Narrative:The aircraft was on a certification test flight to determine the horizontal distance required to land and bring the aircraft to a full stop as required by 14 CFR 25.125 when the accident occurred. The DC-9-80 touched down about 2,298 feet beyond the runway threshold. The descent rate at touchdown exceeded the aircraft's structural limitations; the empennage separated from the aircraft and fell to the runway. The aircraft came to rest about 5,634 feet beyond the landing threshold of runway 22 and was damaged substantially.
PROBABLE CAUSE: "The National Transportation Safety Board determines that the probable cause of this accident was the pilot's failure to stabilize the approach as prescribed by the manufacturer's flight test procedures. Contributing to the cause of the accident was the lack of a requirement in the flight test procedures for other flight crewmembers to monitor and call out the critical flight parameters. Also contributing to this accident were the flight test procedures prescribed by the manufacturer for demonstrating the aircraft's landing performance which involved vertical descent rates approaching the
design load limits of the aircraft."
Follow-up / safety actions
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 Edwards AFB, CA to Edwards AFB, CA as the crow flies is 0 km (0 miles).