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Accident description
Last updated: 19 October 2017
Status:Final
Date:Thursday 30 March 1967
Time:00:50
Type:Silhouette image of generic DC85 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Douglas DC-8-51
Operator:Delta Air Lines
Registration: N802E
C/n / msn: 45409/19
First flight: 1959
Total airframe hrs:23391
Engines: 4 Pratt & Whitney JT3D-1
Crew:Fatalities: 6 / Occupants: 6
Passengers:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 0
Total:Fatalities: 6 / Occupants: 6
Ground casualties:Fatalities: 13
Airplane damage: Damaged beyond repair
Location:New Orleans, LA (   United States of America)
Phase: Approach (APR)
Nature:Training
Departure airport:New Orleans International Airport, LA (MSY/KMSY), United States of America
Destination airport:New Orleans International Airport, LA (MSY/KMSY), United States of America
Flightnumber:DL9877
Narrative:
Delta Air Lines DC-8-51 N802E was scheduled as Flight 9877, to provide crew training for a captain-trainee and a flight engineer-trainee. In addition the flight engineer-instructor was being given a routine proficiency check.
At 23:14 a weather briefing was given to the instructor pilot, indicating, "... the only significant weather was a restriction in visibility which was expected to reduce to about two miles in fog and smoke near 0600...".
The flight departed the ramp at 00:40 with the captain-trainee in the left seat and the check captain in the right seat. At 00:43 the crew advised the tower they were ready for takeoff and would "...like to circle and land on one (runway 1)." The tower controller then cleared them as requested. The aircraft was observed to make what appeared to be a normal takeoff and departure. At 00:47 the crew reported on base leg for runway 1, and the controller cleared the flight to land. A subsequent discussion revealed that they would execute a simulated two-engine out approach, execute a full stop landing and then takeoff on runway 19.
The tower controller observed Flight 9877 in a shallow left turn on what appeared to be a normal final approach. The degree of bank increased to approximately 60 degrees or greater when the aircraft hit the power lines approximately 2,300 feet short and 1,100 feet west of the runway threshold. The DC-8 crashed into a residential area, destroying several homes and a motel complex.

Probable Cause:

PROBABLE CAUSE: "Improper supervision by the instructor, and the improper use of flight and power controls by both instructor and the Captain-trainee during a simulated two-engine out landing approach, which resulted in a loss of control."

Accident investigation:
cover
Investigating agency: NTSB
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 265 days (9 months)
Accident number: NTSB File 1-0003
Download report: Final report

Classification:
Simulated engine failure
Loss of control

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This information is not presented as the Flight Safety Foundation or the Aviation Safety Network’s opinion as to the cause of the accident. It is preliminary and is based on the facts as they are known at this time.
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DC-8

  • 556 built
  • 15th loss
  • 13th fatal accident
  • 8th worst accident (at the time)
  • 23rd worst accident (currently)
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