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Last updated: 30 November 2021
Date:Saturday 19 October 1996
Type:Silhouette image of generic MD88 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
McDonnell Douglas MD-88
Operator:Delta Air Lines
Registration: N914DL
MSN: 49545/1444
First flight: 1988
Total airframe hrs:24420
Engines: 2 Pratt & Whitney JT8D-219
Crew:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 5
Passengers:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 58
Total:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 63
Aircraft damage: Substantial
Aircraft fate: Repaired
Location:New York-La Guardia Airport, NY (LGA) (   United States of America)
Phase: Landing (LDG)
Nature:Domestic Scheduled Passenger
Departure airport:Atlanta-William B. Hartsfield International Airport, GA (ATL/KATL), United States of America
Destination airport:New York-La Guardia Airport, NY (LGA/KLGA), United States of America
Just before touchdown, after an ILS/DME approach to runway 13, the right wing struck approach lights.
The maingear then struck the runway end and broke off, causing the aircraft to skid down the runway for 2700 feet.
Weather at the time was 800 feet broken ceiling, 0,5 mile visibility in fog, a Runway Visual Range of 3000 feet and possible low level windshear.

Probable Cause:

PROBABLE CAUSE: "The National Transportation Safety Board determines that the probable cause of this accident was the inability of the captain, because of his use of monovision contact lenses, to overcome his misperception of the airplane's position relative to the runway during the visual portion of the approach. This misperception occurred because of visual illusions produced by the approach over water in limited light conditions, the absence of visible ground features, the rain and fog, and the irregular spacing of the runway lights.
Contributing to the accident was the lack of instantaneous vertical speed information available to the pilot not flying, and the incomplete guidance available to optometrists, aviation medical examiners, and pilots regarding the prescription of unapproved monovision contact lenses for use by pilots." (NTSB/AAR-97/03)

Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: NTSB
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 10 months
Accident number: NTSB/AAR-97/03
Download report: Final report

Controlled Flight Into Terrain (CFIT) - Ground

» Aviation Week & Space Technology 26.05.1997 (42,47)
» NTSB Identification: NYC97MA005
» NTSB/AAR-97/03
» Scramble 210

Follow-up / safety actions

NTSB issued 13 Safety Recommendations

Show all...


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This map shows the airport of departure and the intended destination of the flight. The line between the airports does not display the exact flight path.
Distance from Atlanta-William B. Hartsfield International Airport, GA to New York-La Guardia Airport, NY as the crow flies is 1216 km (760 miles).

This information is not presented as the Flight Safety Foundation or the Aviation Safety Network’s opinion as to the cause of the accident. It is preliminary and is based on the facts as they are known at this time.
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