NTSB INVESTIGATING IN-FLIGHT SEPARATION OF B-757 WING PANEL
March 27 Press Release
The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating an
aircraft accident in which a panel from the wing of a US
Airways B-757, flight 1250 en route from Orlando, Florida,
to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, separated from the aircraft
somewhere over Maryland. The aircraft landed in
Philadelphia about 30 minutes after the separation occurred.
None of the 174 passengers or 6 crew were injured.
On Saturday, March 22, 2008, at about 9:30 a.m. EDT, a
composite panel, measuring about 4 feet by 5 feet, on the
trailing edge of the upper side of the left wing, broke lose
from the aircraft and struck several of the windows towards
the rear of the aircraft. The impact caused the outer pane
of one window to crack. The inner pane was undamaged and
the pressurization of the aircraft was not compromised.
Because the loss of the wing panel adversely affected the
flight characteristics of the aircraft, the event has been
classified as an accident.
The wing panel has not yet been located. Safety Board
investigators are using a specialized computer program to
perform a Ballistic Trajectory Analysis with data such as
the aircraft ground track, speed, prevailing winds and other
factors to create a search area where the missing panel is
most likely to be found. Once a specific search area has
been created, local authorities in the vicinity will be
notified that an aircraft part may be located in their
The cockpit voice recorder (CVR) and flight data recorder
(FDR) have arrived at the NTSB’s laboratory in Washington,
D.C., where the content of each is being evaluated.
Parties to the investigation are the Federal Aviation
Administration, Boeing Commercial Airplanes, US Airways, and
the Air Line Pilots Association.