On October 31, 1994, at 1559 Central Standard Time, an Avions de Transport Regional, model 72-212 (ATR 72), registration number N401AM, leased to and operated by Simmons Airlines, Incorporated, and doing business as American Eagle flight 4184, crashed during a rapid descent after an uncommanded roll excursion. The airplane was in a holding pattern and was descending to a newly assigned altitude of 8,000 feet when the initial roll excursion occurred.
The airplane was destroyed by impact forces; and the captain, first officer, 2 flight attendants and 64 passengers received fatal injuries. Flight 4184 was a regularly scheduled passenger flight being conducted under 14 Code of Federal Regulations, Part 121; and an instrument flight rules flight plan had been filed.
The safety issues in this report focused on communicating hazardous weather information to flightcrews, Federal regulations regarding aircraft icing and icing certification requirements, the monitoring of aircraft airworthiness, and flightcrew training for unusual events/attitudes.
In accordance with Annex 13 to the Convention on International Civil Aviation, the Bureau Enquetes-Accidents provided comments on the Safety Board's draft of the accident report that are contained in Volume II of this report (see AAR-96-02).