Aircraft Accident Report

Continental Airlines, INC., Flight 1713 McDonnell Douglas DC-9-14, N26TX

Denver Colorado
November 15, 1987

NTSB Number: AAR-88-09
NTIS Number: PB88-910411

Executive Summary:

On November 15, 1987, Continental Airlines, Inc., flight 1713, a McDonnell Douglas DC-9-14, N626TX, was operating as a regularly scheduled, passenger-carrying flight between Denver, Colorado, and Boise, Idaho. The airplane was cleared to take off from Stapleton International Airport following a delay of approximately 27 minutes after deicing. The takeoff roll was uneventful, but following a rapid rotation, the airplane crashed off the right side of runway 35 left. Both pilots, 1 flight attendant, and 25 passengers sustained fatal injuries. Two flight attendants and 52 passengers survived.

Probable Cause

The National Transportation Safety Board determines that the probable cause of this accident was the captain's failure to have the airplane deiced a second time after a delay before takeoff that led to upper wing surface contamination and a loss of control during rapid takeoff rotation by the first officer. Contributing to the accident were the absence of regulatory or management controls governing operations by newly qualified flightcrew members and the confusion that existed between the flightcrew members and air traffic controllers that led to the delay in departure.

The Safety issues discussed in this report include:


Recommendations concerning these issues were addressed to the Federal Aviation Administration, the National Fire Association, the American Association of Airport Executives, the Airport Operators Council International, and Continental Airlines, Inc.