Accident Airbus A320-231 N644AW,
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Date:Thursday 5 June 2003
Time:15:28 LT
Type:Silhouette image of generic A320 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different    
Airbus A320-231
Owner/operator:America West Airlines
Registration: N644AW
MSN: 317
Year of manufacture:1992
Total airframe hrs:34545 hours
Engine model:International Aero Engines V2527-A1
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 140
Aircraft damage: None
Location:Payson, AZ -   United States of America
Phase: En route
Nature:Passenger - Scheduled
Departure airport:Phoenix-Sky Harbor International Airport, AZ (PHX/KPHX)
Destination airport:Hartford-Brainard Airport, CT (HFD/KHFD)
Investigating agency: NTSB
Confidence Rating: Accident investigation report completed and information captured
About 25,000 feet during climb out, a flight attendant was injured during an encounter with moderate turbulence. The flight attendant was out of her seat in the aft galley preparing to provide cabin service. The flight crew deviated to the closest airport, the flight attendant was transported to the hospital, and the flight departed 30 minutes later for its intended destination. Prior to departure, the captain was provided with a weather package that indicated there would be a buildup of cumulonimbus clouds and thunderstorm activity up to 33,000 feet along their route of flight. During the climb out, the flight crew reported visually seeing the cumulus buildup, and verified it via their onboard weather radar. The flight crew asked for, and received, an ATC clearance to deviate to the right around the building cumulonimbus clouds. The deviation to the right of course placed the flight's path directly downwind of the buildups and potentially in the vicinity of turbulent eddies. The in-flight turbulence event occurred after the flight diverted around a primary buildup and entered into a secondary buildup that was partially masked by the primary buildup.

Probable Cause: The flight's encounter with convectively induced turbulence associated with developing thunderstorms while the flight crew attempted to deviate around an area of adverse weather. The turbulence event occurred while the crew was attempting to maneuver around the identified primary buildup, and a secondary system that was partially masked by the primary cell visually and on radar was encountered.

Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: NTSB
Report number: LAX03LA181
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 2 years and 8 months
Download report: Final report




Revision history:

25-Mar-2024 10:21 ASN Update Bot Added

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