Northwest Airlines Flight 5

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Northwest Airlines Flight 5
Boeing 727-251-Adv, Northwest Airlines AN0200768.jpg
An Northwest Boeing 727-251, similar to the aircraft involved in the incident.
Date January 4, 1990
Summary In-flight engine failure and subsequent loss of the engine
Site near Madison, Florida, United States
30°38′N 83°24′W / 30.633°N 83.400°W / 30.633; -83.400Coordinates: 30°38′N 83°24′W / 30.633°N 83.400°W / 30.633; -83.400
Aircraft type Boeing 727-251
Operator Northwest Airlines
Registration N280US[1]
Flight origin Miami International Airport
Destination Minneapolis−Saint Paul International Airport
Passengers 139
Crew 6
Fatalities 0
Survivors 145 (all)

Northwest Airlines Flight 5 was a flight from Miami International Airport to Minneapolis−Saint Paul International Airport, which, on January 4, 1990, suffered the loss of the number three (starboard) engine at 35,000 feet (11,000 m) in mid-flight over Madison, Florida.[2]

The Boeing 727-251, operated by Northwest Airlines, took off from Miami at 08:15 EST on the morning of January 4, 1990. About an hour later, at approximately 09:10 EST, the pilots reported hearing a loud bang towards the rear of the aircraft.[2] The 14-year-old jet continued to fly normally and the crew, not knowing that an engine had fallen off,[3] flew for almost 50 minutes before carrying out a safe emergency landing at Tampa International Airport at 09:58 EST.[4] The engine, a Pratt & Whitney JT8D-15, was found a day later in a field near Madison, Florida.[4]

After landing, inspection crews found the forward lavatory external seal was missing and had probably been improperly installed, causing a leakage when the plane was pressurized. The missing seal caused frozen chunks of lavatory fluid to be ingested by the number three engine thus damaging the compressor blades.[5] Upon failure the engine separated from the aircraft fuselage, as it had been designed to do.[2]

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) determined the probable cause of the incident to be "the failure of company service personnel to properly service the airplane forward lavatory."[5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "FAA Registry (N280US)". Federal Aviation Administration. 
  2. ^ a b c Weiner, Eric (January 5, 1990). "Jet Lands After an Engine Drops Off". The New York Times. Retrieved April 16, 2010. 
  3. ^ Weiner, Eric (January 6, 1990). "Pilots Had No Way of Knowing Jet Engine Fell Off, Experts Say". The New York Times. Retrieved April 16, 2010. 
  4. ^ a b Orsi, Jennifer (January 6, 1990). "Engine that fell from airliner found in Madison County". St. Petersburg Times. Retrieved April 16, 2010. 
  5. ^ a b "MIA90IA047". National Transportation Safety Board. December 30, 1992. Retrieved April 16, 2010. 

External links[edit]