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Last updated: 18 November 2018
Status:Final
Date:Saturday 30 July 2011
Time:01:32
Type:Silhouette image of generic B738 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Boeing 737-8BK (WL)
Operator:Caribbean Airlines
Registration: 9Y-PBM
C/n / msn: 29635/2326
First flight: 2007-07-06 (4 years )
Total airframe hrs:14861
Engines: 2 CFMI CFM56-7B26/3
Crew:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 6
Passengers:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 157
Total:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 163
Aircraft damage: Destroyed
Aircraft fate: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:Georgetown-Cheddi Jagan International Airport (GEO) (   Guyana)
Crash site elevation: 29 m (95 feet) amsl
Phase: Landing (LDG)
Nature:International Scheduled Passenger
Departure airport:Port of Spain-Piarco Airport (POS/TTPP), Trinidad and Tobago
Destination airport:Georgetown-Cheddi Jagan International Airport (GEO/SYCJ), Guyana
Flightnumber: 523
Narrative:
Caribbean Airlines flight 523, a Boeing 737-800, was destroyed when it suffered a runway excursion accident after landing at Georgetown-Cheddi Jagan International Airport, Guyana. One serious and multiple minor injuries were reported among the 157 passengers and six crewmembers on board the plane.
The flight departed Port of Spain, Trinidad & Tobago on a scheduled flight to Georgetown. The aircraft was cleared for an RNAV (GPS) approach to runway 06 at Georgetown. This is a 7,448-ft / 2,270-m long asphalt runway. There were no reported anomalies in the en-route profile, although during the descent the aircraft deviated to avoid some thunderstorm cells north and east of the airport. The reported visibility was 9000m. Light rain was encountered during the approach.
The pilot reported that after visual contact was made and after crossing the Final Approach Fix (FAF), he disengaged the auto pilot and configured the aircraft for landing. The flight was normal until the aircraft was approaching the runway. Even before the aircraft was over the threshold, the captain commented that he was not landing here.
As the flight continued over the runway, comments on the Cockpit Voice Recorder (CVR), revealed that the captain indicated to the first officer that the aircraft was not touching down. A go-around call was made by the captain and acknowledged by the first officer, however three seconds elapsed and the aircraft subsequently touched down approximately 4700ft from the threshold of runway 06, leaving just over 2700 feet of runway surface remaining.
Upon touchdown, brake pressure was gradually increased and maximum brake pressure of 3000psi was not achieved until the aircraft was 250ft from the end of the runway or 450ft from the end of the paved area. The ground spoilers were extended on touchdown. The thrust reversers were partially deployed after touchdown. The aircraft did not stop and overran the runway. It went down a slope, impacted the ground and came to rest across a road.

Probable Cause:

CONCLUSION: The probable cause of the accident was that the aircraft touched down approximately 4700 feet beyond the runway threshold, some 2700 feet from the end of the runway, as a result of the Captain maintaining excess power during the flare, and upon touching down, failure to utilize the aircraft’s full deceleration capability, resulted in the aircraft overrunning the remaining runway and fracturing the fuselage.
Contributory Factors:
The Flight Crew’s indecision as to the execution of a go-around, failure to execute a go-around after the aircraft floated some distance down the runway and their diminished situational awareness contributed to the accident.

Accident investigation:
cover
Investigating agency: GCAA-AIT
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 3 years and 2 months
Accident number: GCAA: 2/5/1/63
Download report: Final report

Classification:

Runway excursion

Sources:
» BBC
» Government Information Agency (GINA) Guyana


Photos

photo of Boeing 737-8BK (WL) 9Y-PBM
photo of Boeing 737-8BK (WL) 9Y-PBM
photo of Boeing 737-8BK (WL) 9Y-PBM
photo of Boeing 737-8BK (WL) 9Y-PBM
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Map
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 Port of Spain-Piarco Airport to Georgetown-Cheddi Jagan International Airport as the crow flies is 565 km (353 miles).
Accident location: Exact; deduced from official accident report.

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 737-800

  • 4749+ built
  • 9th loss
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 Guyana
  • 8th worst accident (at the time)
  • 11th worst accident (currently)
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