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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 207630
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Type:Silhouette image of generic A319 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Airbus A319-132
Owner/operator:US Airways
Registration: N808AW
MSN: 1088
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 98
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Minor
Location:Buena Vista, CO -   United States of America
Phase: En route
Nature:Passenger - Scheduled
Departure airport:Phoenix, AZ (KPHX)
Destination airport:Denver, CO
Investigating agency: NTSB
Confidence Rating: Accident investigation report completed and information captured
On 15 April 2012, at approximately 0549 coordinated universal time, US Airways flight 496, an Airbus A319-132, N808AW, encountered severe mountain wave turbulence at flight level 320 in the vicinity of Buena Vista, Colorado. Of the 98 passengers and crew onboard, two flight attendants received serious injuries and one passenger received minor injuries during the encounter. The flight was operating under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 121 as a regularly scheduled passenger flight between Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (KPHX), Phoenix, Arizona, and Denver International Airport (KDEN), Denver, Colorado.

According to the operator, the captain was the pilot monitoring, and the first officer (FO) was the pilot flying. The flight was cleared to descend from FL390 to 17,000 feet. The seatbelt sign was on during the descent and there were no pilot reports of turbulence in the area. The captain turned on the weather radar and noted no returns present between the airplane and the airport. As the airplane passed through about FL320, the captain noticed the airspeed rapidly increasing. He disconnected the autopilot while simultaneously notifying the FO of the overspeed and began to apply a nose-up input. The FO also began to command a nose-up input at that time and so the captain released his pitch up input. The crew received an overspeed warning and then encountered severe turbulence. The flight crew stated the encounter lasted about 10 15 seconds. After the encounter, both Elevator and Aileron Computers (ELAC) faults were displayed. The FO resumed pilot flying duties while the Captain performed the appropriate actions to reset ELAC 1 and 2, report the encounter to air traffic control and dispatch, and contacted the flight attendants.

The A flight attendant (A-FA) was in the forward jumpseat and the B flight attendant (B-FA) and C flight attendant (C-FA) were in the aft galley sitting in their jumpseats without their seatbelts on. During the turbulence encounter, both aft flight attendants struck the overhead ceiling, panels before landing on the floor. Two passengers who were also not wearing their seatbelts were lifted out of their seats and struck the ceiling panels during the encounter. Oxygen masks in several rows of seats were also released as a result of the turbulence. Two onboard medical personnel tended to the B-FA and C-FA with the assistance of the A-FA.

The captain declared a medical emergency and arranged for emergency personnel to meet the flight on arrival. At the gate, paramedics transported the two injured flight attendants and one of the injured passengers to the hospital.

Probable Cause: an inadvertent encounter with mountain wave turbulence.



Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: NTSB
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 5 years and 11 months
Download report: Final report
Other occurrences involving this aircraft

28 May 2019 N808AW American Airlines 0 Toronto-Pearson International Airport, ON (YYZ/CYYZ) min
Bird strike.
7 Dec 2021 N808AW American Airlines 0 Des Moines, IA min
Bird strike.



Photo of N808AW courtesy

Phoenix - Sky Harbor International (KPHX / PHX)
7 March 2022; (c) Anton Homma

Revision history:

15-Mar-2018 20:13 ASN Update Bot Added
08-Dec-2021 15:58 harro Updated [Phase, Nature, Narrative]

Corrections or additions? ... Edit this accident description

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