Empire Airlines – ATR – ATR42-320 (N-902FX) flight EM8284

Empire Airlines - ATR - ATR42-320 (N-902FX) flight EM8284
Wreckage of Empire Airlines ATR42-320 (N-902FX) flight EM8284

Empire Airlines flight EM8284 : on January 27, 2009, about 0437 central standard time, an Avions de Transport Régional Aerospatiale Alenia ATR 42-320, N902FX, operating as Empire Airlines flight 8284, was on an instrument approach when it crashed short of the runway at Lubbock Preston Smith International Airport, Lubbock, Texas.

The captain of Empire Airlines flight EM8284 sustained serious injuries, and the first officer sustained minor injuries.

The airplane was substantially damaged.

The airplane was registered to FedEx Corporation and operated by Empire Airlines, Inc., [ … ] The flight departed from Fort Worth Alliance Airport, Fort Worth, Texas, about 0313.

Instrument meteorological conditions prevailed, and an instrument flight rules flight plan was filed for Empire Airlines flight EM8284.

X-ray examinations of all four flap actuators showed that their internal components were in place.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines that the probable cause of this accident was the flight crew’s failure to monitor and maintain a minimum safe airspeed while executing an instrument approach in icing conditions, which resulted in an aerodynamic stall at low altitude.

watch the 3D reconstruction of last minutes of approach:

  courtesy : National Transportation Safety Board 

Contributing to the accident were

  • the flight crew’s failure to follow published standard operating procedures in response to a flap anomaly,
  • the captain’s decision to continue with the unstabilized approach
  • the flight crew’s poor crew resource management, and
  • fatigue due to the time of day in which the accident occurred and a cumulative sleep debt, which likely impaired the captain’s performance.


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accident date: 27/01/2009
make: ATR
model: ATR42-320
registration: N-902FX
msn: 175
location: Lubbok, Texas USA
flight number: EM8284

Category: Aviation Accident


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