Accident description
Last updated: 19 April 2014
Status:Final
Date:Saturday 17 March 2001
Time:07:05 EST
Type:Silhouette image of generic A320 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Airbus A320-212
Operator:Northwest Airlines
Registration: N357NW
C/n / msn: 830
First flight: 1998
Total airframe hrs:9346
Engines: 2 CFMI CFM56-5A3
Crew:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 6
Passengers:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 145
Total:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 151
Airplane damage: Substantial
Airplane fate: Repaired
Location:Detroit-Metropolitan Wayne County Airport, MI (DTW) (   United States of America)
Phase: Takeoff (TOF)
Nature:Domestic Scheduled Passenger
Departure airport:Detroit-Metropolitan Wayne County Airport, MI (DTW/KDTW), United States of America
Destination airport:Miami International Airport, FL (MIA/KMIA), United States of America
Flightnumber: 985
Narrative:
Takeoff was initiated on runway 3C (8,500 feet by 200 feet, wet). The flight crew reported that at an airspeed of approximately 110 knots, the nose of the airplane began to lift off. The captain attempted to lower the nose, however, the airplane was unresponsive. The airplane became airborne and climbed to an altitude of 20 to 30 feet above the runway. The captain reduced the power on both engines and the airplane settled to the runway, striking the tail. The airplane traveled approximately 700 feet off the end of the runway where it came to rest in the muddy terrain. An emergency evacuation was performed during which the L2 evacuation slide did not deploy. During the investigation, NTSB determined that the airplane was loaded so that its center of gravity (CG), although within limits, was in the aft region of the permissible range. Further, the flight crew had incorrectly set the trim for the trimmable horizontal stabilizer (THS) at -1.7░UP (airplane nose up). This setting resulted in a pitch-up trim condition. The proper trim setting, 1.7░DN (airplane nose down), would have resulted in a correct trim condition for the way the airplane was loaded. The improperly set trim caused the nose of the airplane to lift off the runway prematurely.

PROBABLE CAUSE: "The pilot induced oscillations and the delay in aborting the takeoff. Factors associated with the accident were the first officer used an improper trim setting and the captain did not identify and correct the setting during the taxi checklist, and the wet runway conditions."

Sources:
» NTSB id CHI01FA104


Follow-up / safety actions

FAA issued 1 Airworthiness Directive
NTSB issued 4 Safety Recommendations

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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 Detroit-Metropolitan Wayne County Airport, MI to Miami International Airport, FL as the crow flies is 1834 km (1146 miles).

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