United B763 over Atlantic on Aug 31st 2016, turbulence injures 12

Last Update: April 26, 2020 / 13:54:56 GMT/Zulu time

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Incident Facts

Date of incident
Aug 31, 2016

Classification
Accident

Airline
United

Flight number
UA-880

Aircraft Registration
N657UA

Aircraft Type
Boeing 767-300

ICAO Type Designator
B763

A United Boeing 767-300, registration N657UA performing flight UA-880 from Houston,TX (USA) to London Heathrow,EN (UK) with 207 passengers and 13 crew, was enroute at FL340 over the Atlantic Ocean when the aircraft encountered severe turbulence causing injuries to 14 passengers and 2 cabin crew. The aircraft diverted to Shannon (Ireland) for a safe landing on runway 24. 16 people were taken to hospitals, 15 were discharged after treating minor injuries like bruises and lacerations, one flight attendant is still in hospital care with a fractured wrist.

The airline confirmed 14 passengers and 2 crew were taken to a hospital after the aircraft encountered unexpected severe turbulence enroute. Only one injured is still in hospital care.

A replacement Boeing 767-300 registration N673UA was dispatched from London Heathrow to Shannon, departed Shannon as flight UA-2088 and delivered the passengers to London with a delay of 7 hours.

On Mar 26th 2020 the NTSB reported the occurrence was rated an accident and is being investigated by the NTSB, though the investigators "will not travel in support of this investigation to prepare this aircraft accident report."

On Apr 25th 2020 the NTSB released their final report concluding the probable cause of the accident was:

an inadvertent encounter with severe convective turbulence.

The NTSB wrote:

According to flight crew statements, the aircraft was in cruise at flight level (FL) 340 approximately 50 miles east of 40W on the North Atlantic Track X, when it encountered unexpected severe turbulence that lasted for approximately 45 seconds. The captain indicated there was forecast turbulence for this portion of the flight and there were no pilot weather reports (PIREP) or air traffic control advisories in the pre-flight weather package. The flight crew indicated that the flight conditions were smooth and devoid of any turbulence for approximately two hours prior to the event. The seat belt sign had been off for about 2 hours prior to the event. They indicated that the onboard weather radar was operating in the AUTO mode and there were no returns observed prior to the event. After the event, the seat belt sign was immediately illuminated. After assessing the level and number of injuries, the captain decided to divert to EINN to expedite After landing, all injured passengers and one flight attendant were treated for minor injuries and released; one flight attendant was admitted to the hospital with fractures of the left wrist and L3 vertebra.

According to a weather analysis conducted by United Airlines, satellite imagery indicated convective buildup/enhancement in the form of an isolated cell in the region of the event. The Atlantic High Weather Prognostic Chart valid for the period depicted the potential for isolated cumulonimbus clouds over the area, which implied the potential for severe or greater turbulence associated with the convection. The nighttime conditions and lack of lightning in the lower convection, likely did not provide any visual indication of the developing storms below the flight path. Wind and temperature patterns depicted a diffluent wind flow pattern ahead of a trough over the area of the upset, which supported the development of the isolated convection. RPM Turbulence did not indicate presence of Clear Air Turbulence.
Incident Facts

Date of incident
Aug 31, 2016

Classification
Accident

Airline
United

Flight number
UA-880

Aircraft Registration
N657UA

Aircraft Type
Boeing 767-300

ICAO Type Designator
B763

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