Event Details

Title:Runway excursion, Trans Caribbean Airways , Inc., Boeing 727-200, N8790R, Harry S Truman Airport, Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas, Virgin Islands, December 28, 1970
Micro summary:This Boeing 727-200 bounced twice, ground-looped, and was destroyed on landing.
Event Time:1970-12-28 at 1442 AST
File Name:1970-12-28-US.pdf
Publishing Agency:National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB)
Publishing Country:USA
Report number:NTSB-AAR-72-8
Site of event:300 feet down St. Thomas RWY 9
Latitude/Longitude:N1820' W6458'
Departure:San Juan, Puerto Rico
Destination:Cyril E. King Airport (Harry S Truman Airport), Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas, Virgin Islands
Airplane Type(s):Boeing 727-200
Flight Phase:Landing
Operator(s):Trans Caribbean Airways
Type of flight:Revenue
Serious Injuries:50
Other Injuries:0
Executive Summary:A Trans Caribbean Airways, Inc., Boeing 727-200, N8790R, operating as Flight 505, crashed during landing at the Harry S Truman Airport, St. Thomas, Virgin Islands, at 1442 Atlantic standard time on December 28, 1970. Of the 48 passengers and seven crewmembers aboard, two passengers received fatal injuries.

The weather at the airport was clear , with visibility in excess of 30 miles. The surface winds were reported to be from 110 at 10 knots at the time of the accident.

Flight 505 made a visual approach to Runway 9. The approach appeared to be normal until touchdown, after which the aircraft ascended to a height of about 50 feet above the runway. The aircraft touched down again very hard, became airborne again, and touched down a third and last time about 2,700 feet down the 4,650-foot runway. Almost simultaneously with the last touchdown, the right wing tip settled to the runway. The aircraft then veered off the right side of the runway, continued along a grass median strip parallel to the runway, passed through the airport perimeter fence, crossed over a paved highway, and came to rest against a hillside adjacent to the highway. A small fire ignited immediately but several minutes elapsed before a general conflagration developed. In the interim, 46 of the 48 passengers and all crewmembers escaped from the aircraft. The injuries to the survivors varied from none to serious.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines that the probable cause of this accident was the captain's use of improper techniques in recovering from a high bounce generated by a poorly executed approach and touchdown. Lack of cockpit crew coordination during the approach and attempted recovery contributed to the accident.
Learning Keywords:Operations - Bounce
Operations - Crew Resource Management
Operations - Hard Landing
Operations - Unstabilized Approach
Consequence - Hull Loss


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