Aircraft Incident/Accident Report

New York City, New York 20121
Thursday, March 30, 2000 20:25 EST

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NTSB Narrative Summary Released at Completion of Accident
During climb out at night over water, the airplane was straight and level and heading towards an intersection. The first officer was hand flying the airplane and the auto-pilot was not engaged. While climbing through 6,500 feet, the airplane rolled to the right and reached a maximum of 65.5 degrees. The first officer used left aileron, followed by left rudder input and returned to level flight. The crew declared an emergency, dumped 20,000 pounds of fuel and landed uneventfully at the departure airport. The captain reported there were no traffic collision avoidance system alerts or engine indication and crew alerting system warnings. The captain reported there was a thin deck of clouds at 6,500 feet, and it was a dark night with no moon. The international relief pilot stated there was no discernable horizon, and the first officer stated there was no horizon, stars, or moon, and all he saw was darkness. An examination of the airplane's systems revealed there were no mechanical or computer related discrepancies. The digital flight data recorder data revealed the rolls to the right were initiated by control wheel input.
NTSB Probable Cause Narrative
The first officer's failure to maintain control of the airplane during climb out over water at night, which was a result of spatial disorientation. Factors in the incident were the cloud layer and dark night.
Event Information
Type of EventIncident 
Event Date3/30/2000 
Event Day of the WeekThursday 
Time of Event2025 
Event Time ZoneEastern Standard Time 
Event StateNEW YORK 
Event Country-- 
Zipcode of the event site20121  
Event Date Year2000 
Event Date Month
MidAir Collision IndicatorNo 
On Ground Collision occurred ?No 
Event Location Latitude-- 
Event Location Longitude-- 
Event Location Airport  
Event Location Nearest Airport ID  
Indicates whether the acc/inc occurred off or on an airportOff Airport/Airstrip 
Distance from airport in statute miles-- 
Degrees magnetic from airport-- 
Airport Elevation-- 
Weather Briefing CompletenessFull 
Investigator's weather sourceWeather Observation Facility 
Time of the weather observation2051 Eastern Standard Time 
Direction of event from weather observation facility (degrees)270 
Weather Observation Facility IDJFK  
Elevation of weather observation facility42 
Distance of event from weather observation facility (units?)35 
Time Zone of the weather observationEST 
Lighting ConditionsNight/Dark 
Lowest Ceiling Height8000 
Lowest Non-Ceiling Height
Sky/Lowest/Cloud ConditionsUnknown 
Sky Condition for Lowest CeilingBroken 
Visibility Runway Visual Range (Feet)
Visibility Runway Visual Value (Statute Miles)
Visibility (Statute Miles) 10 
Air Temperature at event time (in degrees celsius)
Dew Point at event time (in degress fahrenheit)
Wind Direction (degrees magnetic)350 
Variable Wind IndicatorUnknown 
Wind Speed (knots)15 
Wind Velocity Indicator Unknown 
Wind Gust IndicatorUnknown 
Wind Gust (knots) 22 
Altimeter Setting at event time (in. Hg) 29 
Density Altitude (feet)-- 
Intensity of PrecipitationUnknown 
METAR weather report -- 
Event Highest InjuryNone 
On Ground, Fatal Injuries
On Ground, Minor Injuries
On Ground, Serious Injuries
Injury Total Fatal-- 
Injury Total Minor-- 
Injury Total None225 
Injury Total Serious-- 
Injury Total All-- 
Investigating AgencyNTSB 
NTSB Docket Number (internal use)684 
NTSB Notification Source-- 
NTSB Notification DateMar 30 2000 12:00AM 
NTSB Notification Time2040 
Fiche Number and/or location -used to find docket informationIMAGE 
Date of most recent change to recordMay 10 2001 4:06AM 
User who most recently changed recorddbo  
Basic weather conditionsVisual Meteorological Cond 
FAA District Office-- 
Aircraft Involved
Aircraft #1
Aircraft Registration NumberN182DN 
NTSB NumberIAD00IA032  
Missing Aircraft Indicator
Federal Aviation Reg. PartPart 121: Air Carrier 
Type of Flight Plan filedIFR 
Flight plan Was Activated?-- 
Aircraft FireNone 
Aircraft ExplosionNone 
Aircraft Manufacturer's Full NameBoeing  
Aircraft Model767-332  
Aircraft Series Identifier767-332  
Aircraft Serial Number25987  
Certified Max Gross Weight407000 
Aircraft CategoryAirplane 
Aircraft Registration ClassU.S. Registered/U.S. Soil 
Aircraft is a homebuilt?No 
Flight Crew Seats-- 
Cabin Crew Seats-- 
Passenger Seats-- 
Total number of seats on the aircraft235 
Number of Engines
Fixed gear or retractable gearRetractable 
Aircraft, Type of Last InspectionContinuous Airworthiness 
Date of Last InspectionMar 29 2000 12:00AM 
Airframe hours since last inspection-- 
Airframe Hours5514 
ELT InstalledUnknown 
ELT ActivatedUnknown 
ELT Aided Location of Event SiteUnknown 
ELT Type-- 
Aircraft Owner Street Address  
Aircraft Owner CityWILMINGTON  
Aircraft Owner StateDE 
Aircraft Owner Country  
Aircraft Owner Zipcode19890  
Operator is an individual?-- 
Operator Same as Owner?No 
Operator Is Doing Business As-- 
Operator Address Same as Owner?No 
Operator Street Address  
Operator CityATLANTA  
Operator StateGA 
Operator Country  
Operator Zip code30320  
Operator CodeDALA 
Owner has at least one certificateYes - certificate holder 
Other Operator of large aircraft?No 
Certified for Part 133 or 137 OperationUnknown 
Operator Certificate Number-- 
Indicates whether an air carrier operation was scheduled or notScheduled 
Indicates Domestic or International FlightInternational 
Operator carrying Pax/Cargo/MailPassenger Only 
Type of Flying (Per_Bus / Primary)Unknown 
Second Pilot on BoardYes 
Departure Point Same as EventNo 
Departure Airport CodeJFK  
Departure CityNEW YORK  
Departure StateNY 
Departure Country  
Departure Time2010 
Departure Time ZoneEST 
Destination Same as Local Flt-- 
Destination Airport CodeFRA  
Destination CityFRANKFURT  
Destination StateGE 
Destination Country  
Specific Phase of FlightClimb 
Report sent to ICAO?-- 
Evacuation occurred-- 
Date of most recent change to recordMay 10 2001 4:06AM 
User who most recently changed recorddbo  
Since inspection or accident-- 
Event Location Runway Number and Location0  
Runway Length-- 
Runway Width-- 
Sight Seeing flightNo 
Air Medical FlightNo 
Medical Flight--