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Features June 2019 Issue

Accidents: AA 1420

These high-resolution images, never seen before in this detail, were from observations one minute after the accident and give us a lot more useful information.

Accidents: AA 1420

We’ve recently provided a good primer on using radar. Now, we get to put those skills to use to see what might have gone wrong and led to an accident.

One of the last weather-caused airline crashes in the United States was American Airlines Flight 1420 in Little Rock on June 1, 1999. As we mark its 20th anniversary, we’ll tie together some of the radar and thunderstorm skills we’ve learned in previous articles. You’ll also see brand-new radar scans of the storm from modern high-resolution display software—which is far more detailed than that in the NTSB report—and we’ll contemplate what you might see if you encounter a similar storm on modern radar today.

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