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Last updated: 2 December 2021
Date:Wednesday 1 December 1993
Type:Silhouette image of generic JS31 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
British Aerospace 3101 Jetstream 31
Operated by:Express Airlines I
On behalf of:Northwest Airlink
Registration: N334PX
MSN: 706
First flight: 1986
Total airframe hrs:17156
Engines: 2 Garrett TPE331-10
Crew:Fatalities: 2 / Occupants: 2
Passengers:Fatalities: 16 / Occupants: 16
Total:Fatalities: 18 / Occupants: 18
Aircraft damage: Destroyed
Aircraft fate: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:5,4 km (3.4 mls) NW of Hibbing-Chisholm Airport, MN (HIB) (   United States of America)
Phase: Approach (APR)
Nature:Domestic Scheduled Passenger
Departure airport:Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, MN (MSP/KMSP), United States of America
Destination airport:Hibbing-Chisholm Airport, MN (HIB/KHIB), United States of America
Flight 5719 departed Minneapolis at 8:52, 42 minutes late. The delay was due to the late arrival of the aircraft, replacement of the landing light bulbs, and removal of a passenger because the aircraft was 130 pounds over the MTOW.
The flight was cleared for a runway 31 ILS approach, but the flight crew requested (and were cleared for) a localizer back course approach to runway 13 because there was a tailwind on the approach to runway 31 and the runway was covered with precipitation. The flight crew initiated the approach procedure by joining the HIB 20 DME arc from the HIB VOR and intercepting the localizer at 8000 feet msl. The delayed the start of the descent, possibly prompted by a desire to minimize time in icing conditions. This subsequently required an excessive rate of descent to reach the final approach fix and minimum descent height for the nonprecision approach. The aircraft descended at 2250 ft/min and was 1200 feet above the minimum altitude when overhead the KINNY final approach fix (at 14 DME). The aircraft continued its descent and descended through the 2040 feet step down altitude from 14 to 10 DME at around 2500 feet/min. The aircraft finally struck the top of a tree, continued and struck a group of aspen trees 634 feet later. The plane struck two ridges and came to rest inverted and lying on its right side.

Probable Cause:

PROBABLE CAUSE: " The captain's actions that led to a breakdown in crew coordination and the loss of altitude awareness by the flight crew during an unstabilized approach in night instrument meteorological conditions. Contributing to the accident were: the failure of the company management to adequately address the previously identified deficiencies in airmanship and crew resource management of the captain; the failure of the company to identify and correct a widespread, unapproved practice during instrument approach procedures; and the Federal Aviation Administration's inadequate surveillance and oversight of the air carrier."

Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: NTSB
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 174 days (6 months)
Accident number: NTSB/AAR-94-05
Download report: Final report

Landing after unstabilized approach
Controlled Flight Into Terrain (CFIT) - Ground

» NTSB Safety Recommendations A-94-113/117
» NTSB/AAR-94/05

Follow-up / safety actions

NTSB issued 5 Safety Recommendations

Show all...


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This map shows the airport of departure and the intended destination of the flight. The line between the airports does not display the exact flight path.
Distance from Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, MN to Hibbing-Chisholm Airport, MN as the crow flies is 278 km (174 miles).
Accident location: Exact; as reported in the official accident report.

This information is not presented as the Flight Safety Foundation or the Aviation Safety Network’s opinion as to the cause of the accident. It is preliminary and is based on the facts as they are known at this time.
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Jetstream 31

  • 386 built
  • 12th loss
  • 6th fatal accident
  • The worst accident (at the time)
  • 3rd worst accident (currently)
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