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[HD] American Eagle 4184 (Air Crash Investigation)
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Today marks the 15th anniversary of this tragic accident.
The aircraft, N401AM, was an ATR 72-212 operated by Simmons Airlines on behalf of American Eagle, the "banner carrier regional airline branding program of AMR Corporation's regional system," prior to the formation of the fully certificated carrier named American Eagle Airlines. The flight was en route from Indianapolis International Airport, Indiana to O'Hare International Airport, Chicago, Illinois. Bad weather in Chicago caused delays, prompting air traffic control to hold Flight 4184 over the nearby LUCIT intersection at 10,000 ft (3,000 m)
While holding, the plane encountered freezing rain — a dangerous icing condition where supercooled droplets rapidly cause intense ice buildup. Soon after, they were cleared to descend to 8,000 ft (2,400 m) After this descent the pilots were ordered to make another hold. While in the holding pattern, a warning sound indicating the extended flaps was heard in the cockpit. The pilot took action by retracting the flaps. Suddenly a strange noise was heard from the whole plane, followed by an uncommanded roll excursion, which disengaged the autopilot. Flight recorder data showed that it subsequently went through at least one full roll, and the crew was unable to regain control of the rapidly descending aircraft. Then it happened again. Less than two minutes later, contact was lost as the plane crashed into a soybean field near Roselawn, Indiana, killing all 64 passengers and 4 crew on board. The disintegration of the plane indicated an extreme velocity, and data recovered from the flight data recorder verified that the plane was traveling 375 knots (695 km/h) indicated airspeed at impact.
Flight 4184 was the first loss of an ATR 72 aircraft, it was also the highest death toll of any aviation accident involving an ATR 72 anywhere in the world. Robert A. Clifford, a Chicago airplane accident attorney, represented 16 of the victims. As the trial was ready to begin, the defendants agreed to a record $110 million settlement and an apology in open court.
Recorded with FRAPS in FS2004
Edited in Sony Vegas Pro 8.0
Aircraft: Flight1 ATR 72-500 (payware). Repaint by myself (Alec Francen) to be released soon!
Video footage courtesy of National Geographic "Air Crash Investigation."
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