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NTSB Sends Team To Lubbock To Investigate ATR Accident

Plane Crashed On ILS Approach To Downwind Runway

The National Transportation Safety Board has dispatched a team to investigate Tuesday's downing of an ATR-42 operated by Empire Airlines for FedEx.

As ANN reported, the twin-turboprop aircraft (similar to type shown above) crashed on approach to Lubbock, TX. The two crewmembers were able to exit the aircraft before it caught fire, with only minor injuries.

According to the NTSB, the facts of the accident are this: At about 5:00 am CST Tuesday, January 27, 2009, Empire Airlines flight 8284, operating a FedEx-owned ATR-42 (N902FX), crashed 300 feet short of the threshold while on an Instrument Landing System (ILS) approach to Runway 17 at Lubbock Preston Smith International Airport. (The NTSB doesn't specify whether the accident runway was 17L or 17R, though presumably it was the latter. Runway 17L is 2,900 feet; 17R is 11,500 in length -- Ed.)

The plane was arriving from Fort Worth, TX.  The aircraft was destroyed by crash forces and a post-impact fire.

Weather at the time was reported as overcast ceiling at 500 feet above ground level, visibility 2 miles with light freezing drizzle and mist, and wind 020 degrees at 11 knots... meaning the plane was landing with a moderate tailwind.

The flight data recorder and cockpit voice recorder will be removed from the wreckage and shipped to the NTSB's laboratories in Washington, DC.

Senior Air Safety Investigator Leah Yeager is the Investigator-in-Charge of the NTSB team. Joining the investigation are representatives from the Federal Aviation Administration; FedEx; Empire Airlines; the French aviation accident investigative authority, the BEA; Avions de Transport Regional (ATR); and Pratt & Whitney Engines.

FMI: www.ntsb.gov, www.empireairlines.com
 

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