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Accident Report Detail

Crash During Approach to Landing Empire Airlines Flight 8284 Avions de Transport Regional Aerospatiale Alenia ATR 42-320, N902FX

Executive Summary

Aerospatiale Alenia ATR 42-320, N902FX, operating as Empire Airlines flight 8284, was on an instrument approach when it crashed short of the runway at Lubbock Preston Smith International Airport, Lubbock, Texas. The captain sustained serious injuries, and the first officer sustained minor injuries. The airplane was substantially damaged. The airplane was registered to FedEx Corporation and operated by Empire Airlines, Inc., as a 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 121 supplemental cargo flight. The flight departed from Fort Worth Alliance Airport, Fort Worth, Texas, about 0313. Instrument meteorological conditions prevailed, and an instrument flight rules flight plan was filed.

Probable Cause

The National Transportation Safety Board determines that the probable cause of this accident was the flight crew's failure to monitor and maintain a minimum safe airspeed while executing an instrument approach in icing conditions, which resulted in an aerodynamic stall at low altitude. Contributing to the accident were 1) the flight crew's failure to follow published standard operating procedures in response to a flap anomaly, 2) the captain's decision to continue with the unstabilized approach, 3) the flight crew's poor crew resource management, and 4) fatigue due to the time of day in which the accident occurred and a cumulative sleep debt, which likely impaired the captain's performance.‚Äč

Accident Location: Lubbock , TX    
Accident Date: 1/27/2009
Accident ID: CEN09MA142

Date Adopted: 4/26/2011
NTSB Number: AAR-11-02
NTIS Number: PB2011-910402