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Last updated: 16 June 2019
Status:Final
Date:Tuesday 12 August 1969
Time:14:09
Type:Silhouette image of generic DC93 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
McDonnell Douglas DC-9-31
Operator:Caribair
Registration: N938PR
C/n / msn: 47098/108
First flight: 1967
Total airframe hrs:4395
Crew:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 5
Passengers:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 114
Total:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 119
Aircraft damage: Substantial
Aircraft fate: Repaired
Location:Saint Thomas-Harry S.Truman Airport (STT) (   U.S. Virgin Islands)
Phase: Landing (LDG)
Nature:International Scheduled Passenger
Departure airport:San Juan (unknown airport), Puerto Rico
Destination airport:Saint Thomas-Harry S.Truman Airport (STT/TIST), U.S. Virgin Islands
Flightnumber: 340
Narrative:
Caribbean Atlantic Airlines Flight 340, a Douglas DC-9-31, N938PR, was involved in a landing accident at Saint Thomas-Harry S.Truman Airport, Virgin Islands. The aircraft, on its landing rollout, continued 323 feet beyond the far end of runway 9, and came to rest in an automobile repair shop, after striking several vehicles. There were 114 passengers aboard and a crew of five. Evacuation of the aircraft was orderly, with one passenger sustaining minor injuries. Three occupants of the ground vehicles, which were struck by the aircraft after it left the runway, were seriously injured and one was slightly injured.
The weather in the vicinity of the airport had been characterized by intermittent rain showers from early in the morning through the time of the accident, and a total of 2.74 inches of rain was recorded for the 24-hour period. The existence of a considerable amount of standing water on the runway was corroborated by witnesses who stated that the aircraft was churning up heavy water spray on its rollout and did not appear to be decelerating very rapidly .
Near the end of the runway, the aircraft was observed to be fish-tailing which was accompanied by loud sounds of engine reversing and associated popping noises. White tire streaks, typical of those observed in cases of known hydroplaning, were observed in the last 1,400 feet of runway, leading; off the runway into the aircraft tire tracks in the wet, sodded area between the runway and the street.

Probable Cause:

PROBABLE CAUSE: "The loss of effective braking action caused by dynamic hydroplaning of the landing gear wheels on a wet/flooded runway. Contributing factors were a higher-than-normal touchdown speed and the location of the airport and its topography which permitted excess levels of water to accumulate on the runway."

Accident investigation:
cover
Investigating agency: NTSB
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 1 year and 1 months
Accident number: NTSB-AAR-70-23
Download report: Final report

Classification:
Runway excursion

Follow-up / safety actions

NTSB issued 1 Safety Recommendation

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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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