On July 26, 2002, about 0537 eastern daylight time, Federal Express flight 1478, a Boeing 727-232F, on its way from Memphis International Airport to Tallahassee Regional airport, struck trees on short final approach and crashed short of runway 9 at the Tallahassee Regional Airport, Florida. The flight was operating as a scheduled cargo flight from Memphis, to Tallahassee. The captain, first officer, and flight engineer were seriously injured, and the airplane was destroyed by impact and resulting fire. Night visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the flight, which operated on an instrument flight rules flight plan.
The National Transportation Safety Board determines that the probable cause of the accident was the crew’s failure to establish and maintain a proper glidepath during the night visual approach to landing. Contributing to the accident was a combination of the captain’s and first officer’s fatigue, the crew’s failure to monitor the approach, and the first officer’s color vision deficiency.