1999 Airline safety and security review

This review includes important safety or security related occurrences from 1999. There are two types of events in this review, numbered events and significant events. Numbered events must meet the following criteria:

  • There is at least one passenger fatality,
  • The flight was open to the general public, and
  • The aircraft was a large jet or turboprop driven model that is typically used in airline service.

Significant events are those that don't meet the criteria for a numbered event, but would likely be of interest to airline passengers and the aviation safety and security community. These events may include non-fatal airline accidents, events unrelated to an airline flight, hijackings, military actions, criminal activities, or acts of sabotage.

Definitions used by AirSafe.com

    16 February 1999; Grumman G-1159 (Gulfstream II); N711TE; Van Nuys, CA: Director Barry Sonnenfeld, whose films include Men in Black, Men in Black II, and Wild, Wild West, escaped injury when the Gulfstream II executive jet he was riding ran off the runway at the Van Nuys, CA airport, crashed into several nearby aircraft, and caught fire. The aircraft was an unscheduled domestic flight from Montrose, CO to Van Nuys, CA. Sonnenfeld and the three crew members escaped injury, but the aircraft was seriously damaged.
    More details about this accident
    Celebrity plane crashes

  1. 24 February 1999; China Southwest Airlines Tupolev 154; B-2622; flight 4509; near Ruian, China: The aircraft was on a domestic flight from Chengdu to Wenzhou when the aircraft exploded and crashed about 12 miles (19 km) from its destination. The weather was reportedly clear, and the plane was descending through about 3,300 feet (1000 meters) shortly before radio contact with the aircraft was lost. All 11 crew members and 50 passengers were killed.
    Fatal passenger events for the airlines of China

  2. 25 February 1999; Minerva Airlines Dornier 328; D-CPRR; flight 1553; Genoa, Italy: The aircraft overran the runway after a flight from Cagliari, Sandina and came to rest in water. One of the four crew members and three of the 27 passengers were killed.
    Dornier 328 plane crashes

  3. 1 June 1999; American Airlines MD80; N215AA; flight AA1420; Little Rock, AR: The aircraft was on a scheduled domestic flight from Dallas, TX to 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 10 of the 139 passengers were killed.
    MD80 plane crashes

  4. 17 June 1999; Airlink Bandeirante; P2-ALX; near Goroka, Papua New Guinea: The aircraft was on a scheduled domestic flight from Nadzab to Goroka when it crashed into high ground about 12.5 miles (20 km) from Goroka. Both crew members and all 15 passengers were killed.
    Bandeirante plane crashes

    16 July 1999; Piper Saratoga; N9253N; Atlantic Ocean near Vinyard Haven, MA: John F. Kennedy, Jr., son of the late president, was the pilot of a single-engine aircraft on a night cross-country flight between Caldwell, New Jersey and Vinyard Haven, Massachusetts. During descent, the pilot lost control of the aircraft and crashed in the Atlantic Ocean several miles from shore. The NTSB concluded that Kennedy, who was not an instrument-rated pilot, became spatially disoriented in conditions of haze and darkness. The pilot and both passengers, his wife and a sister-in-law, were killed.
    More details about this accident
    Celebrity plane crashes

  5. 24 July 1999; Air Fiji Bandeirante; DQ-AFN; flight 121; near Suva, Fiji: The aircraft was on a domestic flight from Suva to Nadi when it struck a ridge in a mountainous region of the island nation. Both crew members and all 15 passengers were killed.

  6. 7 August 1999; Cabo Verde Airlines Dornier 228;-200; D4-CBC; flight 5002; Santo Antao Island, Cape Verde: The aircraft, which was owned by the Cape Verde Coast Guard and was in airline service as a temporary replacement aircraft, crashed into high ground while returning to the departure airport. The air turn back was due to low visibility caused by rain and fog. Both crew members and all 16 passengers were killed.
    Dornier 228 plane crashes

  7. 22 August 1999; China Airlines MD11; B-150; flight 642; Hong Kong, China: The aircraft was landing in Hong Kong at night and during a storm after a flight from Bangkok. The aircraft struck the runway and came to rest upside down and on fire. All 15 crew members survived, but three of the 300 passengers were killed.
    MD11 plane crashes
    China Airlines plane crashes since 1970

  8. 24 August 1999; Uni Air MD90-30; B-17912; flight 873; Hualien, Taiwan: The aircraft was on a scheduled domestic flight from Taipei to Hualien, Taiwan. A fire broke out in one of the overhead baggage compartments shortly after landing. The fire was caused by two gasoline filled plastic bottles which leaked and caught fire due to a short circuit in a battery that was also in the overhead baggage compartment. The upper fuselage was destroyed by the fire. All six crewmembers survived, but one of the 90 passengers was killed. There were 27 other passenger injuries, 13 of them serious.
    Accident Description from Taiwan's Aviation Safety Council
    Final Report from Taiwan's Aviation Safety Council

  9. 31 August 1999; LAPA 737-200; LV-WRZ; flight 3142; Buenos Aires, Argentina: The aircraft settled back onto the runway just after takeoff, overran the runway, hit two cars on a nearby road, and caught fire. The crew had continued the takeoff in spite of a configuration alarm. There were 65 fatalities among the 98 passengers, five crew members. Two of the occupants in the cars were also killed.
    737 plane crashes

    23 October 1999; Bell 206 helicopter; N36R; near Santa Clarita, CA: Ford was on a training flight in a Bell 206 helicopter when he and the instructor made an emergency landing in a dry riverbed. Although the helicopter rolled over on its left side, neither Ford or the instructor were injured.
    More details about this accident
    Celebrity plane crashes

    25 October 1999; Sunjet Aviation Learjet 35; N47BA; near Aberdeen, SD: Both pilots and all four passengers, including professional golfer and 1999 US Open winner Payne Stewart, were killed in the crash of a Learjet 35 aircraft. The NTSB determined that the crash was due to an incapacitation of the flight crew members due to a loss of cabin pressurization.
    More details about this accident
    Celebrity plane crashes

  10. 31 October 1999; EgyptAir 767-300ER; SU-GAP; flight 990; Atlantic Ocean near Nantucket Island, MA: Radar and radio contact with the aircraft was lost shortly after the aircraft departed JFK Airport on a scheduled international flight from New York, NY to Cairo, Egypt. The aircraft crashed into the ocean about 60 miles (96 km) south of Nantucket Island. The NTSB determined that the aircraft departed from controlled flight and crashed into the Atlantic Ocean as a result of flight control inputs by the first officer. All 14 crew members and 203 passengers were killed.
    EgyptAir Flight 990 accident investigation
    EgyptAir plane crashes since 1970
    767 plane crashes

  11. 9 November 1999; TAESA DC9-31; XA-TKN; flight 725; near Uruapan, Mexico: The aircraft was on a scheduled flight from Uruapan to to Mexico City, Mexico. Shortly after takeoff, the aircraft assumed an higher than normal nose high attitude. The aircraft stalled and crashed near the departure airport. All five crew members and 13 passengers were killed.
    DC9 plane crashes

  12. 11 December 1999; SATA ATP; CS-TGM; flight 530M; Azores, Portugal: The aircraft reportedly crashed on São Jorge island during a scheduled domestic flight from Ponta Delgada to Horta, Spain, both of which are in the Azores islands. While descending in conditions of heavy rain and turbulence, the aircraft struck a hillside. All four crew members and 31 passengers were killed.

  13. 21 December 1999; Cubana DC10-30; F-GTDI; flight 1216; Guatemala City, Guatemala: The aircraft, which was on a nonscheduled international flight from Havana, Cuba to Guatemala City, Guatemala, overran the wet runway and came to rest in a residential neighborhood adjacent to the airport. Eight of the 18 crew members and nine of the 296 passengers were killed. Nine people in the neighborhood were also killed.
    Other Cubana crashes
    Other DC10 crashes
    Other December crashes

  14. 24 December 1999; Indian Airlines A300B2-101; VT-EDW; flight 814; Amritsar, India The flight was taken over by five hijackers shortly after takeoff on a scheduled international flight from Katmandu, Nepal to New Delhi, India. The aircraft diverted to Amritsar, India where one of the hijackers killed one of the 169 passengers was killed. The aircraft departed Amritsar and eventually landed in Kandahar, Afghanistan the next day. By December 31st, all of the 11 crew members and the remaining 168 passengers had been released.
    More on this event

  15. 25 December 1999; Cubana Yak42; CU-T1285; flight 310; near Valencia, Venezuela: The aircraft was approaching Valencia, Venezuela after a scheduled international flight from Havana, Cuba when the aircraft struck high ground about 10 miles (16 km) southeast of Valencia. All 12 crew members 10 passengers were killed.
    Other Cubana crashes

Other Years
1996, 1997, 1998, 1999

2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004
2005 , 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009,

2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014
2015, 2016, 2017, 2018

Most recent crashes

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1999 Airline safety and security review
http://www.airsafe.com/events/fatal99.htm -- Revised: 20 October 2015