Accident description
Last updated: 22 August 2014
Status:Final
Date:Thursday 9 January 1997
Time:15:54
Type:Embraer 120RT Brasilia
Operating for:Delta Connection
Leased from:Comair
Registration: N265CA
C/n / msn: 120257
First flight: 1991
Total airframe hrs:12752
Cycles:12734
Engines: 2 Pratt & Whitney Canada PW118
Crew:Fatalities: 3 / Occupants: 3
Passengers:Fatalities: 26 / Occupants: 26
Total:Fatalities: 29 / Occupants: 29
Airplane damage: Destroyed
Airplane fate: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:near Monroe, MI (   United States of America) show on map
Phase: Approach (APR)
Nature:Domestic Scheduled Passenger
Departure airport:Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky Airport, KY (CVG/KCVG), United States of America
Destination airport:Detroit-Metropolitan Wayne County Airport, MI (DTW/KDTW), United States of America
Flightnumber:3272
Narrative:
The Embraer aircraft had departed Cincinnati at 14:53 for a flight to Detroit. Thirty-eight seconds before impact the aircraft was flying at 4000 feet with a speed of 164 knots, flaps and gear retracted and engines at flight idle. After making a turn to a 090deg. heading, the Brasilia then started a slight roll to the left. When the angle was about 20deg. left wing down, the crew tried to counteract the roll (t-33 sec). The bank angle increased through 30deg. at t-29 sec, followed by an increase in engine power when the crew tried to stop the pitch from decreasing at t-26 sec. At t-17 sec airspeed had dropped to 145 knots when a rapid roll from 40deg. to 146deg. left bank was experienced. At t-10 sec the pitch decreased from 3deg. nose-up to 50deg. nose-down. The aircraft descended out of control, experiencing some steep roll and pitch oscillations and crashed nose down into a snowy field 18 miles short of the Detroit-Metropolitan Airport runway 03. There were indications that the pilots had tried to activate the engine-fire extinguishing system, though no traces of fire on the no. 2 engine have been found by the NTSB.

PROBABLE CAUSE: The National Transportation Safety Board determines that the probable cause of this accident was the FAA's failure to establish adequate aircraft certification standards for flight in icing conditions, the FAA's failure to ensure that an FAA/CTA-approved procedure for the accident airplane's deice system operation was implemented by U.S.-based air carriers, and the FAA's failure to require the establishment of adequate minimum airspeeds for icing conditions, which led to the loss of control when the airplane accumulated a thin, rough accretion of ice on its lifting surfaces.
Contributing to the accident were the flight crew's decision to operate in icing conditions near the lower margin of the operating airspeed envelope (with flaps retracted), and Comair's failure to establish and adequately disseminate unambiguous minimum airspeed values for flap configurations and for flight in icing conditions."

Classification:
Icing
Loss of control

Sources:
» NTSB Id. DCA97MA017

Official accident investigation report
investigating agency: National Transport Safety Bureau (NTSB) - USA
report status: Final
report number: NTSB/AAR-98-04
report released:04-NOV-1998
duration of investigation:664 days (1 year 10 months)
download report: In-Flight Icing Encounter and Uncontrolled Collision with Terrain COMAIR Flight 3272 Embraer EMB-120RT, N265CA Monroe, Michigan January 9, 1997 (NTSB/AAR-98-04)
cover

Follow-up / safety actions

NTSB issued 25 Safety Recommendations

Show all AD's and Safety Recommendations

Photos

photo of Embraer 120RT Brasilia N265CA
Add your photo of this accident or aircraft
 

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 Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky Airport, KY to Detroit-Metropolitan Wayne County Airport, MI as the crow flies is 367 km (229 miles).

languages: English Franšais Nederlands Deutsch Espanol

Share
Share

Embraer 120

  • 8th loss
  • 357 built
  • worst accident (at the time)
  • 2nd worst accident (currently)
safety profile

 United States of America
  • 107th worst accident (at the time)
  • 115th worst accident (currently)
»safety profile