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Last updated: 29 November 2021
Statuts:Enquête Officielle
Date:vendredi 8 décembre 1972
Heure:14:28
Type/Sous-type:Silhouette image of generic B732 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Boeing 737-222
Compagnie:United Airlines
Immatriculation: N9031U
Numéro de série: 19069/75
Année de Fabrication: 1968-09-24 (4 years 3 months)
Heures de vol:7247
Moteurs: 2 Pratt & Whitney JT8D-7B
Equipage:victimes: 3 / à bord: 6
Passagers:victimes: 40 / à bord: 55
Total:victimes: 43 / à bord: 61
Victimes au sol:victimes: 2
Dégats de l'appareil: Perte Totale
Conséquences: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Lieu de l'accident:2 km (1.3 milles) de Chicago-Midway Airport, IL (MDW) (   Etats-Unis d'Amérique)
Phase de vol: En approche (APR)
Nature:Transport de Passagers Nat.
Aéroport de départ:Washington-National Airport, DC (DCA/KDCA), Etats-Unis d'Amérique
Aéroport de destination:Chicago-Midway Airport, IL (MDW/KMDW), Etats-Unis d'Amérique
Numéro de vol:UA553
Détails:
The aircraft, named "City of Lincoln", took off from Washington-National Airport as United flight 553 to Chicago and Omaha. Departure time was 12:50 CST. Chicago ARTCC cleared the crew to descend to 4000 feet and the flight was given vectors for a Midway Airport runway 31L localizer course. At 14:19 the flight was transferred to Chicago Approach Control which later requested UA553 to slow down to 180 knots and later down to 160 knots. After issuing a descent clearance down to 2000 feet at 14:23 the controller requested the flight to slow down to approach speed because of separation between UA553 and a preceding Aero Commander. At 14:24 the Aero Commander passed the Outer Marker and was cleared to land on runway 31L. Two minutes later UA553 passed the Outer Marker inbound. Then, at 14:27:04 the air traffic controller decided to issue a missed approach clearance: "United 553 execute a missed approach make a left turn to a heading of 180 climb to 2000". At the same time, having just reached 1000 feet, the stick shaker suddenly activated. Full power was applied and the gear was retracted in an attempt to execute a missed approach. The Boeing continued to descend however, attaining a high nose up attitude (of at least 30deg, according to some survivors). The aircraft then clipped a tree and impacted trees, houses, utility pole cables and garages before coming to rest. Post crash fire destroyed part of the fuselage.

Probable Cause:

PROBABLE CAUSE: "The captain's failure to exercise positive flight management during the execution of a non-precision approach, which culminated in a critical deterioration of airspeed into the stall regime where level flight could no longer be maintained."

Accident investigation:
cover
Investigating agency: NTSB
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 264 days (9 months)
Accident number: NTSB/AAR-73-16
Download report: Final report

Sources:
» NTSB-AAR-73-16


Opérations de secours

NTSB issued 2 Safety Recommendations

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Photos

photo of Boeing-737-222-N9031U
accident date: 08-12-1972
type: Boeing 737-222
registration: N9031U
 

Plan
Ce plan montre l'aéroport de départ ainsi que la supposée destination du vol. La ligne fixe reliant les deux aéroports n'est pas le plan de vol exact.
La distance entre Washington-National Airport, DC et Chicago-Midway Airport, IL est de 958 km (599 miles).
Accident location: Exact; deduced from official accident report.

Les informations ci-dessus ne représentent pas l'opinion de la 'Flight Safety Foundation' ou de 'Aviation Safety Network' sur les causes de l'accident. Ces informations prélimimaires sont basées sur les faits tel qu'ils sont connus à ce jour.
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