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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 140475
Last updated: 6 January 2022
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Type:Silhouette image of generic B737 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Boeing 737-7H4
Owner/operator:Southwest Airlines Co
Registration: N261WN
MSN: 32517/2133
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 100
Aircraft damage: None
Location:over Yosemite National Park, CA -   United States of America
Phase: En route
Nature:Passenger - Scheduled
Departure airport:Albuquerque, NM (ABQ)
Destination airport:Oakland, CA (OAK)
Investigating agency: NTSB
The flight was transitioning through an area of known severe turbulence. One of the flight attendants reported that the flight crew asked the cabin crew to secure the cabin early as they expected to encounter turbulence during the descent. Shortly thereafter, the airplane encountered severe turbulence and the flight attendants were thrown about the galley; one sustained a serious injury. The cockpit voice recorder contained audio that was not relevant to the flight (it was likely recorded over by subsequent events), thus it could not be conclusively determined when the flight crew asked the flight attendants to be seated because they could not recall. It is likely that the flight crew’s request for the cabin to be secured was close to the time of the turbulence encounter, since none of the flight attendants had completed securing the service items when the encounter occurred. Synoptic conditions were favorable for mountain wave activity and a significant meteorological information (SIGMET) advisory and airmen’s meteorological information advisories had been issued for turbulence over the region. The flight crew also had an advisory issued from their enhanced weather information systems for severe turbulence. The event occurred in the region that the SIGMET and the advisory for severe turbulence had been issued. According to the filed flight plan, the flight was to descend before entering the advisory area for weather avoidance; however, the planned descent was not followed.
Probable Cause: The flight crew’s flight into known severe turbulence associated with mountain wave activity.



Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: NTSB
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 1 year and 11 months
Download report: Final report

Revision history:

18-Dec-2011 17:16 Geno Added
21-Dec-2016 19:26 ASN Update Bot Updated [Time, Damage, Category, Investigating agency]
27-Nov-2017 17:39 ASN Update Bot Updated [Other fatalities, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Narrative]

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