Narrative:Weather was poor around Cape May when Flight 977 approached. The sky was obscured with a 400 feet indefinite ceiling and a visibility of 1-1,5 miles existed. The aircraft was making a runway 23 VOR approach when it collided with the ground 4000 feet short of the threshold.
Probable Cause:PROBABLE CAUSE: "The flight crew's lack of altitude awareness during a circling approach permitting the aircraft's flight path to deviate below a safe approach profile. The aircraft's rate of descent and descent flight path angle increased as a result of windshear encountered during visual approach below minimum descent altitude. The flight crew did not recognize these flight path deviations because they were relying on visual references which were degraded by non-homogeneous fog and on kinesthetic cues which were adversely affected by the aircraft's forward centre of gravity resulting from the improperly loaded aircraft. Contributing to the accident was the lack of company procedures requiring altitude-callouts during the visual portion of an approach."
» ICAO Circular 146-AN/96 (168-183)
Official accident investigation report
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 Atlantic City-Bader Field, NJ to Wildwood-Cape May County Airport, NJ as the crow flies is 55 km (34 miles).