Continental Airlines flight CO1404 : on December 20, 2008, about 18:18 mountain standard time, Continental Airlines flight 1404, a Boeing 737-500, N18611, departed the left side of runway 34R during takeoff from Denver International Airport (DEN), Denver, Colorado. A postcrash fire ensued.
The captain and 5 of the 110 passengers were seriously injured; the first officer, 2 cabin crew members, and 38 passengers received minor injuries; and 1 cabin crewmember and 67 passengers (3 of whom were lap-held children) were uninjured.
The airplane was substantially damaged.
At the time of the accident, visual meteorological conditions prevailed, with strong and gusty winds out of the west.
Continental Airlines flight CO1404 operated on an instrument flight rules flight plan.
The National Transportation Safety Board determines that the probable cause of Continental Airlines flight CO1404 accident was the captain’s cessation of rudder input, which was needed to maintain directional control of the airplane, about 4 seconds before the excursion, when the airplane encountered a strong and gusty crosswind that exceeded the captain’s training and experience.
the left crosswind component increased from 30 knots to about 40 knots with a peak wind of about 45 knots
Contributing to the accident were the following factors:
- an air traffic control system that did not require or facilitate the dissemination of key, available wind information to the air traffic controllers and pilots; and
- inadequate crosswind training in the airline industry due to deficient simulator wind gust modeling.