American Airlines 737 Crash
in Kingston, Jamaica
22 December 2009; American Airlines 737-800; N977AN; flight 331; Kingston, Jamaica: The aircraft was on a scheduled domestic 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, though all six crew members and seven passengers were reportedly taken to hospitals and stayed at least overnight. 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.
The investigation is being led by the government of Jamaica Civil Aviation Authority, with help from a variety of organizations including the NTSB, FAA, American Airlines, Boeing, and General Electric Aircraft Engines. The Jamaican CAA phone number is 876-960-3965, and the agency's email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Initial accident investigation press release 6 January 2010
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The aircraft involved was a Boeing 737-823, with registration N977AN. The aircraft was delivered to American Airlines on 20 December 2001. The NTSB online database has no record of any previous accident or serious incident involving this aircraft. The accident aircraft was configured with 148 passenger seats, including 16 in first class and 132 in coach.
The Dallas Morning News also reported that the runway at Norman Manley International Airport in Kingston, Jamaica was not grooved like many runways in the US, making it easier for water pool on the runway and increase the likelihood of hydroplaning. The main runway (12/30) is 8900 feet (2713 meters) long, with an instrument landing system available (ILS) only on runway 12. Because of the weather conditions at the time of the landing (rainstorm), and the lack of an ILS option on runway 30, it is likely that the crew had no choice but to land using the ILS equipped runway which meant either landing with a tail wind or landing at an alternate airport.
American Airlines and the 737-800
According to the Dallas Morning News, the 737-800 has the highest landing speed of any aircraft in the American Airlines inventory, about 160 knots. The airline operates about 108 of these aircraft, with about 64 on order as of December 2009.
Previous 737-800 Crashes
- 29 September 2006; Gol Linhas Aereas 737-800; Flight 1907; near Peixoto de Azevedo, Brazil:
The aircraft was on a scheduled domestic flight from Manaus to Brasilia when it had a midair collision in the area of São Félix do Xingu with an Embraer ERJ135 Legacy 600 executive jet operated by ExcelAire.
The ExcelAire Legacy 600 jet had been on a flight from São José dos Campos to Manaus.
After the collision, which damaged the left wing, left stabilizer, and left elevator of the executive jet, the crew of the damaged ExcelAire aircraft was able to land at a nearby military airfield at Cachimbo, Brazil.
The 737 subsequently experienced an inflight breakup and crashed 30 about kilometers (19 miles) north of the Peixoto de Azevedo municipality.
The Legacy 600 was on the first leg of a delivery flight to the U.S. The 737 aircraft was also relatively new, having come into service with the airline less than three weeks before the crash.
All six crew members and 148 passengers on the 737 were killed. The two crew members and five passengers on the Legacy 600 were not injured.
Fatal Events for Airlines of Latin America
Fatal Events Involving the Boeing 737
Fatal Events Involving Embraer Aircraft
Fatal Events Involving a Midair Collision
- 5 May 2007; Kenya Airways 737-800; Flight 507; near Douala, Cameroon:
The aircraft was on a scheduled international flight from Douala, Cameroon to Nairobi, Kenya.
The aircraft crashed into a swampy area near the airport less than one minute after takeoff.
The aircraft departed just after midnight local time and the aircraft sent at least one communication to the control tower prior to the crash.
All nine crew members and 105 passengers were killed.
Fatal Events Involving Kenya Airways
- 20 August 2007; China Airlines 737-800; Flight 120; Naha, Japan:
Shortly after landing at Naha on the island of Okinawa, the left engine caught fire and the crew initiated an emergency evacuation.
Although the aircraft was destroyed by fire, all 157 passengers (including two toddlers) and eight crew members survived.
10 November 2008; Ryanair 737-800; Flight 4102; Rome, Italy: The aircraft, on a scheduled international flight from Frankfurt, Germany to Rome, Italy encountered a flock of birds during approach to Rome, sustaining damage to both engines, the wings, and the nose. The crew was able to land on the runway, but aircraft had a collapsed landing gear and serious damage to the rear of the fuselage. All six crew members, and 166 passengers survived.
- 25 February 2009; Turkish Airlines 737-800; Flight 1951; Amsterdam, Netherlands:
The aircraft, on a scheduled international flight from Istanbul, Turkey, to Amsterdam, Netherlands crashed in a field about a mile (1.6 km) short of the runway.
Three crew members, including both pilots, were killed, as were at least six others among the 134 passengers and crew members.
Turkish Airlines Plane Crashes
More about this event
Initial AirSafe.com report on this Accident
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Revised: 14 November 2015