Narrative:United Express Flight 2415 took off from Seattle for a flight to Pasco via Yakima. While flying into Yakima, the flight encountered icing conditions. After landing, the first officer (together with a deadheading pilot) knocked ice of the wings. The NPA station agent at Yakima asked the captain if he wanted to deice the aircraft, or just the tail plane, since both pilots just removed the ice from the wings. The captain declined both offers.
|Date:||Tuesday 26 December 1989|
|Type:||British Aerospace 3101 Jetstream 31|
|Operating for:||United Express|
|Leased from:||North Pacific Airlines - NPA|
|C/n / msn:|| 776|
|First flight:|| 1987|
|Total airframe hrs:||4972|
|Engines:|| 2 Garrett TPE331-10UG-514H|
|Crew:||Fatalities: 2 / Occupants: 2|
|Passengers:||Fatalities: 4 / Occupants: 4|
|Total:||Fatalities: 6 / Occupants: 6 |
|Airplane damage:|| Destroyed|
|Airplane fate:|| Written off (damaged beyond repair)|
|Location:||Pasco-Tri-Cities Airport, WA (PSC) ( United States of America)
|Phase:|| Approach (APR)|
|Nature:||Domestic Scheduled Passenger|
|Departure airport:||Yakima Air Terminal, WA (YKM/KYKM), United States of America|
|Destination airport:||Pasco-Tri-Cities Airport, WA (PSC), United States of America|
The aircraft took off again at 22.03 using runway 27. Since Pasco tower was closing at 22:30, Seattle Center cleared the flight for an ILS runway 21R approach. At 22:30 the aircraft was observed descending fast from a higher than normal altitude. The aircraft suddenly nosed over and crashed short of the runway.
PROBABLE CAUSE: "The flight crew's decision to continue an unstabilized instrument landing system approach that led to a stall, most likely of the horizontal stabilizer, and loss of control at low altitude. Contributing to the accident was the air traffic controller's improper vectors that positioned the airplane inside the outer marker while it was still well above the glide slope. Contributing to the stall and loss of control was the accumulation of airframe ice that degraded the aerodynamic performance of the airplane."
» NTSB Safety Recommendations A-94-70 through -72
» Ian Churchill
» NTSB Safety Recommendations A-92-59 through -65
Official accident investigation report
Follow-up / safety actions
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 Yakima Air Terminal, WA to Pasco-Tri-Cities Airport, WA as the crow flies is 114 km (71 miles).