Comair Flight 3272

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Comair Flight 3272
Embraer EMB-120RT Brasilia, Comair AN0214402.jpg
A Comair Embraer EMB-120, similar to the one involved.
Date January 9, 1997
Summary Atmospheric icing leading to loss of control.
Site Monroe, Michigan, USA
41°57′48.08″N 83°33′8.39″W / 41.9633556°N 83.5523306°W / 41.9633556; -83.5523306Coordinates: 41°57′48.08″N 83°33′8.39″W / 41.9633556°N 83.5523306°W / 41.9633556; -83.5523306
Aircraft type Embraer 120 RT Brasilia
Operator Comair (as Delta Connection)
Registration N265CA
Flight origin Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport
Destination Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport
Passengers 26
Crew 3
Fatalities 29
Survivors 0

Comair Flight 3272 was a Comair flight on January 9, 1997, from Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport to Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport. While on approach for landing, the aircraft, an Embraer EMB 120 Brasilia, crashed nose-down 18 miles short of the airport at 15:54 local time (EST).[1] All aboard, 26 passengers and three crew members, were killed.[2]

Passengers and crew[edit]

There were 26 passengers on board the Embraer 120, registered as N265CA. There were two crew members in the cockpit and a flight attendant in the cabin. The captain was Dann Carlsen (42), who was in command of Flight 3272 at the time of the crash. The first officer was Kenneth Reese (29), who was second in command of the aircraft.


The National Transportation Safety Board determined that the probable cause was inadequate standards for icing operations while in flight, specifically the failure of the Federal Aviation Administration to establish adequate minimum airspeeds for icing conditions, leading to a loss of control when the airplane accumulated a thin, rough accretion of ice on its lifting surfaces.

A contributing factor was the decision of the crew to operate in icing conditions while near the lower end of the flight envelope while the flaps were retracted. Comair had not established unambiguous minimum airspeed values for flap configurations and for flight in icing conditions.


The investigation into the crash was covered in "Deadly Myth", a 2017 episode of Mayday, a Canadian television series about air crashes.[3]

See also[edit]


External links[edit]