Accident description
Last updated: 2 October 2014
Status:Final
Date:Tuesday 27 April 1976
Time:15:10
Type:Boeing 727-95
Operator:American Airlines
Registration: N1963
C/n / msn: 19837/499
First flight: 1967-11-22 (8 years 5 months)
Total airframe hrs:21926
Engines: 3 Pratt & Whitney JT8D-7A
Crew:Fatalities: 2 / Occupants: 7
Passengers:Fatalities: 35 / Occupants: 81
Total:Fatalities: 37 / Occupants: 88
Airplane damage: Damaged beyond repair
Location:Saint Thomas-Harry S. Truman Airport (STT) (   U.S. Virgin Islands) show on map
Phase: Landing (LDG)
Nature:International Scheduled Passenger
Departure airport:New York-John F. Kennedy International Airport, NY (JFK/KJFK), United States of America
Destination airport:Saint Thomas-Harry S.Truman Airport (STT/TIST), U.S. Virgin Islands
Flightnumber: 625
Narrative:
American Airlines Flight 625 was a scheduled flight from Providence Airport (PVD) to St.Thomas (STT) on the U.S Virgin Islands with an intermediate stop in New York (JFK). The Boeing 727 departed New York at 12:00 AST. On approach to St. Thomas, at 15:04, the flight crew cancelled their IFR flight plan and proceeded VFR. The captain elected to use the runway 09 ILS for vertical guidance. The glide slope was intercepted at 1500 feet msl (flaps 15deg and at a 160 KIAS airspeed). The flaps were lowered to 25 and later to 30 degrees. The company prescribed 40 degrees was never selected. The speed was still 10 KIAS above Vref when the aircraft passed the threshold at an estimated altitude of 30-40 feet. At 1000 feet down the runway, while initiating the flare, turbulence caused the right wing to drop. The wings were leveled and the aircraft floated a while until touchdown 2200-2300 feet down the runway. The captain decided that the aircraft couldn't be stopped on the remaining runway. He immediately initiated a go-around. Because of the absence of any sensation either of power being applied or of aircraft acceleration, the throttles were closed again. The aircraft, in a 11 degree nose up attitude, ran off the runway and struck a localizer antenna. The right wingtip clipped a hillside just south of the antenna and the aircraft continued, hit an embankment, became airborne and contacted the ground on the opposite side of the perimeter road. The aircraft continued and came to rest 83 feet past the perimeter road, bursting into flames.

PROBABLE CAUSE: "The captain's actions and his judgment in initiating a go-around maneuver with insufficient runway remaining after a long touchdown. The long touchdown is attributed to a deviation from prescribed landing techniques and an encounter with an adverse wind condition, common at the airport. The non-availability of information about the aircraft's go-around performance capabilities may have been a factor in the captain's abortive attempt to go-around a long landing."

Sources:

Official accident investigation report
investigating agency: National Transport Safety Bureau (NTSB) - United States of America
report status: Final
report number: NTSB/AAR-77-01
report released:16-DEC-1976
duration of investigation:233 days (7.8 months)
download report: American Airlines, Inc., Boeing 727-95, St. Thomas, Virgin Islands, April 27, 1976. (NTSB/AAR-77-01)

Follow-up / safety actions

NTSB issued 3 Safety Recommendations

Show all AD's and Safety Recommendations

Photos

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Map
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 New York-John F. Kennedy International Airport, NY to Saint Thomas-Harry S.Truman Airport as the crow flies is 2601 km (1625 miles).

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Boeing 727

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