The
AirSafe.com News

↑ Grab this Headline Animator


Fatal Plane Crashes and Significant Events Since
1970 for American Airlines and American Eagle

The following are either fatal events involving at least one passenger death or significant safety occurrences involving the airline. Excluded would be events where the only passengers killed were stowaways, hijackers, or saboteurs. The passenger fatalities in the numbered events may be due to accidents, hijackings, sabotage, or military action. The events that are not numbered may or may not include fatalities, and are included because they meet the criteria of a significant event as defined by AirSafe.com

  1. 28 December 1970; American Airlines (Trans Caribbean Airways) 727-200; Flight 505; St. Thomas, VI: This was a scheduled domestic flight from San Juan, PR to St. Thomas, VI. The aircraft had a hard landing which caused it to bounce. The crew executed a second touchdown which caused on of the main landing gear to fail. The aircraft overran the runway on the right side and hit an embankment. None of the crew members and two of the 46 passengers were killed.
    Fatal 727 Events

  2. 27 April 1976; American Airlines 727; Flight 625; St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands: The aircraft was on a scheduled flight domestic flight from JFK airport in New York to St. Thomas, VI. The aircraft overran the runway after an unsuccessful attempt at aborting the landing, striking an antenna and proceeding through a fence before hitting a gas station. Two of the seven crew members and 35 of the 81 passengers were killed. One person on the ground was seriously injured.
    Fatal 727 Events
    Wikipedia Entry for this Accident
  3. 25 May 1979; American Airlines DC10-10; Flight 191; Chicago, USA: The aircraft was on a scheduled domestic flight from Chicago, IL to Los Angeles, CA. During the takeoff roll, the left engine and pylon separated from the wing, damaging several hydraulic lines at the same time. The crew continued the takeoff, but the damage caused by the engine separation led to the uncommanded retraction of some flight control surfaces on the left wing as well as the loss of warning systems associated with those control surfaces. The aircraft rolled to the left, lost altitude, and crashed shortly after takeoff. All 258 passengers and 13 crew members were killed. Two people on the ground were also killed.
    Fatal DC10 Events
    Wikipedia Entry for this Accident

    15 November 1979; American Airlines 727; Flight 444; en route from Chicago to Washington, DC: This was a scheduled domestic flight from Chicago to National Airport near Washington, DC. The Unabomber (Theodore Kaczynski) had shipped a package containing an explosive device, and it was triggered in flight. The bomb failed to explode, but it did generate large quantities of smoke. The crew diverted to Dulles Airport near Washington and landed without further incident. All six crew members and 72 passengers survived, though 12 passengers suffered from smoke inhalation. This was the only known bombing attempt on an aircraft by the Unabomber. A total of 16 bombing events between 1978 and 1995 were attributed to Kaczynski, and those explosions led to three deaths and a number of serious injuries. He was arrested in 1996, plead guilty to all charges against him, and he is now serving a life sentence in a US federal prison. This was not a fatal event as defined by AirSafe.com, and was included because investigators determined that if the bomb had successfully detonated, it would have led to the loss of the aircraft.

  4. 19 February 1988; American Eagle (Avair) Fairchild Metro III; Flight 3378; Cary, NC: This was a scheduled domestic flight from Raleigh/Durham, NC to Richmond, VA. The aircraft departed during low ceiling, low visibility, and night conditions. The aircraft ascended to about 300 feet, but shortly thereafter crashed into a nearby reservoir. Analysis of radar data indicated the aircraft was in a 45 degree descending turn. Both crew members and all 10 passengers were killed.

  5. 7 June 1992; American Eagle (Executive Air) CASA 212-200; Flight 5452; Mayaguez, PR: The aircraft crashed one kilometer short of the runway in bad weather. Both crew and all three passengers were killed.

  6. 31 October 1994; American Eagle (Simmons Airlines) ATR 72; Flight 4184; near Roselawn, IN: This was a scheduled domestic flight from Indianapolis, IN and Chicago, IL. During descent, the crew activated the airframe deicing system. The crew was in a holding pattern at about 10,000 feet (3050 m) and while the aircraft was descending to 8,000 feet, the aircraft went out of control due to the effects of icing and crashed. The four crew members and 64 passengers were all killed. The icing occurred in areas of the wings that were beyond the area protected by the deicing system.
    Fatal ATR Events
    Wikipedia Entry for this Accident
    NTSB Accident Report Volume I  (Summary)
    NTSB Accident Report Volume II  (Summary)

  7. 13 December 1994; American Eagle (Flagship Airlines) Jetstream 31; Flight 3379; Raleigh-Durham, NC: Crashed about 5 miles (8 km) short of the runway at night in icing conditions and with possible engine trouble. Both crew and 13 of the 18 passengers were killed.
    Fatal Jetsteram Events

  8. 12 November 1995; American Airlines MD83; Flight 1572; near Hartford, CT: The aircraft was on a scheduled domestic flight between Chicago, IL and Hartford, CT. While on approach, the crew was descending below the minimum descent altitude, and impacted a number of trees on a ridge near the airport. The material ingested by the engines led to a complete loss of engine power on the left engine and a partial loss on the right engine. The crew continued the approach, hitting a tree and an antenna array near the approach end of the runway. The crew was able to land on the runway, and after stopping initiated an emergency evacuation. There was no post crash fire. There were thunderstorms in the area at the time of the event. None of the five crew members 73 passengers were seriously injured.
    NTSB Accident Summary
    NTSB Accident Report
    Fatal MD80 Events
    Wikipedia Entry for this Crash

  9. 20 December 1995; American Airlines 757; Flight 965; near Buga, Colombia: The aircraft was on a scheduled international flight from Miami, FL, The aircraft crashed into Mt. San Jose at night at about the 9,000 foot level while descending into Cali, Colombia after its flight from Miami. All 8 crew and 155 of the 159 passengers were killed in the crash. Colombian civil aviation authorities report that at the time of the accident, all navigational beacons were fully serviceable and that the aircraft voice and data recorders did not indicate any aircraft problems.
    Fatal 757 Events
    Accident Report
    Wikipedia Entry for this Crash

  10. 1 June 1999; American Airlines MD80; Flight 1120; Little Rock, AR: The aircraft ran off the runway, broke up, and caught fire after a night landing. There were thunderstorms in the area at the time of the event. One of the six crew members and eight of the 139 passengers were killed.
    NTSB Accident Summary
    NTSB Accident Report
    Additional NTSB Background Information
    Fatal MD80 Events

  11. 11 September 2001; American Airlines 767; Flight 11; World Trade Center, New York: The aircraft was on a flight from Boston to Los Angeles when it was hijacked and flown into one of the World Trade Center Towers. Another jet, a United Airlines 767, was hijacked and flown into the other tower. Both towers later collapsed. All 11 crew members, 76 passengers, and five hijackers were killed, as were untold numbers of people on the ground.
    Fatal 767 Events
    Attack on New York and Washington
    Wikipedia Entry for this Event

  12. 11 September 2001; American Airlines 757; Flight 77; The Pentagon, Arlington, VA: The aircraft was on a scheduled domestic flight from Dulles airport in outside of Washington, DC to Los Angeles, CA when it was hijacked and flown into the Pentagon, collapsing part of the structure. All six crew members, 53 passengers, and five hijackers were killed.
    Fatal 757 Events
    Attack on New York and Washington
    Wikipedia Entry for this Event

  13. 12 November 2001; American Airlines A300-600; Flight 587; Queens, New York: The aircraft was on a flight from New York to Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic when it crashed into a residential neighborhood just outside JFK airport. The aircraft crashed after experiencing an in-flight breakup as a result of flight crew control inputs. The crash damaged or destroyed several homes, and killed five people on the ground. Also killed were all nine crew members and 251 passengers on the aircraft, including five infants.
    Fatal A300 Events
    Accident Investigation Details
    NTSB Final Report

    22 December 2001; American Airlines 767; Flight 63; en route from Paris to Miami: While in cruise on a flight from Paris to New York, flight attendants noticed that passenger Richard Reid, a British citizen, was attempting to light some type of fuse that was attached to an explosive device in one of his shoes. Working together, passengers and flight attendants foiled the attempt to explode the device, and restrained Reid using among other things belts from passengers and drugs from an on board medical kit. The flight was diverted to Boston and landed without further incident. Later analysis showed that the shoe contained the explosive triacetone triperoxide (TATP) and if detonated would have been powerful enough to blow a hole in the fuselage. None of the other passengers or crew members were injured.

    In November 2003, British citizen Saajid Mohammed Badat was arrested and later convicted of being part of a conspiracy that was to detonate on an aircraft a device that was identical to the one used by Reid. Badat had received a device, but did not attempt to detonate it on an aircraft.
    Fatal 767 Events
    Fatal U.S. and Canadian Bombing Events
    Wikipedia Entry for this Event

  14. 19 October 2004; AmericanConnection (Corporate Airlines) BAe Jetstream 32; Flight 5966; near Kirksville, MO: The aircraft was on a scheduled domestic flight from St. Louis to Kirksville when it crashed about four miles (6.4 km) south of the destination airport. According to the National Weather Service, visibility was about four miles at the time of the crash, with low clouds created a 300-foot ceiling. Both crew members and 11 of the 13 passengers were killed.
    Fatal BAe Jetstream Events
    Wikipedia Entry for this Crash
    NTSB Final Report Summary
    NTSB Full Final Report

    18 March 2005; American Airlines 767; Flight 4; en route from Los Angeles to New York JFK: The aircraft was on a scheduled domestic flight from Los Angeles to JFK airport in New York when a passenger allegedly assaulted a flight attendant. The 48 year old passenger was then restrained by the cabin crew using flexible handcuffs. Reportedly, seven passengers also helped to restrain the passenger during the latter stages of the flight. At some point, the passenger had difficulty breathing. After landing at JFK, the unconscious passenger was then taken to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead. The New York City medical examiner's office later ruled the death an accident that was caused by acute cocaine and alcohol intoxication, which was aggravated by heart trouble. No other crew members or passengers were seriously injured or killed. Because this passenger death was due at least in part to the deliberate actions of that passenger, this does not constitute a fatal event as defined by AirSafe.com.
    Fatal 767 Events

    7 December 2005; American Airlines 757; Flight 924; Miami, Fl: The aircraft had arrived from Medellin, Colombia, and was on a roughly two hour stopover in Miami before continuing to Orlando. It is alleged that one of the passengers, a 44-year old U.S. citizen, claimed to have a bomb in his carry on luggage. Air marshals confronted the man on the jetway and shot him after he appeared to reach into his bag. The man died sometime later as a result of his wounds. No explosive was found in the bag. It was reported that this passenger had previously arrived in Miami on an American flight from Quito, Ecuador and had cleared U.S. customs before boarding the Orlando flight. No one else was injured in this event. This is the first time sine 9/11 that air marshals have fired a weapon on or near an aircraft. Because this passenger death was due at least in part to the deliberate actions of that passenger, this does not constitute a fatal event as defined by AirSafe.com.
    Fatal 757 Events
    Wikipedia Entry for this Event

    22 December 2009; American Airlines 737-800 (N977AN); Flight 331; Kingston, Jamaica:The aircraft was on a scheduled international flight from Miami, FL to Kingston, Jamaica. The aircraft landed during a rainstorm, and was unable to stop on the runway. After departing the runway, the aircraft went beyond the airport fence, and crossed a road before coming to rest on a beach. The landing gear collapsed, both engines separated from the wings, and there were two major breaks in the fuselage, but all 148 passengers and six crew members survived. The landing was carried out with a slight tail wind

    This plane crash resulted in no fatalities, and is not a fatal event as defined by AirSafe.com, but is included because of the seriousness of the event.
    Other 737 crashes
    Wikipedia page on this accident


American Airlines Fleet

Please review the U.S. accident and incident record page and the U.S. fleet page for information about American Eagle and other regional airlines with an American Airlines affiliation.

Fatal Plane Crashes and Significant Events Since 1970 for American Airlines and American Eagle
http://airsafe.com/events/airlines/american.htm -- Revised 15 July 2014