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However, the NTSB concluded that the compressor surges would not have significantly reduced the engines' thrust, and that the plane's failure to gain speed was due to aerodynamic drag on the aircraft due to the high angle of attack, rather than a loss of engine thrust.

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In it, the NTSB ultimately determined that there were two probable causes for the accident: (1) inadequate cockpit discipline which resulted in the flight crew's failure to extend the aircraft's flaps and slats to proper take-off configuration, and (2) the failure of the plane's TOWS to sound and alert the crew that their plane was not properly configured for takeoff.Contributing to the crash was Delta's slow implementation of changes to its flight crew management programs, a lack of sufficiently aggressive FAA action to compel Delta to correct known deficiencies, and a lack of sufficient accountability within the FAA's air carrier inspection process.It was delivered to Delta Air Lines in November 1973, and was the 992nd Boeing 727 to be manufactured.The aircraft was powered by three Pratt & Whitney JT8D-15 turbofan engines.Eventually this chat ceased as the crew was cleared for takeoff.

The takeoff was normal until the main wheels left the ground, at which point the aircraft commenced a violent rolling motion and the right wing dropped.

The crew requested to extend the hold to two minutes which was granted.

By coincidence, the crew talked to the flight attendants for a while about the crash of Continental Airlines Flight 1713 and what they would say on the cockpit recorder in case they crashed.

However, while the captain did not actively participate in these nonrelevant conversations, he also failed to stop the first officer's repeated interruptions and conversations with the flight attendant. The NTSB determined that Delta did not insist on standardized crew cockpit management, and that flight crews were allowed significant latitude in their conduct of cockpit operations.

The NTSB also found that the FAA was already aware of deficiencies in Delta's operations regarding flightcrew performance, but that neither Delta or the FAA had taken sufficient corrective actions to eliminate already known performance deficiencies among Delta flight crews.

Captain Davis was pinned between his seat and the instrument panel and had to be extricated by rescue crews (due to this, he was the last person to exit the aircraft, approximately 45 minutes after the crash).