Fatal Plane Crashes and Significant
Events for the DC9

Other McDonnell Douglas/Boeing Models DC10, MD80, MD11, MD90

The following numbered events involve the death of at least one airline passenger where the aircraft flight had a direct or indirect role, and where at least one of the dead passengers was not a stowaway, hijacker, or saboteur. The events that are not numbered are listed because they meet the criteria of a significant event as defined by AirSafe.com

  1. 1 October 1966; West Coast DC9-14; near Wemme, OR: The aircraft crashed during landing. All five crew members and 13 passengers were killed.

  2. 9 March 1967; TWA DC9-14; near Urbana, OH: The aircraft crashed after an in flight collision with a Beech Baron. All four crew members and 21 passengers on the DC9 were killed. The sole occupant of the Baron was also killed.

  3. 16 March 1969; VIASA DC9-14; Maracaibo, Venezuela: The aircraft crashed shortly after takeoff. All 10 crew members and 74 passengers were killed. Several dozen persons were also killed or injured on the ground.

  4. 9 September 1969; Allegheny DC9-31; near Fairland, IN: The DC9 had an in flight collision with a single engine Piper Cherokee during approach. All four crew members and 78 passengers on the DC9 were killed. The two occupants of the Piper were also killed.

  5. 15 February 1970; Compania Dominicana DC9-32; Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic: The aircraft crashed into the sea after an engine problem during initial climb. All five crew members and 97 passengers were killed.

  6. 2 May 1970; ALM DC9-33CF; near St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands: The aircraft had departed JFK airport in New York for St. Maarten in the Netherlands Antilles. After three missed approaches, the crew diverted to St. Croix. While en route, the aircraft ran out of fuel and the crew ditched the aircraft. While the flight crew made specific preparations for ditching, the imminent ditching was not communicated to the cabin crew. As a result, several occupants were not belted in at the time of the ditching. The aircraft remained afloat for five to six minutes before sinking in waters about one mile (1600 meters) deep. One of the six crew members and 22 of the 57 passengers were killed. The accident was investigated by the NTSB and the details are available in NTSB report NTSB-AAR-71-8 dated 31 March 1971.
    Information on other ditching events

  7. 14 November 1970; Southern Airways DC9-31; near Huntington, WV: The aircraft hit a hill during its approach. All four crew members and 71 passengers were killed.

  8. 6 June 1971; Hughes Airwest DC9-31; near Duarte, CA: The aircraft crashed after an in flight collision with a U.S. Navy F-4 fighter. All five crew members and 44 passengers were killed. One of the two F-4 crew members was also killed.

  9. 26 January 1972; JAT DC9-32; near Hermsdorf, Czechoslovakia: The aircraft suffered an in-flight breakup due to a bomb. Five of the six crew members and all 22 passengers were killed. The surviving crew member reportedly fell to the ground inside of the tail section

  10. 19 March 1972; Misrair DC9-32; Mt. Shamsen, South Yemen: The aircraft hit high ground during approach. All nine crew members and 21 passengers were killed.

  11. 20 December 1972; North Central Airlines DC9-31; Chicago, IL: The DC9 was taking off when it collided with a Delta Convair 880 that was landing. Ten of the 41 passengers on the DC9 were killed. There were no fatalities on the Delta aircraft.

  12. 5 March 1973; Iberia DC9-32; Nantes, France: The aircraft had a midair collision with a Spantax Convair 990. All seven crew members and 61 passengers were killed. There were no fatalities on the Spantax aircraft.

  13. 20 June 1973; Aeromexico DC9-15; Puerto Vallarta, Mexico: The aircraft hit high ground during approach. All four crew members and 23 passengers were killed.

  14. 31 July 1973; Delta Air Lines DC9-31; Boston, MA: The aircraft landed short of the runway in poor visibility, striking a sea wall about 165 feet (50 m) the right of the runway centerline and about 3000 feet (914 m)short All six crew members and 83 passengers were killed. One of the passengers died several months after the accident.

  15. 11 September 1974; Eastern Airlines DC9-31; Charlotte, NC: The aircraft had an accident during landing. Two of the four crew members and 70 of the 78 passengers were killed.

  16. 22 December 1974; Avensa DC9-14; near Maturin, Venezuela: The aircraft had an accident during takeoff. All six crew members and 71 passengers were killed.

  17. 30 October 1975; Inex Adria DC9-32; Prague, Czechoslovakia: The aircraft landed short of the runway. Four of the five crew members and 72 of the 115 passengers were killed.

  18. 10 September 1976; Inex Adria DC9-32; near Zagreb, Yugoslavia: The aircraft had a midair collision with a British Airways Trident 3B. All five crew members and 108 passengers on the DC9 were killed. All nine crew members and 54 passengers on the Trident were also killed. The probable cause of this event was failure of the Yugoslavian ATC system to provide adequate separation.

  19. 4 April 1977; Southern Airways DC9-31; New Hope, GA: The aircraft had both engines lose thrust after ingestion of hail. The crew landed the aircraft on a road but hit a number of trees and a building. Two of the four crew members and 60 of the 81 passengers were killed. Eight others were killed on the ground.

  20. 26 June 1978; Air Canada DC9-32; Toronto, Canada: The aircraft had a rejected takeoff after a tire burst. Tire debris was ingested into engine two, causing compressor stalls. Two of the 102 passengers were killed after the aircraft overran the runway.

  21. 23 December 1978; Alitalia DC9-32; near Palermo, Italy: The aircraft crashed into the sea about two miles (3.2 km) short of the runway during its approach. The accident occurred in darkness and poor weather. Failure of the crew to follow correct approach procedures also contributed to the crash. All five crew members and 103 of 124 passengers were killed.

  22. 14 September 1979; Aero Transporti Italiani DC9-32; near Sarroch, Italy: The aircraft hit high ground in bad weather during its approach to landing. All four crew members and 27 passengers were killed.

  23. 27 June 1980; Itavia Airlines DC9-15; Tyrrhenian Sea near Italy: The aircraft had an in flight breakup due to an unknown cause. It was suspected that the event was caused by either a missile or a bomb. All four crew members and 77 passengers were killed.

  24. 27 July 1981; Aeromexico DC9-32; Chihuahua, Mexico: The aircraft crash landed during a violent thunderstorm, broke in two and burned. Two of the six crew members and 48 of the 60 passengers were killed

  25. 9 November 1981; Aeromexico DC9-32, near Zihuatanejo, Mexico: The aircraft hit a mountain during an emergency descent after a pressurization failure. All six crew members and 12 passengers were killed.

  26. 11 March 1983; Avensa DC9-32; Barquisimeto, Venezuela: The aircraft lost directional control after touchdown, broke up and burned. One of the five crew members and 21 of the 44 passengers were killed.

  27. 2 June 1983; Air Canada DC9-32; near Cincinnati, OH: The aircraft had an in flight cabin fire that led to an emergency landing. Of the 41 passengers, 23 were killed as a result of the fire and smoke.

  28. 7 December 1983; Aviaco DC9-32; Madrid, Spain: The DC9 entered the active runway without clearance in foggy conditions and was hit by a departing Iberia 727. All five crew members and 37 passengers on the DC9 were killed as were one of the nine crew members and 49 of the 84 passengers in the 727.

  29. 6 September 1985; Midwest Express DC9-14; Milwaukee, WI: Shortly after takeoff, the aircraft had an uncontained right engine failure. The crew initially correctly used a left rudder input to counter the loss of thrust, but switched to right rudder input about 10 seconds after the engine failure. Also, about 1.5 seconds after right engine failure, power was reduced to the left engine. The left engine subsequently stalled and the aircraft lost control and crashed. All four crew members and 27 passengers were killed. The NTSB found that the engine failure improper use of the flight controls by the pilot in command contributed to the accident.

  30. 31 August 1986; Aeromexico DC9-32; Cerritos, CA: The DC9 collided with a single engine Piper Archer which had made an unauthorized penetration of controlled airspace. All 6 crew members and 58 passengers were killed. The three occupants of the Piper and 15 people on the ground were also killed.
    Fatal midair collisions
    Wikipedia page on this event

  31. 4 April 1987; Garuda Indonesia Airways DC9-32; Medan, Indonesia: The aircraft crashed on approach in heavy rain after contact with an aerial and pylon. There was also a possible wind shear encounter. Four of the eight crew members and 23 of the 37 passengers were killed.

  32. 15 November 1987; Continental DC9-14; Flight 1713; Denver, CO: The aircraft was on a scheduled domestic flight from Denver, CO to Boise, ID and crashed shortly after takeoff in icy conditions. Ice had been allowed to accumulate on the the upper wing surfaces, and this, along with over rotation at takeoff, kept the wing from developing sufficient lift after takeoff. Three of the five crew members and 25 of the 77 passengers were killed.
    Wikipedia Entry for this Accident

  33. 3 October 1990; Eastern DC9-31; Florida, USA: The aircraft encountered turbulence while en route at 31,000 feet (9,450m) as it flew through an area of thunderstorms. Three of the 91 passengers were seriously injured and one died about 20 days after the accident. Also, 23 passengers received minor injuries. According to the flight attendants, all of the injured passengers were either standing in the aisle or lavatories were seated without their seatbelts fastened, even though the seat belt was on and the passengers had been advised to remained seated and belted. None of the six crew members were injured during this event.

  34. 14 November 1990; Alitalia DC9-32; near Zurich, Switzerland: The aircraft was flying about 900 feet (275 m) too low during approach and hit high ground. All six crew members and 40 passengers were killed

  35. 3 December 1990; Northwest DC9-14; Detroit, MI: The DC9 was taxiing in fog and strayed onto an active runway where it was hit by a departing Northwest 727. One of the four crew members and seven of the 40 passengers were killed. There were no fatalities on the second aircraft

  36. 5 March 1991; Linea Aerpostal Venezolana DC9-32; near Trujillo, Venezuela: The aircraft 40 degrees off course and during descent, the ground proximity warning system warned the crew and the crew reacted but the aircraft hit a ridge 100 feet below the top. All five crew members and 40 passengers on the jet were killed.

  37. 2 July 1994; USAir DC9-31; Charlotte, NC: The aircraft encountered heavy rain and wind shear during approach at about 3.5 miles (5.6 km) from the runway. The crew executed attempted to go around for another landing attempt, but the aircraft could not overcome the wind shear. All five crew members survived, but 37 of the 52 passengers were killed.

  38. 17 March 1995; Intercontinental Colombia DC9-10; South of Cartegena, Colombia: The aircraft crashed in marsh 37 miles (60 km) from the airport. All five crew members and 46 of the 47 passengers were killed.

  39. 11 May 1996; ValuJet Airlines DC9-32; near Miami, USA:
    The aircraft was on a domestic flight from Miami to Atlanta. A fire had started in one of the cargo compartments at some point after the cargo had been loaded. Shortly after departure, the crew reported smoke in the cockpit, and soon lost control of the aircraft. The aircraft went into a steep dive, crashing into the Florida Everglades about 15 miles (24 km) from the airport. All 105 passengers and five crew members were killed.
    NTSB Accident Report
    Related NTSB safety recommendations

  40. 10 October 1997; Austral Lineas Aereas DC9-32; near Nuevo Berlin, Uruguay: The aircraft crashed during a night approach in stormy weather. The aircraft departed Posadas, Argentina and crashed about 280 miles (448 km) from Buenos Aires, its intended destination. All five crew members and 69 passengers were killed.

  41. 2 February 1998; Cebu Pacific Air DC9-32; near Claveria, Philippines: The aircraft was descending toward Cagayan de Oro on a flight from Tacloban when the aircraft apparently crashed about 150 feet (93 m) from the top of Mt. Sumagaya. All five crew members and 99 passengers were killed. The accident occurred during daylight in cloudy conditions.

  42. 9 November 1999; TAESA DC9-31; near Uruapan, Mexico: The aircraft reportedly exploded shortly after takeoff on a scheduled flight to Mexico City and crashed about four miles (6.4 km) from Urupuan. The crew had declared an emergency about two minutes after takeoff. All five crew members and 13 passengers were killed.

  43. 10 December 2005; Sosoliso Airlines DC9-32; Port Harcourt, Nigeria:
    The aircraft was on a scheduled domestic flight from Abuja to Port Harcourt. During the approach, experienced reduced visibility and variable winds due to thunderstorm activity. The aircraft impacted the ground about 500 meters short of the runway and subsequently broke up and caught fire. In addition, the runway and approach lights were not on at the time of the crash. All seven crew members and 101 of the 103 passengers were killed.

  44. 15 April 2008; Hewa Bora Airways DC9-51; Goma, Democratic Republic of the Congo (DR Congo): The aircraft was on a scheduled domestic flight from Goma to Kisangani, DR Congo. The aircraft developed a problem during takeoff, and reportedly departed the runway and collided with several buildings in a nearby neighborhood. There were at least 21 fatalities, but it is unclear if any of the fatalities were from the aircraft. There were eight crew members and 86 passengers aboard the aircraft, and three of the passengers were killed. There were also 37 fatalities on the ground.

Other McDonnell Douglas/Boeing Models DC9, MD11, MD80, MD90

Related information
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Accidents by model

Fatal Plane Crashes and Significant Events for the DC9
http://www.airsafe.com/events/models/douglas.htm -- Revised: 1 March 2009