asn logo
Accident description
Last updated: 25 November 2015
Date:Wednesday 31 October 1979
Type:McDonnell Douglas DC-10-10
Operator:Western Air Lines
Registration: N903WA
C/n / msn: 46929/107
First flight: 1973
Total airframe hrs:24614
Engines: 3 General Electric CF6-6K
Crew:Fatalities: 9 / Occupants: 11
Passengers:Fatalities: 63 / Occupants: 77
Total:Fatalities: 72 / Occupants: 88
Ground casualties:Fatalities: 1
Airplane damage: Damaged beyond repair
Location:Mexico City-Juarez International Airport (MEX) (   Mexico)
Phase: Landing (LDG)
Nature:International Scheduled Passenger
Departure airport:Los Angeles International Airport, CA (LAX/KLAX), United States of America
Destination airport:Mexico City-Benito Juárez International Airport (MEX/MMMX), Mexico
Flight 2605 departed Los Angeles at 01:40 for a flight to Mexico City. Because of refurbishing work on runway 23L, the flight was cleared for a runway 23R approach. Descend through a fog bank was continued below the 600 feet minimum for instrument approaches. The aircraft touched down with the left main gear in the grass left of 23L and with the right main gear on the runway shoulder. Go-around power was added and the nose lifted 10-11deg. The right main gear then collided with a truck located on the runway. The gear leg separated and struck the right tailplane and elevator, causing substantial damage. The aircraft banked to the right until it struck the left wing struck the cab of an excavator, 1500m from the runway threshold, continued and crashed into a building and caught fire.

PROBABLE CAUSE: "Non-compliance with the meteorological minima for the approach procedure, as cleared; failure to comply with the aircraft's operating procedures during the approach phase, and landing on a runway closed to traffic."


Runway excursion

» ICAO Circular 173-AN/109
» NTSB Safety Recommendations A-80-59/60

Follow-up / safety actions

NTSB issued 2 Safety Recommendations

Show all AD's and Safety Recommendations


photo of McDonnell Douglas DC-10-10 N903WA
Add your photo of this accident or aircraft

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 Los Angeles International Airport, CA to Mexico City-Benito Juárez International Airport as the crow flies is 2484 km (1552 miles).

languages: English Français Nederlands Deutsch Espanol



  • 7th loss
  • 446 built
  • 3rd worst accident (at the time)
  • 7th worst accident (currently)
safety profile

  • 2nd worst accident (at the time)
  • 3rd worst accident (currently)
»safety profile