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19 October 1996 - Delta 554

Delta Airlines Flight 554, a McDonnell Douglas MD-88, registration N914DL, descended below the visual glidepath and collided with terrain on approach to New York's LaGuardia Airport during a thunderstorm. There were 3 minor injuries and 60 uninjured.

Just before touchdown, after an ILS/DME approach to Runway 13, the right wing struck approach lights. The maingear then struck the runway end and broke off, causing the aircraft to skid down the runway for 2700ft. Weather at the time was 800ft broken ceiling, 0,5mile visibility in fog, a Runway Visual Range of 3000ft and possible low level windshear.

PROBABLE CAUSE: "The National Transportation Safety Board determines that the probable cause of this accident was the inability of the captain, because of his use of monovision contact lenses, to overcome his misperception of the airplane's position relative to the runway during the visual portion of the approach. This misperception occurred because of visual illusions produced by the approach over water in limited light conditions, the absence of visible ground features, the rain and fog, and the irregular spacing of the runway lights.
Contributing to the accident was the lack of instantaneous vertical speed information available to the pilot not flying, and the incomplete guidance available to optometrists, aviation medical examiners, and pilots regarding the prescription of unapproved monovision contact lenses for use by pilots."

Download the full NTSB report


Transcript of the Cockpit Voice Recorder (CVR)

Legenda:
CAM - Cockpit area microphone
HOT - Crewmember hot microphones
RDO - Radio transmission from accident aircraft
-1 - Voice (or position) identified as Captain
-2 - Voice (or position) identified as First Officer
-3, -4, -5 - Voice identified as Flight Attendant
-? - Unidentifiable voice
LGATWR - LaGuardia Local Tower Control
TWA8630 - TWA flight eighty-six thirty
UAL1576 - United Air Lines flight fifteen seventy-six
INT/PA - Flight Attendant intercom and/or passenger public address system
* - Unintelligible word
# - Expletive deleted
@ - Nonpertinent word (or name)
. . . - Pause
() - Questionable text
[] - Editorial insertion
. - Break in continuity

0437: 24 HOT- 2 starting to pick up some ground contact.
0437: 27 HOT- 1 one zero at one two .. okay.
0437: 29 TWA8630 twa eighty- six thirty needs to turn off.
0437: 31 LGATWR twa eighty- six thirty make the first right turn runway four two two .. can you do that for me sir?
0437: 31 HOT- 1 I got the jet.
0437: 33 HOT- 2 alright.
0437: 37 LGATWR [momentary transmission interference] if you could expedite traffic on a two mile final ah prevent him from going around.
0437: 41 TWA8630 twa eighty- six thirty's turning off.
0437: 43 LGATWR thank you very much .. and ah say the reason for the abort sir?
0437: 48 LGATWR twa eighty- six thirty just continue down the runway .. make the first right turn on taxiway golf right turn on golf please and ah when you get a chance let me know the reason for the abort.
0437: 52 HOT- 1 #.
0437: 56 TWA8630 right turn on golf and we're ah looking at an engine.
0437: 57 HOT- 2 two hundred above.
0437: 59 LGATWR okay no problem .. turn right on golf .. hold short of taxiway bravo bravo and contact ground point seven.
0438: 01 HOT- 2 speed's good sink's good.
0438: 05 TWA8630 ri ght on golf .. hold short of bravo bravo and contact ground on point seven.
0438: 07 HOT- 1 no contact yet.
0438: 09 LGATWR [momentary transmission interference] if you can ah find out exactly what's wrong report the information to the ground controller.
0438: 10 HOT- 2 one hundred above.
0438: 11 HOT- 1 I got the (REIL) .. approach lights in sight.
0438: 13 HOT- 2 you're getting a little bit high.
0438: 15 HOT- 2 a little bit above glide slope.
0438: 17 HOT- 2 approach lights we're left of course.
0438: 18.0 LGATWR you are cleared to land delta five fifty- four.
0438: 20.0 RDO- 2 delta five fifty- four cleared to land.
0438: 20.6 CAM [sound of GPWS "minimums"]
0438: 21.8 CAM [sound similar to that of windshield wipers increasing to full speed]
0438: 22.4 HOT- 1 approach lights in sight.
0438: 22.9 UAL1576 tower united fifteen seventy- six is with you outside of Garde.
0438: 25.6 HOT- 2 speed's good.
0438: 26.7 HOT- 2 sink's seven hundred.
0438: 28.2 LGATWR united fifteen seventy- six LaGuardia tower continue the wind one zero zero at one zero runway one three braking action reported good by a seven three seven -
0438: 30.1 HOT- 1 I'll get over there.
0438: 31.1 HOT- 2 a little bit slow a little slow.
0438: 33.7 HOT- 2 nose up.
0438: 34.2 CAM [sound of GPWS "sink rate"]
0438: 34 .3 HOT- 2 nose up.
0438: 35.7 CAM [sound of GPWS "sink rate"]
0438: 36.5 CAM [sound of impact]
0438: 36.9 CAM [sound similar to that of power interrupt to CVR]
0438: 37 LGATWR [continued from previous LGA transmission] yo Bill Bill Bill Bill .. Bill.
0438: 38 CAM [sound of tone and aural "landing gear" from CAWS starts and repeats to the end of recording]
0438: 43 HOT- 1 #.
0438: 44 HOT- 2 hundred knots.
0438: 48 HOT- 2 sixty knots.
0438: 49 CAM [sound similar to that of windshield wipers speed decreasin g]
0438: 51 HOT- 1 #.
0438: 52 HOT- 2 hang on hang on.
0438: 54 CAM [sound similar to that of windshield wipers stopping]
0438: 56 HOT- 1 # # #.
0438: 57 HOT- 2 okay okay settle down Joe .. it's alright it's alright.
0438: 59 HOT- 1 okay .. let's see what we got here.
0439: 04 INT/ PA- 3 stay in your seats.
0439: 05 INT/ PA- 4 hello.
0439: 06 INT/ PA- 1 ladies and gentlemen please remain seated at this time.
0439: 12 INT/ PA- 1 please remain seated with your seatbelts securely fastened please.
0439: 17 CAM- 2 we need to get out of the airplane I think.
0439: 18 INT/ PA- 3 are you alright .. stay in your seats.
0439: 21 CAM- 2 get * *.
0439: 22 CAM- 1 yeah ... do that.
0439: 24 CAM- 3 you alright?
0439: 26 INT/ PA- 3 I'm just waiting for someone -
0439: 26 INT/ PA- 1 ladies and gentlemen please abort a -
0439: 29 HOT- 1 let's evacuate.
0439: 32 INT/ PA- 3 @.
0439: 33 HOT- 1 well hold hold on a minute.
0439: 33 INT/ PA- 4 yeah.
0439: 34 INT/ PA- 3 stay away from the back.
0439: 35 INT/ PA- 4 I'm fine I'm fine.
0439: 35 RDO- 2 tower delta five fifty- four.
0439: 41 INT/ PA- 3 [unintelligible] stay in your seats .. stay seated.
0439: 46 RDO- 2 tower delta five fifty- four.
0439: 48 LGATWR delta five fifty- four emergency vehicles are responding sir ** can you respond?
0439: 52 RDO- 2 yes we're gonna evacuate the airplane and ah we'll try and get everyone off the front of the airplane on the ah runway.
0439: 56 CAM- 1 (start) the evacuation checklist.
0439: 59 LGATWR no problem at all evacuate your discretion sir .. the vehicles are responding on *.
0440: 01 CAM- 1 let's evacuate the airplane.
0440: 02 CAM- ? [male and female voice simultaneously] smelling fuel.
0440: 03 INT/ PA [sound of cabin chime]
0440: 03 CAM- 1 pardon?
0440: 04 CAM- ? [male and female voice simultaneously] smelling fuel.
0440: 04 INT/ PA- 3 [unintelligible] are you alright?
0440: 05 CAM- 2 we need to get out.
0440: 05 CAM- 1 evacuate the airplane.
0440: 06 CAM- 2 okay.
0440: 10 INT/ PA- 1 ladies and gentlemen we're going to evacuate the airplane .. please follow the flight attendants instructions right now.
0440: 12 CAM- 3 release your seatbelts get up get out .. release your seatbelts get up get out ... release your seatbelts get up get out.
0440: 15 INT/ PA- 4 do you want to go forward or backwards?
0440: 18 CAM- 1 evacuation checklist.
0440: 19 CAM [sound similar to door opening and slide inflating]
0440: 20 INT/ PA [sound of cabin chime]
0440: 22 CAM- ? go go.
0440: 23 CAM- 3 sit and slide [repeated several times]
0440: 29 CAM- ? why don't you go out and meet at the front of the airplane .. meet at the front of the airplane.
0440: 30 CAM [sound similar to cockpit call chime]
0440: 35 INT/ PA- 5 this is @ .. do you want forward?
0440: 36 INT/ PA- 4 no @ I need the ba - forward.
0440: 37 CAM- 1 emergency power switch *.
0440: 39 INT/ PA- 5 are we going out the back?
0440: 40 CAM [two sounds similar to cockpit call chimes]
0440: 43 INT/ PA- 4 I'm wanting to know which way out.
0440: 45 CAM- 1 [mostly unintelli gible words relating to emergency evacuation checklist]
0440: 46 INT/ PA-? do not open the window -
0440: 48 INT/ PA- 2 hello.
0440: 48 INT/ PA- 4 do you want to go forward?
0440: 50 INT/ PA- 2 let's come forward yes come forward.
0440: 56   [End of Recording and Transcript]

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