DEN08LA055
DEN08LA055

On February 3, 2008, at 0659 mountain standard time, a de Havilland DHC-8-202, N444YV, operated by Mesa Airlines as flight 7106 and piloted by an airline transport certificated pilot, was not damaged when it encountered severe turbulence approximately 35 miles northwest of Denver, Colorado. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident. The scheduled domestic passenger flight was being conducted under the provisions of Title 14 CFR Part 121, and an instrument flight rules flight plan had been filed. The flight attendant was seriously injured and the captain sustained minor injuries. There were no injuries to the first officer and 19 passengers aboard the flight. The flight originated at Casper, Wyoming, approximately 0545, and was en route to DEN.

According to Mesa Airlines, the flight was descending on the RAMMS 5 STAR (Standard Terminal Arrival Route) and was encountering "light chop." The FASTEN SEATBELTS sign was illuminated. Approximately 5 miles inside RAMMS intersection, as the flight was descending from 14,000 feet to 13,000 feet, it encountered severe turbulence. The captain called the flight attendant on the intercom, but she did not answer. An emergency medical technician (EMT), who was a passenger on the flight, answered and reported the flight attendant was lying on the floor unconscious. The EMT and an off-duty United flight attendant tended to the injured flight attendant. The captain declared an emergency and the airplane landed at Denver. The flight attendant was transported to a hospital where she underwent surgery for several fractured vertebrae. It was later determined that the captain had suffered a slight concussion.

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