Midwest Express Airlines Flight 105
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|Date||6 September 1985|
|Summary||EFTO (engine failure on take-off), leading to pilot error|
|Aircraft type||Douglas DC-9-14|
|Operator||Midwest Express Airlines|
|Flight origin||General Mitchell Int'l Airport
|Destination||Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta Int'l Airport|
Midwest Express Airlines Flight 105, a Douglas DC-9-14, crashed just after takeoff on 6 September 1985 from General Mitchell Airport, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, US, en route to Hartsfield International in Atlanta. The aircraft was destroyed by impact forces and the post-crash fire. The pilot, the first officer, both flight attendants, and all 27 passengers were killed.
The National Transportation Safety Board evaluated the performance characteristics of the DC-9-14 airplane following an abrupt loss of power from the right engine in the takeoff phase of flight and found the airplane to be docile, easily controllable, and requiring no unusual pilot skills or strength. Therefore, the Safety Board examined those factors which might have caused the pilots to lose control, including the possibility that fragments of the right engine separated with sufficient energy and trajectory to cause critical damage to the airplane's flight control system; the possibility of control system malfunction, which could have rendered the airplane uncontrollable; and the possibility of inappropriate flightcrew response to the emergency.
The cause was determined to be a pilot error in handling the aircraft after the right engine suffered a catastrophic failure. The introduction of incorrect rudder pedal forces about 4 to 5 seconds after the right engine failure, followed by aft control column forces, allowed the airplane to stall at a high airspeed, which led to loss of control of the aircraft and its subsequent crash. This accident was the only fatal incident in Midwest's entire history prior to the airline being acquired by Frontier Airlines in 2010.
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