Northwest Airlines Flight 255

Northwest Airlines Flight 255

Airliner Accident
Airliner Accident Less

Northwest Airlines Flight 255

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Northwest Airlines Flight 255 was a flight that originated at MBS International Airport in Saginaw, Michigan, and was scheduled to terminate at John Wayne Airport in Orange County, California, with intermediate stops at Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport in Romulus, Michigan, near Detroit, and at Sky Harbor International Airport in Phoenix, Arizona. The flight crashed after takeoff in Romulus on August 16, 1987, at about 20:46 EDT (8:46 p.m. local time, 00:46 UTC August 17), killing all of the crew and passengers except for a 4-year-old girl,Cecelia Cichan, who sustained serious injuries, according to a report by the FAA's Office of Aviation Research. Flight 255 is the deadliest sole-survivor aircraft crash in United States aviation history.

Aircraft and crew

The aircraft was a twin-engined McDonnell Douglas MD-82, FAA tail number piloted by Captain John R. Maus, 57, and First Officer David J. Dodds, 35. Northwest 255 was carrying 149 passengers and 6 crew. The jet had entered service with Northwest Airlines immediately after the merger with Republic Airlines, and the aircraft was still wearing a hybrid Republic/Northwest livery (full Republic branding but with "Northwest" titles on the forward fuselage) at the time of the accident.


Flight 255 made its takeoff roll on Detroit's Runway 3C at approximately 8:45PM EDT with Capt. Maus at the controls. The plane lifted off the runway at 170 knots (195 mph)...
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