Narrative:Flight 5719 departed Minneapolis at 8:52, 42 minutes late. The delay was due to the late arrival of the aircraft, replacement of the landing light bulbs, and removal of a passenger because the aircraft was 130 pounds over the MTOW.
The flight was cleared for a runway 31 ILS approach, but the flight crew requested (and were cleared for) a localizer back course approach to runway 13 because there was a tailwind on the approach to runway 31 and the runway was covered with precipitation. The flight crew initiated the approach procedure by joining the HIB 20 DME arc from the HIB VOR and intercepting the localizer at 8000 feet msl. The delayed the start of the descent, possibly prompted by a desire to minimize time in icing conditions. This subsequently required an excessive rate of descent to reach the final approach fix and minimum descent height for the nonprecision approach. The aircraft descended at 2250 ft/min and was 1200 feet above the minimum altitude when overhead the KINNY final approach fix (at 14 DME). The aircraft continued its descent and descended through the 2040 feet step down altitude from 14 to 10 DME at around 2500 feet/min. The aircraft finally struck the top of a tree, continued and struck a group of aspen trees 634 feet later. The plane struck two ridges and came to rest inverted and lying on its right side.
PROBABLE CAUSE: " The captain's actions that led to a breakdown in crew coordination and the loss of altitude awareness by the flight crew during an unstabilized approach in night instrument meteorological conditions. Contributing to the accident were: the failure of the company management to adequately address the previously identified deficiencies in airmanship and crew resource management of the captain; the failure of the company to identify and correct a widespread, unapproved practice during instrument approach procedures; and the Federal Aviation Administration's inadequate surveillance and oversight of the air carrier."
» NTSB Safety Recommendations A-94-113/117
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 Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, MN to Hibbing-Chisholm Airport, MN as the crow flies is 278 km (174 miles).