NTSB Press Release

National Transportation Safety Board
Office of Public Affairs


March 26, 2001

The National Transportation Safety Board today released factual information on an upset event involving a turboprop aircraft last week near Florida.

On March 19, 2001, about 1830 eastern standard time, the flight crew of Comair flight 5054, an EMB-120, "Brasilia," reported experiencing an upset event after encountering icing conditions. The aircraft was 46 minutes into a scheduled flight from Nassau, Bahamas, to Orlando, Florida. The airplane diverted to West Palm Beach, Florida. Examination of the aircraft found substantial damage to the elevators and the horizontal stabilizer. There were no injuries to the flight crew or 25 passengers.

The Safety Board has assigned Mr. Al Dickinson as the Investigator-in-Charge. NTSB specialists have been assigned to the investigation in the areas of airworthiness, operations, air traffic control, meteorology, human performance, survival factors, aircraft performance, flight data recorder, and cockpit voice recorder. As the aircraft was manufactured in Brazil, the Brazilian authorities have assigned an accredited representative to assist in the investigation, with Embraer, the manufacturer of the airplane, providing a technical advisor. Parties to the investigation are the Federal Aviation Administration, Comair, and the Air Line Pilots Association.

The flight crew was interviewed and provided the following information:

The flight data recorder and the cockpit voice recorder have been examined at the Safety Board's laboratory. The cockpit voice recorder continued to run after the landing and did not provide any useful information regarding the upset. The accident airplane's solid state 25-hour FDR captured the event and functioned until power was removed on the ground. Preliminary review of the FDR data indicate the following sequence of events:

The investigation is continuing.

images of aircraft

NTSB Office of Public Affairs: (202) 314-6100



The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is an independent federal agency charged with determining the probable cause
of transportation accidents, promoting transportation safety, and assisting victims of transportation accidents and their families.