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Accident Report Detail

Midwest Express Airlines, Inc., DC-9-14, N100ME

Executive Summary

At 1521 c.d.t. on September 6, 1985, Midwest Express Airlines, Inc., Flight 105, a McDonnell-Douglas DC-9-14 airplane, crashed into an open field at the edge of a wooded area about 1,680 feet southwest of the departure end of runway 19R shortly after taking off from General Billy Mitchell field, Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The weather was clear with visibility 10 miles. During the initial climb, about 450 feet above ground level (a.g.l.), there was a loud noise and a loss of power associated with an uncontained failure of the 9th to 10th stage high pressure compressor spacer of the right engine. Flight 105 continued to climb to about 700 feet a.g.l. and then rolled to the right until the wings were observed in a near vertical approximately right 90 degree banked turn. During the roll, the airplane entered an accelerated stall, control was lost, and the airplane crashed. The aircraft was destroyed by impact forces and post crash fire. The pilot, the first officer, both flight attendants, and all 27 passengers were fatally injured.

Probable Cause

The National Transportation Safety Board determines that the probable cause of the accident was the flightcrew's improper use of flight controls in response to the catastrophic failure of the right engine during a critical phase of flight, which led to an accelerated stall and loss of control of the airplane. Contributing to the loss of control was a lack of crew coordination in response to the emergency. The right engine failed from the rupture of the 9th to 10th stage removable sleeve spacer in the high pressure compressor because of the spacer's vulnerability to cracks.

Accident Location: Milwaukee , WI   General Billy Mitchell Field
Accident Date: 9/6/1985
Accident ID: DCA85AA036

Date Adopted: 2/3/1987
NTSB Number: AAR-87-01
NTIS Number: PB87-910401

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