ASN Aircraft accident McDonnell Douglas DC-9-31 5N-BBE Monrovia-Sprigg Payne Airport (MLW)
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Status:Accident investigation report completed and information captured
Date:Thursday 18 August 1994
Type:Silhouette image of generic DC93 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
McDonnell Douglas DC-9-31
Operator:ADC Airlines
Registration: 5N-BBE
MSN: 45872/345
First flight: 1968
Total airframe hrs:62484
Engines: 2 Pratt & Whitney JT8D-7
Crew:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 11
Passengers:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 74
Total:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 85
Aircraft damage: Destroyed
Aircraft fate: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:Monrovia-Sprigg Payne Airport (MLW) (   Liberia)
Crash site elevation: 8 m (26 feet) amsl
Phase: Landing (LDG)
Nature:International Scheduled Passenger
Departure airport:Freetown-Lungi International Airport (FNA/GFLL), Sierra Leone
Destination airport:Monrovia-Sprigg Payne Airport (MLW/GLMR), Liberia
Flightnumber: 018
ADC flight 018 was a scheduled flight from Banjul, Gambia (BJL) via Freetown, Sierra Leone (FNA) to Monrovia, Liberia (MLW)).
The DC-9 took off from Lungi International Airport at about 12:20 and approached Monrovia at about 12:50. A visual approach was carried out using the GPS as a guide. The aircraft was aligned with the runway centre line at about 8nm out. According to the pilot-in-command, the aircraft broke cloud at about 1000 feet and the Oil Refinery and the fuel dump, were positively identified at 5nm. When the aircraft was about 4nm away from the threshold of runway 23, it had descended to 400ft which was the MDA. The runway was sighted at about 2.5nm, the aircraft crossed the threshold at a slightly high altitude of about 150ft.
A hard touch down was made at about 3000ft from the threshold. The spoilers were said to have deployed automatically and the pilots applied full brakes with reverse thrusts on both engines. The aircraft crossed the runway end at a speed of about 80 kts. Due to a sharp depression at the end of the runway, the aircraft entered the seven foot depression, with a great shock before a final stop at 390 feet.
All occupants were successfully evacuated with few minor injuries. The aircraft burnt out due to the lack of fire fighting equipment.

Probable Cause:

PROBABLE CAUSE: "The probable cause of the accident lies in the decision of the commander to continue to land the aeroplane in a situation that clearly calls for a missed approach.
The contributory factors are the excessive height and speed over the threshold of the runway and, the subsequent high rate of descent to touchdown."

Runway excursion

» Flight International 31 August- 6 September 1994 (18)
» ICAO Adrep 1/95 (#129)
» Scramble 184

Follow-up / safety actions

Min of Transport Liberia issued 4 Safety Recommendations

Show all...


photo of DC-9-31-5N-BBE
accident date: 18-08-1994
type: McDonnell Douglas DC-9-31
registration: 5N-BBE

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 Freetown-Lungi International Airport to Monrovia-Sprigg Payne Airport as the crow flies is 371 km (232 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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