USAir Flight 5050

USAir Flight 5050 . Bad pre-check and bad handling tactics led to a failed take-off attempt for the flight, causing it to crash into the Bowery Bay.



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  • 1 History and development
  • 2 Accident
  • 3 Work of the experts
  • 4 Sources

History and development

In 1989 USAair took full control of the routes that Piedmont Airlines had until then, and this of course included the aircraft they handled that were of the Boeing 737 type .

It is the 20 of September of 1989 , at La Guardia Airport in New York , in the United States , on ramps boarding is found a Boeing 737-401 of the USAir airline , its enrollment is the N416US, the plane is scheduled to make a Domestic flight to Charlotte-Douglas airport , in Charlotte , North Carolina , already board the 57 passengers who will be served by the 4 flight attendants that day.

At the head of the controls is Captain Michael Martín and as First Officer is Constantine Kleissas , both however had something in common: little experience in aircraft of the type 737 .

The captain had just 140 hours of experience in a 737 precisely as captain when the passengers were on board he received authorization to go onto the runway and wait for the take-off order, a flight that was difficult due to the weather conditions since in addition to being at night it rained very strong and visibility was not good but the control tower allows takeoff to take place.


Flight 5050 was to move along the track 31, it was not long but enough to make a good take – off, but getting out was a turning left, Captain Martin uses the steering wheel of the rudder to correct the problem and control the wheels of the train Forward landing, but it does not resist and is split causing the bow of the device to fall, the captain could not carry out the maneuver to stop it and falls into the nearby water of the Bowery Bay , there it collides with a pier and some poles are broken into three sections , the rear of the plane sinks into the water.

The airport emergency services arrive soon to provide assistance, the damage is counted and there are 21 injured among the 61 surviving occupants, unfortunately 2 passengers are killed at the scene.

Experts work

When analyzing the flight data and cockpit voice recorders, it was found that the captain’s lack of experience led him to perform maneuvers that were not the most appropriate, it was verified that the one who carried the plane was First Officer Kleissas who was carrying 39 days without taking off, the position of the tail elevator was not verified , something crucial for a good takeoff.


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