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Last updated: 22 March 2019
Date:Monday 9 February 1998
Type:Silhouette image of generic B722 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Boeing 727-223
Operator:American Airlines
Registration: N845AA
C/n / msn: 20986/1125
First flight: 1975-05-06 (22 years 10 months)
Total airframe hrs:59069
Engines: 3 Pratt & Whitney JT8D-9A
Crew:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 6
Passengers:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 115
Total:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 121
Aircraft damage: Substantial
Aircraft fate: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:Chicago-O'Hare International Airport, IL (ORD) (   United States of America)
Phase: Approach (APR)
Nature:Domestic Scheduled Passenger
Departure airport:Kansas City International Airport, MO (MCI/KMCI), United States of America
Destination airport:Chicago-O'Hare International Airport, IL (ORD/KORD), United States of America
American Airlines Flight 1340 crashed short of the runway while on a coupled instrument landing system (ILS) category II approach to runway 14R at Chicago-O’Hare. The approach was normal until the airplane passed through 200 feet above ground level (agl), where the airplane started a pitch oscillation that grew in time. The airplane descended below the ILS glide slope, then climbed above it, and finally descended below it again, impacting the ground 300 feet short of the runway threshold. Upon impact, the airplane slid over the threshold and then off the right side of the runway, where it came to rest..
The weather at the time of the approach was ceiling overcast at 100 feet, 1/2-mile visibility in freezing fog, temperature and dew point were 28 degrees F. The runway 14R RVR was 1,400 feet variable 1800 feet.

Probable Cause:

PROBABLE CAUSE: "The failure of the flight crew to maintain a proper pitch attitude for a successful landing or go-around. Contributing to the accident were the divergent pitch oscillations of the airplane, which occurred during the final approach and were the result of an improper autopilot desensitization rate."

Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: NTSB
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 3 years and 3 months
Accident number: DCA98MA023
Download report: Summary report


Follow-up / safety actions

NTSB issued 7 Safety Recommendations

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photo of Boeing 727-223 N845AA
American Airlines B727-223 N845AA following the accident; Photo By Michael F. McLaughlin / MikePhotos Airliner Images
photo of Boeing 727-223 N845AA
photo of Boeing 727-223 N845AA
photo of Boeing 727-223 N845AA
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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 Kansas City International Airport, MO to Chicago-O'Hare International Airport, IL as the crow flies is 643 km (402 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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Boeing 727

  • 1832 built
  • 79th loss
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