Loss of control Accident Boeing 707-321B N320MJ,
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Date:Thursday 20 September 1990
Type:Silhouette image of generic B703 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different    
Boeing 707-321B
Owner/operator:Omega Air Inc
Registration: N320MJ
MSN: 20028/783
Year of manufacture:1969
Total airframe hrs:34965 hours
Engine model:Pratt & Whitney JT3D-3B
Fatalities:Fatalities: 1 / Occupants: 3
Aircraft damage: Destroyed, written off
Location:Marana-Pinal Air Park, AZ (MZJ) -   United States of America
Phase: Take off
Departure airport:Marana-Pinal Air Park, AZ (MZJ/KMZJ)
Destination airport:Tucson-Davis Monthan AFB, AZ (DMA/KDMA)
Investigating agency: NTSB
Confidence Rating: Accident investigation report completed and information captured
Boeing 707 N320MJ was bought by Omega Air Inc. in September 1990. It was one of a number of Boeing 707 and Boeing 720 airplanes purchased by the United States Air Force (USAF) for their engines and engine pylons as part of a USAF and manufacturer "donor program" contract. That contract, with Boeing Military Company of Wichita, provided for the delivery of Pratt & Whitney JT3D engines on Boeing airframes from commercial sources. Omega Air, Inc., and other operators and brokers had ferried a number of these airplanes to Davis Monthan Air Force Base. It was determined that other B-707 airplanes also had arrived at Davis Monthan AFB in a stripped condition. These airplanes had carried Special Airworthiness Permits issued by Designated Airworthiness Representatives (DARs.)
The NTSB learned that third-party parts brokers had previously contracted to take avionics and instrumentation from these airplanes prior to the last leg of ferry flights.
Approximately 50 indicators and annunciators had been removed from the pilots' instrument panels of the accident airplane prior to the attempted flight. As a result, the pilots' instrument panels contained only two airspeed indicators, an altimeter and a standby attitude indicator. Engine Exhaust Pressure Ratio (EPR) gauges were attached to the glare shield by masking tape. There was no standby magnetic compass ("wet compass") or "mechanical cockpit checklist" on board. A checklist card, listing start, taxi and shutdown procedures was found at the accident site. The before-takeoff checklist was probably done from memory. The fact that the rudder trim was 7.9 to 8.3 units (79%-83%) nose right was not noticed prior to takeoff. In addition to the missed rudder, an item possibly overlooked in the before-takeoff sequence was the fastening of the captain's shoulder harness.
Shortly after takeoff from runway 12 the airplane rolled right as a result of the rudder trim. The right hand wing tip struck the ground and the airplane cartwheeled.

PROBABLE CAUSE: "Improper preflight planning/preparation by the pilot, and his failure to use a checklist. Factors related to the accident were: the FAA's inadequate surveillance of the operation, the FAA's insufficient standards/requirements, the pilot's operation of the aircraft with known deficiencies, and his lack of recent experience in the type of aircraft. "

Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: NTSB
Report number: DCA90MA055
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 1 year and 3 months
Download report: Final report


ICAO Adrep Summary 2/93 (#15)
NTSB Safety Recommendations A-92-1 through 4



photo (c) Keith Burton; Marana-Pinal Air Park, AZ (MZJ); 15 October 1990

photo (c) Keith Burton; Marana-Pinal Air Park, AZ (MZJ); 15 October 1990

photo (c) Werner Fischdick; Düsseldorf Airport (DUS); 26 October 1973

Revision history:


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