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Last updated: 19 January 2019
Date:Tuesday 12 March 1991
Type:Silhouette image of generic DC86 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
McDonnell Douglas DC-8-62H-AF
Operator:Air Transport International - ATI
Registration: N730PL
C/n / msn: 46161/552
First flight: 1971
Total airframe hrs:50145
Engines: 4 Pratt & Whitney JT3D-3B
Crew:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 3
Passengers:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 2
Total:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 5
Aircraft damage: Destroyed
Aircraft fate: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:New York-John F. Kennedy International Airport, NY (JFK) (   United States of America)
Crash site elevation: 4 m (13 feet) amsl
Phase: Takeoff (TOF)
Departure airport:New York-John F. Kennedy International Airport, NY (JFK/KJFK), United States of America
Destination airport:Brussel-Zaventem Airport (BRU/EBBR), Belgium
Flightnumber: 102
The pilot felt that the force needed to pull the yoke aft was too great and aborted the takeoff. The aircraft overran, striking a sand berm and an ILS shack. Both main gears and all four engines broke off. The flight engineer had calculated the "V"-speeds and trim settings for a 242,000 lb (109770 kg) takeoff weight, while the actual takeoff weight was 342,000 lb (155130 kg).

Probable Cause:

PROBABLE CAUSE: "Improper preflight planning/preparation, in that the flight engineer miscalculated (misjudged) the aircraft's gross weight by 100,000 lbs and provided the captain with improper takeoff speeds; and improper supervision by the captain. Factors related to the accident were: improper trim setting provided to the captain by the flight engineer, inadequate monitoring of the performance data by the first officer, and the company management's inadequate surveillance of the operation. "

Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: NTSB
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 1 year and 7 months
Accident number: NYC91FA086
Download report: Summary report

Wrong takeoff configuration (flaps/trim)

Runway excursion

» Air Safety Week 10 April 1995 (p. 3-4)
» Flight International
» ICAO Adrep Summary 4/94 (#96)


photo of McDonnell Douglas DC-8-62H-AF N730PL
photo of McDonnell Douglas DC-8-62H-AF N730PL
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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 New York-John F. Kennedy International Airport, NY to Brussel-Zaventem Airport as the crow flies is 5845 km (3653 miles).

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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