ASN Aircraft accident Boeing 727-225 N8838E Raleigh/Durham Airport, NC (RDU)
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Status:Accident investigation report completed and information captured
Date:Wednesday 12 November 1975
Type:Silhouette image of generic B722 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Boeing 727-225
Operator:Eastern Air Lines
Registration: N8838E
MSN: 20381/823
First flight: 1970-02-07 (5 years 9 months)
Total airframe hrs:15969
Engines: 3 Pratt & Whitney JT8D-7
Crew:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 8
Passengers:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 131
Total:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 139
Aircraft damage: Substantial
Aircraft fate: Repaired
Location:Raleigh/Durham Airport, NC (RDU) (   United States of America)
Phase: Landing (LDG)
Nature:Domestic Scheduled Passenger
Departure airport:Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, GA (ATL/KATL), United States of America
Destination airport:Raleigh/Durham Airport, NC (RDU/KRDU), United States of America
Eastern Air Lines Flight 576 struck the ground about 282 feet short of runway 23 at the Raleigh-Durham Airport, North Carolina, bounced and touched down on the runway, then slid to a stop off the right side of the runway 4,150 feet past the runway threshold. The accident occurred during an instrument landing system approach when the airplane encountered unexpectedly heavy rain while 100 feet above the ground. The airplane was damaged substantially. Of the 139 persons aboard the airplane, eight were injured; one was injured seriously.
On May 19, 1976, the National Transportation Safety Board adopted the accident report and probable cause of the accident. The NTSB had concluded that the accident was caused by "the pilot's failure to execute a missed approach when he lost sight of the runway environment in heavy rain below decision height."
On October 3, 1978, the Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA) submitted a petition for reconsideration of probable cause. As a result of this petition, the accident report and the probable cause were revised as the NTSB concluded that wind shear was involved in the accident.

Probable Cause:

PROBABLE CAUSE: "An encounter with heavy rain and associated downdrafts and wind shear during the final stages of landing when the airplane was less than 100 feet above the ground. The sudden onset of the meteorological conditions did not allow sufficient time for the captain to perceive and react to the effect of the downdraft and wind shear on the airplane's performance to stop the airplane's increased rate of descent and for the airplane to respond before striking the ground short of the runway."

Accident investigation:

Investigating agency: NTSB
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 189 days (6 months)
Accident number: NTSB/AAR-83/06
Download report: Final report

Loss of control

Follow-up / safety actions

NTSB issued 2 Safety Recommendations

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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 Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, GA to Raleigh/Durham Airport, NC as the crow flies is 568 km (355 miles).

This information is not presented as the Flight Safety Foundation or the Aviation Safety Network’s opinion as to the cause of the accident. It is preliminary and is based on the facts as they are known at this time.
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