Accident McDonnell Douglas DC-9-82 (MD-82) N823NK,
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Date:Tuesday 4 June 2002
Type:Silhouette image of generic MD82 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different    
McDonnell Douglas DC-9-82 (MD-82)
Owner/operator:Spirit Airlines
Registration: N823NK
MSN: 48020/1045
Total airframe hrs:53116 hours
Engine model:Pratt & Whitney JT8D-219
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 111
Aircraft damage: Substantial, repaired
Location:37 km W of Wichita, KS -   United States of America
Phase: En route
Nature:Passenger - Scheduled
Departure airport:Denver International Airport, CO (DEN/KDEN)
Destination airport:Fort Lauderdale International Airport, FL (FLL/KFLL)
Investigating agency: NTSB
Confidence Rating: Accident investigation report completed and information captured
Flight 970 experienced a gradual loss of power in both of its engines while in cruise flight at flight level 330. The aural stall warning and stick shaker activated, following which the pilots disengaged the autopilot, turned on the engines’ ignition, activated the engines’ anti-ice system, and initiated a descent towards Wichita. The pilots shut down the right engine when its exhaust gas temperature (EGT) increased to about 600 ° Celsius and were able to restart it again on the second attempt at about 17,000 feet. The left engine recovered on its own shortly thereafter. The flight then diverted to the Wichita Mid-Continent Airport where it landed safely.

PROBABLE CAUSE: "The flightcrew's failure to verify the engine instrument indications and powerplant controls while on autopilot with the autothrottles engaged, and their failure to recognize the drop in airspeed which led to an aerodynamic stall associated with the reduction in engine power. Factors were the presence of ice crystals at altitude, and the icing of the engine inlet probes resulting in a false engine pressure ratio indication."

Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: NTSB
Report number: CHI02IA151
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 2 years and 7 months
Download report: Final report



Revision history:


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