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Last updated: 22 February 2019
Date:Monday 28 December 1970
Time:14:42 AST
Type:Silhouette image of generic B722 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Boeing 727-2A7
Operator:Trans Caribbean Airways
Registration: N8790R
C/n / msn: 20240/717
First flight: 1969-04-24 (1 year 8 months)
Engines: 3 Pratt & Whitney JT8D-9A
Crew:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 7
Passengers:Fatalities: 2 / Occupants: 48
Total:Fatalities: 2 / Occupants: 55
Aircraft damage: Damaged beyond repair
Location:Saint Thomas-Harry S.Truman Airport (STT) (   U.S. Virgin Islands)
Phase: Landing (LDG)
Nature:Domestic Scheduled Passenger
Departure airport:San Juan-Isla Verde International Airport (SJU/TJSJ), Puerto Rico
Destination airport:Saint Thomas-Harry S.Truman Airport (STT/TIST), U.S. Virgin Islands
Flightnumber: 505
The aircraft bounced twice on landing and touched down a third time at 2700 feet past the runway 09 (4650 feet long) threshold. The right wing struck the ground, and the aircraft ran off the side of the runway, passed through a fence, crossed a highway and came to a halt against a hillside.
The weather was: clear, visibility >30 miles; wind 100/10 kts.

Probable Cause:

PROBABLE CAUSE: "The captain's use of improper techniques in recovering from a high bounce generated by a poorly executed approach and touchdown. Lack of cockpit crew coordination during the approach and attempted recovery contributed to the accident."

Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: NTSB
Status: Investigation completed
Accident number: NTSB/AAR-72-08
Download report: Final report


Runway excursion


photo of Boeing 727-2A7 N8790R
photo of Boeing 727-2A7 N8790R
photo of Boeing 727-2A7 N8790R
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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 San Juan-Isla Verde International Airport to Saint Thomas-Harry S.Truman Airport as the crow flies is 108 km (68 miles).

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
  • 14th loss
  • 12th fatal accident
  • 12th worst accident (at the time)
  • 58th worst accident (currently)
» safety profile

 U.S. Virgin Islands
  • The worst accident (at the time)
  • 4th worst accident (currently)
» safety profile