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Last updated: 18 September 2020
Status:Final
Date:Tuesday 9 November 1999
Time:19:03
Type:Silhouette image of generic DC93 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
McDonnell Douglas DC-9-31F
Operator:TAESA
Registration: XA-TKN
C/n / msn: 47418/570
First flight: 1970
Total airframe hrs:58000
Cycles:59000
Engines: 2 Pratt & Whitney JT8D-17A
Crew:Fatalities: 5 / Occupants: 5
Passengers:Fatalities: 13 / Occupants: 13
Total:Fatalities: 18 / Occupants: 18
Aircraft damage: Destroyed
Aircraft fate: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:5,3 km (3.3 mls) S of Uruapan Airport (UPN) (   Mexico)
Phase: En route (ENR)
Nature:Domestic Scheduled Passenger
Departure airport:Uruapan Airport (UPN/MMPN), Mexico
Destination airport:Mexico City-Benito Juárez International Airport (MEX/MMMX), Mexico
Flightnumber: 725
Narrative:
TAESA flight 725 was a scheduled service from Tijuana to Mexico City with en route stops at Guadalajara and Uruapan. The DC-9-31 was scheduled to depart from Uruapan at 18:25 for the final 45-minute leg to Mexico City. The aircraft took off from runway 20 at 18:59 when 85 passengers had deplaned at Uruapan. Witnesses reported that the airplane assumed a higher than normal nose high attitude as soon as it departed. The airplane impacted the ground in a nose low attitude on a heading of 110 degrees in an avocado grove located on the east side of the departure course, 3.3 DME south of the airport.

Prior to entering service with TAESA June 1998, the aircraft had been used by NASA and was modified to support the reduced-gravity mission. As N650UG completed 193 flights for NASA (TT 436.3 hours) between May 29, 1995 and July 11, 1997.

Probable Cause:

Probable cause: "Crash of the aircraft, after an overrotation on takeoff and a climb with a very pronounced angle, which caused the loss of control, with spatial disorientation (loss of the horizon), in a flight operation by instruments (IFR), in which, according to the crew, there was a possible failure of asymmetry indication in the leading edge flaps (slats), with the crew neglecting to control the flight of the aircraft."

Contributing factors
1.- Inadequate preparation of information for instrument take-off (IFR) from Uruapan airport and failure to adhere to the operating procedures of the Aeronautical Information Publication (AIP) Manual.
2.- Failure to perform checklist procedures for the operation of the aircraft in its different phases.
3.- Loss of external vision (spatial disorientation), aggravated by turning on the cockpit lights, before the takeoff run.
4.- Inadequate procedure for the rotation of the aircraft during take-off, dragging the tail skid on the runway
5.- Angle of climb greater than that established in the aircraft Operations Manual.
6.- Lack of cockpit resource management (CRM).

Accident investigation:
cover
Investigating agency: SCT Mexico
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 196 days (7 months)
Accident number: final report
Download report: Final report

Classification:
Loss of control

Sources:
» El Informador
» James P. Withrow
» La Jornada


Photos

photo of DC-9-31F-N192SA
accident date: 09-11-1999
type: McDonnell Douglas DC-9-31F
registration: N192SA
photo of DC-9-31F-N650UG
accident date: 09-11-1999
type: McDonnell Douglas DC-9-31F
registration: N650UG
 

Map
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 Uruapan Airport to Mexico City-Benito Juárez International Airport as the crow flies is 309 km (193 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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