ASN Aircraft accident Boeing 747SP-09 N4522V San Fransisco, CA, USA
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Status:Accident investigation report completed and information captured
Date:Tuesday 19 February 1985
Time:10:16 PST
Type:Silhouette image of generic B74S model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Boeing 747SP-09
Operator:China Airlines
Registration: N4522V
MSN: 22805/564
First flight: 1982-06-10 (2 years 9 months)
Total airframe hrs:10192
Engines: 4 Pratt & Whitney JT9D-7A
Crew:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 23
Passengers:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 251
Total:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 274
Aircraft damage: Substantial
Aircraft fate: Repaired
Location:550 km (343.8 mls) NW off San Fransisco, CA, USA (   Pacific Ocean)
Phase: En route (ENR)
Nature:International Scheduled Passenger
Departure airport:Taipei-Chiang Kai Shek International Airport (TPE/RCTP), Taiwan
Destination airport:Los Angeles International Airport, CA (LAX/KLAX), United States of America
Flightnumber: 006
The flight from Taipei to about 300 nmi northwest of San Francisco was uneventful and the airplane was flying at about 41,000 feet mean sea level when the No. 4 engine lost power. During the attempt to recover and restore normal power on the No. 4 engine, the airplane rolled to the right, nosed over, and entered an uncontrollable descent. The captain was unable to restore the airplane to stable flight until it had descended to 9,500 feet. After the captain stabilized the airplane, he elected to divert to San Francisco International Airport, where a safe landing was made. Although the airplane suffered major structural damage during the upset, descent, and subsequent recovery, only two persons among the 274 passengers and crew on board were injured seriously.
The maximum vertical acceleration forces recorded during the descent were 4.8Gs and 5.1Gs as the airplane descended through 30,552 feet and 19,083 feet, respectively.

Probable Cause:

PROBABLE CAUSE: "The captain’s preoccupation with an inflight malfunction and his failure to monitor properly the airplane’s flight instruments which resulted in his losing control of the airplane. Contributing to the accident was the captain’s over-reliance on the autopilot after the loss of thrust on the no. 4 engine."

Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: NTSB
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 1 year and 1 months
Accident number: NTSB/AAR-86/03
Download report: Final report

Forced landing on runway

» NTSB/AAR-86/03


photo of Boeing-747SP-09-N4522V
accident date: 19-02-1985
type: Boeing 747SP-09
registration: N4522V
photo of Boeing-747SP-09-N4522V
This information is not presented as the Flight Safety Foundation or the Aviation Safety Network’s opinion as to the cause of the accident. It is preliminary and is based on the facts as they are known at this time.
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