Narrative:Northwest Flight 255 departed Saginaw for a flight to Detroit, Phoenix and Santa Ana, arriving at Detroit (DTW) at 19:42. Pushback for departure was accomplished at 20:34 and the crew received taxi instructions for runway 3C. During the taxi out, the captain missed the turnoff at taxiway C and new taxi instructions were given. At 20:42 Flight 255 was told to taxi into position on runway 3C and hold, followed by a takeoff clearance two minutes later. Shortly after rotation the stick shaker (stall warning) activated. The aircraft rolled left and right and the left wing struck a light pole in a car rental lot. Flight 255 continued to roll to the left, continued across the car lot, struck a light pole in a second rental car lot and struck the side wall of the roof in a 90deg left wing down attitude. The plane was still rolling to the left when it impacted the ground on a road outside the airport boundary and continued to slide along the road, striking a railroad embankment, disintegrating and bursting into flames.
PROBABLE CAUSE: "The flight crew's failure to use the taxi checklist to ensure that the flaps and slats were extended for take-off. Contributing the accident was the absence of electrical power to the airplane take-off warning system which thus did not warn the flight crew that the airplane was not configured properly for take-off. The reason for the absence of electrical power could not be determined."
Official accident investigation report
Follow-up / safety actions
Flight path and cvr extracts
This map shows the airport of departure and the intended destination of the flight. The line between the airports does not
display the exact flight path.
Distance from Detroit-Metropolitan Wayne County Airport, MI to Phoenix-Sky Harbor International Airport, AZ as the crow flies is 2665 km (1666 miles).