ASN logo
Last updated: 20 January 2020
Date:Monday 18 April 1977
Type:Silhouette image of generic DC85 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
McDonnell Douglas DC-8-53
Operator:Philippine Air Lines
Registration: RP-C803
C/n / msn: 45937/324
First flight: 1968
Total airframe hrs:35862
Engines: 4 Pratt & Whitney JT3D-3B
Crew:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 13
Passengers:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 127
Total:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 140
Aircraft damage: Damaged beyond repair
Location:Tokyo-Haneda Airport (HND) (   Japan)
Phase: Takeoff (TOF)
Nature:International Scheduled Passenger
Departure airport:Tokyo-Haneda Airport (HND/RJTT), Japan
Destination airport:Manila International Airport (MNL/RPLL), Philippines
Flightnumber: 421
The DC-8 was 1000 m into takeoff, using runway 15L, when it lifted off prematurely. The aircraft banked left, touched down again, veered off the runway and continued 800 m on the sod before coming to rest with the undercarriage and all 4 engines torn off.

Probable Cause:

PROBABLE CAUSE: Left elevator geared tab drive arm assemblies and elevator gust lock crank assembly had failed.

Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: AAIC Japan
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 1 years
Accident number: Final report
Download report: Final report

» Flight International 14 May 1977 (1298)


photo of DC-8-53-PI-C803
accident date: 18-04-1977
type: McDonnell Douglas DC-8-53
registration: PI-C803
photo of DC-8-53-RP-C803
accident date: 18-04-1977
type: McDonnell Douglas DC-8-53
registration: RP-C803

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 Tokyo-Haneda Airport to Manila International Airport as the crow flies is 2976 km (1860 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.
languages: languages



  • 556 built
  • 43rd loss
» safety profile

  • 75th worst accident (at the time)
  • 93rd worst accident (currently)
» safety profile