdown as "firm." The captain stated that he tried to deploy the thrust reversers immediately after touchdown but had difficulty moving the thrust reverser levers to the reverse thrust position. He further stated that he felt the antiskid system cycle after the airplane touched down but then felt it stop cycling and that the airplane seemed to accelerate. He said that he subsequently applied the wheel brakes manually but made no further effort to activate the thrust reversers. He told investigators that he believed that the use of the autobrake system distracted his attention from the thrust reversers after his initial attempt to deploy them.

The first officer said that, when he sensed a decrease in the airplane's deceleration during the landing sequence, he exclaimed, "brakes, brakes, brakes," and manually applied the brakes. He stated that he then looked at the throttle console and saw that the thrust reverse levers were still in the stowed position. The first officer moved the captain's hand away from the thrust reverser levers and, about 15 seconds after touchdown, initiated deployment of the thrust reversers to the maximum reverse setting. FDR evidence confirmed the systems functions described by the pilots and indicated that full thrust reverser deployment occurred about 18 seconds after touchdown.

The first officer stated that, after the airplane came to a rest, he performed the emergency evacuation checklist while the captain checked on the passengers in the cabin. The passengers evacuated through the forward left and the right rear cabin doors.

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