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Last updated: 22 January 2020
Date:Tuesday 9 November 1999
Type:Silhouette image of generic DC93 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
McDonnell Douglas DC-9-31F
Registration: XA-TKN
C/n / msn: 47418/570
First flight: 1970
Total airframe hrs:58000
Engines: 2 Pratt & Whitney JT8D-7B
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:12 km (7.5 mls) from Uruapan (   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
The DC-9 carried out the TAESA flight 725 Tijuana-Guadalajara-Uruapan-Mexico City was scheduled to depart from Uruapan at 18:25 for the final 45-minute leg. 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 miles 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. N650UG completed 193 flights for NASA (TT 436.3 hours) between May 29, 1995 and July 11, 1997.

Probable Cause:

Investigation revealed that the crew had not used the checklists prior to departure. During the night-time climbout the pilots were confused about which heading to fly during a runway 20 standard instrument departure. Spatial disorientation was probably also a factor in that the plane attained an abnormally high nose up attitude. The stall warning alarm then sounded and the plane entered a dive from which it was not able to recover.

Loss of control

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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

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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