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Accident description
Last updated: 23 April 2017
Date:Monday 18 April 1977
Type:Silhouette image of generic DC85 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
McDonnell Douglas DC-8-53
Operator:Philippine Air Lines
Registration: RP-C803
C/n / msn: 45937/324
First flight: 1968
Total airframe hrs:35862
Engines: 4 Pratt & Whitney JT3D-3B
Crew:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 13
Passengers:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 127
Total:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 140
Airplane damage: Damaged beyond repair
Location:Tokyo-Haneda Airport (HND) (   Japan)
Phase: Takeoff (TOF)
Nature:International Scheduled Passenger
Departure airport:Tokyo-Haneda Airport (HND/RJTT), Japan
Destination airport:Manila International Airport (MNL/RPLL), Philippines
Flightnumber: 421
The DC-8 was 1000 m into takeoff, using runway 15L, when it lifted off prematurely. The aircraft banked left, touched down again, veered off the runway and continued 800 m on the sod before coming to rest with the undercarriage and all 4 engines torn off.

Probable Cause:

PROBABLE CAUSE: Left elevator geared tab drive arm assemblies and elevator gust lock crank assembly had failed.

» Flight International 14.05.1977 (1298)

Official accident investigation report
investigating agency: Aircraft Accidents Investigation Commission (AAIC) - Japan
report status: Final
report number: Final report
report released:30 March 1978
duration of investigation: 12 months
download report: Final report


photo of McDonnell Douglas DC-8-53 PI-C803
photo of McDonnell Douglas DC-8-53 RP-C803
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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 Tokyo-Haneda Airport to Manila International Airport as the crow flies is 2976 km (1860 miles).

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