Narrative:TWA Flight 159 (New York - Cincinnati - Los Angeles) departed the ramp at Cincinnati at 18:33. As the Boeing 707 was taxiing to runway 27L, Delta Airlines DC-9 N3317L (flight DL379) was landing. After completing the landing roll the crew requested permission to carry out a 180deg turnaround on the runway in order to vacate the runway at the runway 18/36 intersection which they had just passed. Permission was granted, but halfway during the turn the nosewheel slipped off the paved surface and the aircraft moved straight ahead off the runway. The aircraft became stuck in the mud with the tail about 7 feet off the edge of the runway. The controller tried to ascertain that DL379 had cleared the runway and received the reply: "Yeah, we're in the dirt though". At 18:39 the controller cleared TW159 for takeoff on the same runway. The first officer, who was at the controls, heard a loud noise from the right side of the plane and experienced a yaw and movement of the flight controls as they passed the DC-9. Assuming that he was at or near V1, he aborted the takeoff. He closed the throttles, applied maximum braking and called for spoilers which the captain extended. Directional control was maintained, but the airplane overran the runway by 225 feet to the brow of a hill. The Boeing became airborne momentarily and contacted the ground approx. 67 feet further on, shearing the main undercarriage. The aircraft slid down the embankment and came to rest straddling a road 421 feet from the runway end. The fuselage upper structure ruptured forward of the wing root and the right wing failed inboard of the no. 4 engine.
Investigation revealed that no. 4 engine sustained a compressor stall as it passed the DC-9 due to the jet blast from the idling engines of the Delta plane. The first officer assumed the speed was at or near V1 because the captain failed to announce the V1 speed. The maximum speed attained during the takeoff was 145 knots, which was between VR and V2.
PROBABLE CAUSE: "The inability of the TWA crew to abort successfully their takeoff at the speed attained prior to the attempted abort. The abort was understandably initiated because of the first officer's belief that his plane had collided with a Delta aircraft stopped just off the runway. A contributing factor was the action of the Delta crew in advising the tower that their plane was clear of the runway without carefully ascertaining the facts, and when in fact their aircraft was not a safe distance under the circumstances of another aircraft taking off on that runway."
» ICAO Accident Digest Circular 107-AN/81 (117-127)
Follow-up / safety actions
This map shows the airport of departure and the intended destination of the flight. The line between the airports does not
display the exact flight path.
Distance from Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky Airport, KY to Los Angeles International Airport, CA as the crow flies is 3031 km (1894 miles).