Since the public demand for air travel has dramatically improved over the last two decades, the Federal Government and the aircraft manufacturing industry have given specific focus to accident survivability since 1990s.
Earlier, nearly 90 percent of the aircraft accidents were grouped as survivable or technically survivable. As part of this initiative, a range of new features are integrated into aircraft at the design stage. The aircraft manufacturing industry collected details of several fatal air accident incidents and identified the key issues led to catastrophes. As a result of those extensive research practices, the air accident survival rate has significantly improved in the United States for the last two decades. This paper will discuss the case ‘Runway side excursion during attempted takeoff in strong and gusty crosswind conditions: Continental airlines flight 1404’. The paper will specifically point out why this air accident was survivable.
The Mishap 250
The Continental Airlines Flight 1404 was a passenger carrier flight from Denver International Airport at Denver in Colorado to George Bush Intercontinental Airport at Huston in Texas. On 20th December 2008, at 1818 Mountain Standard Time, the Continental Airlines flight 1404 (a Boeing 737-500, N18611) skidded off the left side of the runway while taking off from the Denver International Airport. As an impact of the skidding, the flight crashed into 40 feet deep ravine which was several hundred yards away from the runway. During the course of the crash, the flight caught fire.