Frontier A319 near Ft. Lauderdale on May 10th 2012, turbulence injures 3 flight attendants

Last Update: March 26, 2013 / 15:18:16 GMT/Zulu time

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Incident Facts

Date of incident
May 10, 2012

Flight number
F9-384

Aircraft Registration
N951FR

Aircraft Type
Airbus A319

ICAO Type Designator
A319

A Frontier Airlines Airbus A319-100, registration N951FR performing flight F9-384 from Denver,CO to Ft. Lauderdale,FL (USA) with 138 passengers and 5 crew, was on approach to Fort Lauderdale maintaining 7000 feet about 45nm west of Fort Lauderdale when the crew reported they had encountered turbulence causing injuries to a flight attendant. The aircraft continued for a safe landing on Fort Lauderdale's runway 27R about 15 minutes later.

The FAA reported the flight attendant broke her leg.

The accident aircraft was still on the ground in Fort Lauderdale about 22 hours later (standing May 11th 15:15Z).

On Feb 4th 2013 (!) the NTSB released a first preliminary information rating the occurrence an accident stating that one flight attendant received serious injuries, two others minor injuries in the turbulence encounter while descending through 12,400 feet towards Ft. Lauderdale. There was no damage to the aircraft.

On Mar 26th 2013 the NTSB released their factual report stating that the crew saw the "usual Florida summertime buildups" during initial descent and decided to illuminate the fasten seat belt signs early. About 20 minutes prior the turbulence encounter the captain instructed cabin crew to have the cabin ready and be seated early. The weather radar was switched to "weather only", the flight data recorder did not record whether tilting was used, the crew had both their displays at a range of 80nm until after landing. While descending through FL250 the fasten seat belt sign was illuminated. When the flight descended through FL130 with autopilot and autothrust engaged, the aircraft flew through a cloud, upon emerging from that cloud the crew saw a large buildup ahead with the weather radar "not painting any weather", the aircraft encountered a jolt described as moderate turbulence by the crew, the flight data recorder recorded peaks of vertical acceleration up to +2.0G and -0.5G, accompanied by the sounds of a crash in the galley. The forward flight attendant, who was just pouring coffee into the lavatory, was thrown to the floor and twisted her legs in the lavatory door opening. A medically qualified passenger provided first aid to the flight attendant in the front aisle, a surgeon amongst the passengers advised the flight attendant's right leg was likely broken. The crew advised ATC about the injury on board and requested paramedics to meet the aircraft, the airline's dispatch did not respond to calls by the crew on both radio and ACARS (all workers were out at the gate to prepare for arrival). The ramp controller, not associated with the airline, confirmed medical services were underway when the aircraft arrived at the gate. The injured flight attendant was taken to a hospital.

The NTSB reported further, that the two other flight attendants received minor injuries in the turbulence encounter but were able to continue duties. Flight crew and passengers remained uninjured, the aircraft sustained no damage.

Meteorologic data showed, that a zone of convection developed and intensified, the aircraft's flight path was coincident with the developing convection. No other mechanism was around that could have triggered such a turbulence encounter.

The NTSB reported that the crew's request for medical services meet the aircraft submitted with approach was not coordinated with tower or other personnel.
Incident Facts

Date of incident
May 10, 2012

Flight number
F9-384

Aircraft Registration
N951FR

Aircraft Type
Airbus A319

ICAO Type Designator
A319

This article is published under license from Avherald.com. © of text by Avherald.com.
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