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Accident description
Last updated: 21 October 2017
Status:Final
Date:Saturday 26 July 1969
Time:12:33
Type:Silhouette image of generic B703 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Boeing 707-331C
Operator:Trans World Airlines - TWA
Registration: N787TW
C/n / msn: 18712/373
First flight: 1964
Total airframe hrs:17590
Engines: 4 Pratt & Whitney JT3D-3B
Crew:Fatalities: 5 / Occupants: 5
Passengers:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 0
Total:Fatalities: 5 / Occupants: 5
Airplane damage: Damaged beyond repair
Location:Atlantic City International Airport, NJ (ACY) (   United States of America)
Phase: Approach (APR)
Nature:Training
Departure airport:Atlantic City International Airport, NJ (ACY/KACY), United States of America
Destination airport:Atlantic City International Airport, NJ (ACY/KACY), United States of America
Flightnumber:TW5787
Narrative:
The flight departed New York-JFK to carry out training and proficiency check manoeuvres at the National Aviation Facilities Experimental Center (NAFEC) at the Atlantic City Airport. The first captain to receive the proficiency check occupied the left seat. The instructor-pilot occupied the right seat, and a flight engineer occupied the flight engineer's position. The other two captains occupied the flight deck as observers while awaiting their turn at the controls. Flight 5787 landed on runway 13 then requested, and the tower approved, clearance to taxi to the end of the runway, execute a 180 degrees turn, and take off on runway 31.
Prior to takeoff, the instructor pilot briefed the captain to expect a simulated engine failure after V1, to execute a three-engine climbout, and to request vectors for a precision ILS approach to runway 13, using the aircraft's flight director system. Take off was initiated at 12:20 and instructor pilot retarded the No. 4 engine to training idle thrust after V1 had been reached.
The takeoff was continued and emergency procedures were executed in accordance with the TWA engine failure emergency checklist. The aircraft was leveled off at 1,500 feet and vectored to intercept the ILS course in the vicinity of the outer marker. The No. 4 engine remained in idle thrust and the instructor pilot directed the captain to execute a simulated three-engine ILS approach, and to expect a missed approach at the decision height.
The landing gear was extended and after the aircraft passed the outer marker, flaps were placed full down (50deg). The tower cleared TWA 5787 to land.
At the decision height, a missed approach was announced. The captain advanced power on engines 1, 2, and 3, and called for "25 Flaps," "Takeoff Power," "Up Gear." However, neither the flaps nor the landing gear moved from their previous positions. The aircraft was accelerated to 130 knots and a missed-approach climb was instituted.
Approximately 16 t o 18 seconds after the start of the missed-approach procedure, one of the observer pilots commented, "Oh! Oh! Your hydraulic system's zeroed." At 300 feet agl and an airspeed of 127 knots all hydraulic pumps were shutdown, but power on the no. 4 engine was not restored. Directional control was lost and the aircraft struck the ground in a right-wing low nose down attitude. The Boeing 707 broke up and caught fire.

Probable Cause:

PROBABLE CAUSE: "The probable cause of this accident was a loss of directional control, which resulted from the intentional shutdown of the pumps supplying hydraulic pressure to the rudder without a concurrent restoration of power on the No.4 engine. A contributing factor was the inadequacy of the hydraulic fluid loss emergency procedure when applied against the operating configuration of the aircraft."

Accident investigation:
cover
Investigating agency: NTSB
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 242 days (8 months)
Accident number: NTSB/AAR-70-08
Download report: Final report

Classification:
Simulated engine failure

Loss of control

Follow-up / safety actions

NTSB issued 4 Safety Recommendations

Show all AD's and Safety Recommendations

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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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Boeing 707

  • 858 built
  • 29th loss
  • 24th fatal accident
  • 18th worst accident (at the time)
  • 52nd worst accident (currently)
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