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B763, en-route, New York NY USA, 2000

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Summary
On 30 March 2000, a Delta Airlines-operated Boeing 767-300 which was 15nm southeast of New York JFK after departure from there and was being flown visually at night by the First Officer with an 'international relief pilot' as extra crew on the flight deck, achieved 66 degrees of right bank before any of the the pilots noticed. A successful recovery was made with no consequences for the occupants and the aircraft then returned to JFK.
Event Details
When March 2000
Actual or Potential
Event Type
Human Factors, Loss of Control
Day/Night Night
Flight Conditions VMC
Flight Details
Aircraft BOEING 767-300ER
Operator Delta Air Lines
Domicile United States
Type of Flight Public Transport (Passenger)
Origin New York/John F Kennedy International Airport
Intended Destination Frankfurt am Main Airport
Actual Destination New York/John F Kennedy International Airport
Take off Commenced Yes
Flight Airborne Yes
Flight Completed Yes
Flight Phase Climb
ICL / ENR
Location En-Route
Origin New York/John F Kennedy International Airport
Destination Frankfurt am Main Airport
Location
Approx. 15 NM SE of JFK Airport, NY
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HF
Tag(s) Inappropriate crew response (automatics),
Ineffective Monitoring,
Manual Handling,
Spatial Disorientation
LOC
Tag(s) Temporary Control Loss,
Extreme Bank
EPR
Tag(s) “Emergency” declaration
Outcome
Damage or injury No
Causal Factor Group(s)
Group(s) Aircraft Operation
Safety Recommendation(s)
Group(s) None Made
Investigation Type
Type Independent

Description

On 30 March 2000, the crew of a Boeing 767-300 being operated by Delta Airlines on a scheduled passenger flight from New York JFK to Frankfurt temporarily lost control of the aircraft during the climb whilst flying manually in 'dark night' VMC with an augmenting 'relief pilot' present on the flight deck. A successful recovery was made with no consequences for the occupants and the aircraft then returned to New York

Investigation

An Investigation was carried out by the National Transportation Safety Board (USA) (NTSB)

It was established that the aircraft had reached a 66 degree bank to the right before any of the three pilots noticed.

The Probable Cause of the occurrence was determined as "the Firsr Officer's failure to maintain control of the airplane during climb out over water at night, which was a result of spatial disorientation" with "factors in the incident (being)the cloud layer and dark night.

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Further Reading

For further information, see the NTSB Incident Report (IAD00IA032)