ASN Aircraft accident McDonnell Douglas DC-9-31 N978Z Saint Louis-Lambert International Airport, MO (STL)
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Status:Accident investigation report completed and information captured
Date:Thursday 11 March 1993
Type:Silhouette image of generic DC93 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
McDonnell Douglas DC-9-31
Operator:Trans World Airlines - TWA
Registration: N978Z
MSN: 47250/309
First flight:
Total airframe hrs:59985
Crew:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 2
Passengers:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 0
Total:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 2
Aircraft damage: Substantial
Aircraft fate: Repaired
Location:Saint Louis-Lambert International Airport, MO (STL) (   United States of America)
Phase: Takeoff (TOF)
Departure airport:Saint Louis-Lambert International Airport, MO (STL/KSTL), United States of America
Destination airport:Saint Louis-Lambert International Airport, MO (STL/KSTL), United States of America
A McDonnell Douglas DC-9-31, N978Z, experienced a loss of directional control during an attempted touch and go landing on runway 30R (9,003' X 200' dry/concrete) at Saint Louis-Lambert Field, Missouri. The airplane exited the runway to the left and sustained substantial damage when the left wing impacted the runway and the nose gear collapsed. The airplane was being operated on a training flight at the time of the accident. Neither pilot reported any injuries.
The purpose of the training flight was to allow the first officer his first actual experience in the airplane. The captain performed the initial takeoff followed by a touch and go landing, followed by a full stop landing. During the taxi back for another takeoff the captain allowed the first officer to practice brake application and thrust reverser operation. The first officer then performed a takeoff followed by a touch and go landing. The captain then elected to demonstrate 'a more efficient reversing technique' using a touch-and-go. After landing the captain immediately selected the thrust reversers. He then attempted to stow the reversers and advanced the throttles for takeoff.
Soon thereafter the flight crew experienced severe directional control problems. The captain elected to attempt to takeoff because of insufficient room to stop the plane.
Either slightly prior to or shortly after rotation the captain applied additional thrust and then noticed that at least the left reverser was not stowed. He then closed the throttles and landed.
The airplane departed the left side of the runway at the 4,000-ft marker dragging the left wing and lower left reverser bucket. It then continued for 2,000 ft before coming to rest. Evidence indicated that neither thrust reverser was stowed, and that the flaps were at full deployment.

Probable Cause:

The captain's improper use of thrust reversers and excessive use of engine power. Factors which contributed to the accident were: the crosswind and the first officer's failure to raise the flaps.

Accident investigation:

Investigating agency: NTSB
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 1 year and 5 months
Accident number: CHI93FA109
Download report: Summary report



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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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