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Last updated: 25 March 2019
Date:Tuesday 30 May 1972
Type:Silhouette image of generic DC91 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Douglas DC-9-14
Operator:Delta Air Lines
Registration: N3305L
C/n / msn: 45700/11
First flight: 1965
Total airframe hrs:18998
Engines: 2 Pratt & Whitney JT8D-7
Crew:Fatalities: 4 / Occupants: 4
Passengers:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 0
Total:Fatalities: 4 / Occupants: 4
Aircraft damage: Damaged beyond repair
Location:Fort Worth-Greater Southwest Airport, TX (GSW) (   United States of America)
Phase: Approach (APR)
Departure airport:Fort Worth-Greater Southwest International Airport, TX (GSW/KGSW), United States of America
Destination airport:Fort Worth-Greater Southwest International Airport, TX (GSW/KGSW), United States of America
An American Airlines DC-10 on a training flight had just performed a touch-and-go when the Delta DC-9 approached runway 13. The DC-9 suddenly began to roll when passing the runway threshold. The right wing struck the runway and the aircraft crashed in flames.

Probable Cause:

PROBABLE CAUSE: "An encounter with a trailing vortex generated by a preceding "heavy" jet which resulted in an involuntary loss of control of the airplane during final approach. Although cautioned to expect turbulence the crew did not have sufficient information to evaluate accurately the hazard or the possible location of the vortex. Existing FAA procedures for controlling VFR flight did not provide the same protection from a vortex encounter as was provided to flights being given radar vectors in either IFR or VFR conditions."

Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: NTSB
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 287 days (10 months)
Accident number: NTSB/AAR-73-03
Download report: Final report

» NTSB-AAR-73-3

Follow-up / safety actions

NTSB issued 8 Safety Recommendations

Show all...


photo of McDonnell Douglas DC-9-14 N3305L
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This information is not presented as the Flight Safety Foundation or the Aviation Safety Network’s opinion as to the cause of the accident. It is preliminary and is based on the facts as they are known at this time.
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  • 147 built
  • 4th loss
  • 3rd fatal accident
  • 3rd worst accident (at the time)
  • 11th worst accident (currently)
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