Accident description
Last updated: 27 August 2014
Status:Final
Date:Sunday 27 December 1987
Time:23:39
Type:Silhouette image of generic DC93 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
McDonnell Douglas DC-9-31
Operator:Eastern Air Lines
Registration: N8948E
C/n / msn: 47184/274
First flight: 1968
Total airframe hrs:55645
Engines: 2 Pratt & Whitney JT8D-7B
Crew:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 4
Passengers:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 103
Total:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 107
Airplane damage: Substantial
Airplane fate: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:Pensacola Regional Airport, FL (PNS) (   United States of America) show on map
Phase: Landing (LDG)
Nature:Domestic Scheduled Passenger
Departure airport:Atlanta-William B. Hartsfield International Airport, GA (ATL/KATL), United States of America
Destination airport:Pensacola Regional Airport, FL (PNS/KPNS), United States of America
Flightnumber: 573
Narrative:
As Flight EA573 approached Pensacola, the crew were told to expect a runway 16 ILS approach. At 23:30 the controller advised that the glide slope monitor in the tower had just gone into alarm (unreliable indications), and repeated this message several times during the approach. At 2000 feet from the runway (at 400 feet agl) the first officer told the captain he was high on the glide slope. The captain then reduced power and pushed the nose over. The captain started the flare, but the nosegear touched the runway before reaching a level attitude. The DC-9 bounced back into the air and touched down hard again. This caused the cabin to break open just aft of the wings (between Stations 813 and 756), causing the aircraft to stop with the tail resting on the runway.

PROBABLE CAUSE: "The captain's failure to maintain a proper descent rate on final approach or to execute a missed approach, which caused the airplane to contact the runway with a sink rate exceeding the airplane's design limitations. Contributing to the cause of the accident was the failure of the captain and first officer to make required altitude callouts and to properly monitor the flight instruments during the approach."

Sources:
» Aviation Week & Space Technology 4.1.88(68/69)
» NTSB/AAR-89/02/SUM

Official accident investigation report
investigating agency: National Transport Safety Bureau (NTSB) - USA
report status: Final
report number: NTSB/AAR-89-02-SUM
download report: NTSB/AAR-89-02-SUM
cover

Follow-up / safety actions

NTSB issued 2 Safety Recommendations

Show all AD's and Safety Recommendations

Photos

photo of McDonnell Douglas DC-9-31 N8948E
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Map
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 Atlanta-William B. Hartsfield International Airport, GA to Pensacola Regional Airport, FL as the crow flies is 435 km (272 miles).

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