ASN Aircraft accident Boeing 727-2B6F Adv. N720CK Tuscaloosa Regional Airport, AL (TCL)
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Status:Accident investigation report completed and information captured
Date:Monday 28 January 2019
Type:Silhouette image of generic B722 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Boeing 727-2B6F Adv.
Operator:Kalitta Charters
Registration: N720CK
MSN: 21298/1246
First flight: 1977
Total airframe hrs:57932
Engines: 3 Pratt & Whitney JT8D-15
Crew:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 4
Passengers:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 0
Total:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 4
Aircraft damage: Substantial
Aircraft fate: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:Tuscaloosa Regional Airport, AL (TCL) (   United States of America)
Phase: Landing (LDG)
Departure airport:Laredo International Airport, TX (LRD/KLRD), United States of America
Destination airport:Tuscaloosa Regional Airport, AL (TCL/KTCL), United States of America
A Kalitta Charters Boeing 727-2B6F, N720CK, landed with the nose gear retracted on runway 4 at the Tuscaloosa Regional Airport (TCL), Alabama, USA. The airplane was substantially damaged and there were no injuries to the three flight crew and one non-revenue company mechanic onboard.
The flight departed Laredo International Airport, Texas, USA at 18:26 CST on an IFR flight plan. There were no irregularities or operational issues reported during the takeoff and enroute portion of the flight. According to the flight crew, the captain was the pilot flying when the accident occurred.
At 19:58, the Birmingham Approach air traffic controller advised the crew that the wind at TCL was from 200 degrees at 4 knots. The crew acknowledged and advised that they would use runway 4. The controller instructed them to report the airport in sight. At 20:01, the crew reported the airport in sight, and the controller cleared them for the visual approach. There was no communication regarding any difficulty with the airplane.
According to the flight crew, about 12 miles from the airport the captain called for flaps 15 and gear down. After the gear was selected down, the CVR recorded the first officer stating, "yeah it's down, but [unintelligible] the lights [unintelligible]"
The crew reported that they noted a red warning light for the nose gear position, and heard the audible gear warning horn. The CVR recorded the captain queried, "what horn was that?" and the first officer (FO) responded, "[unintelligible] gear warning horn."
The flight engineer (FE) stated that he recommended that they recycle the gear, the captain declined. The FO stated that he recommended that they go around to troubleshoot, the captain declined. The CVR recorded multiple automated "sink rate, pull up" warnings and the captain responded, "yeah, yeah, I got it." The FO then queried, "you gonna go around?", and the captain responded, "ah I'm gonna go I got, it, I got it."
The captain reportedly stated that the airplane had a history of a microswitch issue, and pressed on the gear handle and light. As the power was reduced to idle, the gear warning horn and the GPWS audible alerts sounded.
The captain continued the approach and after landing, upon derotation, the forward fuselage contacted the runway and the airplane quickly slid to a stop with the nose gear retracted. After the airplane came to a stop, the captain stated, "it wasn't down," and the FO made a radio call to tower. About five seconds later the FO stated, "shoulda gone around," and the captain responded, "yeah, shoulda."

Probable Cause:

Probable cause: "the captain's decision to continue the landing with an unsafe gear indication.

Accident investigation:

Investigating agency: NTSB
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 1 year and 2 months
Accident number: DCA19LA070
Download report: Summary report

Gear-up landing
Runway mishap



photo of Boeing-727-2B6F-Adv-N720CK
accident date: 28-01-2019
type: Boeing 727-2B6F Adv.
registration: N720CK

Video, social media

This map shows the airport of departure and the intended destination of the flight. The line is connecting ADS-B datapoints from Flightradar24.
Distance from Laredo International Airport, TX to Tuscaloosa Regional Airport, AL as the crow flies is 1291 km (807 miles).
Accident location: Approximate; accuracy within a few kilometers.

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
  • 120th loss
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