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Accident description
Last updated: 26 April 2017
Date:Wednesday 16 February 2000
Type:Silhouette image of generic DC87 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
McDonnell Douglas DC-8-71F
Operator:Emery Worldwide
Registration: N8079U
C/n / msn: 45947/341
First flight: 1968-02-29 (32 years)
Total airframe hrs:84447
Engines: 4 CFMI CFM56-2C1
Crew:Fatalities: 3 / Occupants: 3
Passengers:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 0
Total:Fatalities: 3 / Occupants: 3
Airplane damage: Destroyed
Airplane fate: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:2,4 km (1.5 mls) E of Sacramento-Mather Airport, CA (MHR) (   United States of America)
Phase: Initial climb (ICL)
Departure airport:Sacramento-Mather Airport, CA (MHR/KMHR), United States of America
Destination airport:Dayton-James Cox Dayton International Airport, OH (DAY/KDAY), United States of America
Flightnumber: 17
Emery Flight 17 had just departed Sacramento-Mather Airport runway 22L when the crew reported balance problems. A little later the aircraft was seen to crash in a left wing low, nose low attitude, into the Insurance Auto Auctions salvage yard, setting fire to 100-200 cars. Debris cut a swath about 250 yards wide and a 600yds long. The plane's cargo included clothing, transmission fluid and a small amount of 9 grams fuses used to activate automobile air bags. The NTSB is focusing on the possibility that a push rod in an elevator control tab may have been separated from the control system of the plane before impact.

Probable Cause:

PROBABLE CAUSE: "A loss of pitch control resulting from the disconnection of the right elevator control tab. The disconnection was caused by the failure to properly secure and inspect the attachment bolt."


Loss of control


Official accident investigation report
investigating agency: National Transport Safety Bureau (NTSB) - United States of America
report status: Final
report number: NTSB AAR-03-02
report released:5 August 2003
duration of investigation: 3 years and 6 months
download report: Loss of Pitch Control on Takeoff, Emery Worldwide Airlines, Inc., McDonnell Douglas DC-8-71F, N8079U, Rancho Cordova, Ca (NTSB AAR-03-02)

Follow-up / safety actions

NTSB issued 15 Safety Recommendations

Show all AD's and Safety Recommendations


photo of
photo of McDonnell Douglas DC-8-71F N8079U
photo of McDonnell Douglas DC-8-71F N8079U
N8079U previously flew for United and is seen here before conversion to series -71F
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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 Sacramento-Mather Airport, CA to Dayton-James Cox Dayton International Airport, OH as the crow flies is 3153 km (1970 miles).

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