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Last updated: 27 September 2020
Statuts:Enquête Officielle
Date:dimanche 22 décembre 1996
Type/Sous-type:Silhouette image of generic DC86 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
McDonnell Douglas DC-8-63F
Compagnie:Airborne Express
Immatriculation: N827AX
Numéro de série: 45901/293
Année de Fabrication: 1967
Heures de vol:62800
Moteurs: 4 Pratt & Whitney JT3D-7 (Q)
Equipage:victimes: 3 / à bord: 3
Passagers:victimes: 3 / à bord: 3
Total:victimes: 6 / à bord: 6
Dégats de l'appareil: Détruit
Conséquences: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Lieu de l'accident:6,5 km (4.1 milles) W of Narrows, VA (   Etats-Unis d'Amérique)
Phase de vol: En cours de manoeuvre (MNV)
Aéroport de départ:Greensboro/High Point-Piedmont Triad International Airport, NC (GSO/KGSO), Etats-Unis d'Amérique
Aéroport de destination:Greensboro/High Point-Piedmont Triad International Airport, NC (GSO/KGSO), Etats-Unis d'Amérique
Numéro de vol: 827
DC-8 N827AX had received major modifications at Triad International Maintenance Corporation (TIMCO), including a "D" check (major airplane overhaul), modification and standardization of cockpit, avionics and airplane systems, installation of a cargo handling system and engine modifications to achieve Stage III noise level requirements. A partial functional evaluation flight was conducted on December 21, 1996, but was terminated when the airplane developed a hydraulic system anomaly (low fluid quantity indication). Due to maintenance delays the aircraft departed 4 hours and 20 minutes late, at 17:40, the following day. The crew were assigned a block altitude of FL130 to FL150 with an IFR clearance back to Greensboro Airport. The planned flight duration was about 2 hours. The airplane climbed through FL90feet at 17:43 and was level at FL141 at 17:45. At 18:05, after performing several landing gear, hydraulic and engine system checks, the flight engineer told the other flight crew members that the "next thing is our stall series. The evaluation flight profile form required that the flight crew identify and record the speed at which the stick shaker activated and the speed of the stall indication. The crew slowed the aircraft down one knot at a time. At 18:08:09, the sound of rattling was heard on the CVR and, at 18:08:11, the flight engineer said "that’s a stall right there... ain’t no [stick] shaker" (at 145 knots). The crew tried to recover from the stall by selecting maximum power. The nose was brought down to gain speed. Not able to recover from the stall, the aircraft struck mountainous terrain in a 52-degree, left wing low and 26-degree, nose-down attitude about 3,400 feet msl.

Probable Cause:

PROBABLE CAUSE: " The National Transportation Safety Board determines that the probable causes of this accident were the inappropriate control inputs applied by the flying pilot during a stall recovery attempt, the failure of the non-flying pilot-in-command to recognize, address and correct these inappropriate control inputs, and the failure of Airborne Express to establish a formal, functional evaluation flight program that included adequate program guidelines, requirements and pilot training for performance of these flights.
Contributing to the cause of the accident were the inoperative stick shaker stall warning system and Airborne Express DC-8 flight training simulator's inadequate fidelity in reproducing the airplane's stall characteristics."

Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: NTSB
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 205 days (7 months)
Accident number: NTSB/AAR-97-05
Download report: Final report

» SKYbrary 
» Aviation Week & Space Technology 3.3.1997 (41)
» Business & Commercial Aviation Nov. 1997 (98)
» NTSB/AAR-97/05
» After Intentionally Stalling DC-8, Crew Uses Incorrect Recovery Technique, Resulting in Uncontrolled Descent and Collision with Terrain

Opérations de secours

NTSB issued 7 Safety Recommendations

Show all...


photo of DC-8-63F-N929R
accident date: 22-12-1996
type: McDonnell Douglas DC-8-63F
registration: N929R


Les informations ci-dessus ne représentent pas l'opinion de la 'Flight Safety Foundation' ou de 'Aviation Safety Network' sur les causes de l'accident. Ces informations prélimimaires sont basées sur les faits tel qu'ils sont connus à ce jour.
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  • 76ème loss
  • 47ème accident fatal
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