USAir Flight 405 Crashes at LaGuardia

On March 22, 1992, USAir Flight 405 crashed in poor winter weather conditions at LaGuardia Airport in New York City. The aircraft had been deiced twice prior to a scheduled departure for Cleveland.

US Air Flight 405 after Crashing at LaGuardia, March 22, 1992

The aircraft, a Fokker F28, came to rest in Flushing Bay just beyond the end of the runway. The aircraft failed to gain lift on takeoff and never left ground-effect. Twenty-seven people perished in the crash, including the captain and a member of the cabin crew.

The subsequent investigation revealed that as a result of several factors including pilot error, inadequate deicing procedures and fluids at LaGuardia, and several lengthy delays, a large amount of ice had accumulated on the wings and airframe of the Fokker F28, an aircraft with a hard-wing design. This ice disrupted airflow over the jet, increasing drag and reducing lift, which prevented the jet from flying. The deicing fluids employed at the time at LaGuardia and most other North American airports, Type I, had limited holdover time capabilities, and the fluid’s holdover time had long been exceeded in the case of Flight 405.

The LaGuardia crash, much like an eerily similar crash of another Fokker F28 in March 1989 in Dryden, Ontario, Canada, resulted in widespread changes to the industry, and stimulated a significant amount of involvement from the FAA in aircraft ground deicing research and development, work that continues today.

A copy of the NTSB report on the LaGuardia crash can be found here:

NTSB Report AAR93-02

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