Event Details

Title:Birdstrike and runway overrun, Northwest Airlines, Inc., Boeing 747-151, N602US, Miami, Florida, December 15, 1972
Micro summary:On takeoff, this Boeing 747 hit a flock of sea gulls. On the subsequent return to the airport, it overran the runway.
Event Time:1972-12-15 at 1714 EST
File Name:1972-12-15-US.pdf
Publishing Agency:National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB)
Publishing Country:USA
Report number:NTSB-AAR-73-13
Site of event:Landing, MIA, RWY 27L
Departure:Miami International Airport, Miami, Florida, USA
Destination:Miami International Airport, Miami, Florida, USA (Diversion)
Airplane Type(s):Boeing 747-151
Flight Phase:Landing
Operator(s):Northwest Airlines
Type of flight:Revenue
Serious Injuries:0
Other Injuries:0
Executive Summary:A Northwest Airlines B-747, operating as Flight 723, ran off the end of Runway 27L while landing at Miami International Airport, Miami, Florida, on December 15, 1972, at 1714 eastern standard time. There were 149 passengers and 11 crewmembers aboard; no one was seriously injured. The nose landing gear collapsed, which resulted in substantial damage to the aircraft structure in that area.

During takeoff from Runway 27R a few minutes earlier , the aircraft had collided with a flock of sea gulls. The crew had shut down the No. 4 engine, which was believed to have been causing vibration, and then had requested clearance to return to Miami.

The local weather at the time of the accident was 1,300 feet broken, 3,000 feet overcast, visibility 2 1/2 miles, wind 130 at 9 knots. A thunderstorm was southwest of the airport and moving eastward.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines that the probable cause of this accident was the ineffective braking capability of the aircraft on the wet runway because of the low coefficient of friction of the new runway surface, and insufficient engine reverse thrust to decelerate the aircraft. The combined effects of the lack of the No. 4 engine reverse thrust and malfunction of the No. 3 engine reverser resulted in a directional control problem and restricted the use of Nos. 1 and 2 engine reversers. In view of the potential hazard involved in overrun accidents, the Board recommends that the Federal Aviation Administration expedite its research program to determine the friction characteristics of wet runways, not only for its effect on the landing certification requirements for aircraft, but also for the certification of runway surfaces under the new Airport Certification Regulations.

On April 10, 1973, Runways 9R/27L and 9L/27R were grooved to increase the coefficient of friction and improve the wet-runway landing conditions.
Learning Keywords:Operations - Birdstrike
Operations - Braking Issues (General)
Operations - Runway Overrun
Operations - Slippery Runway, Taxiway, Apron
Systems - Engine - Foreign Object Damage
Systems - Landing Gear
Systems - Landing Gear - Nose Gear Collapse


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