Event Details

Title:Crash on takeoff in microburst, Pan American World Airways, Inc., Clipper 759, Boeing 727-235, N4737, New Orleans International Airport, Kenner, Louisiana, July 9, 1982
Micro summary:This Boeing 727-235 crashed shortly after takeoff, when it encountered a microburst.
Event Time:1982-07-09 at 1607:57 CDT
File Name:1982-07-09-US.pdf
Publishing Agency:National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB)
Publishing Country:USA
Report number:NTSB-AAR-83-02
Site of event:Takeoff, runway 10; 4610' from end of runway
Latitude/Longitude:N2959'15 W09014'08"
Departure:New Orleans International Airport (Moisant Field), Kenner, Louisiana, USA
Destination:McCarran International Airport, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA
Airplane Type(s):Boeing 727-235
Flight Phase:Takeoff
Operator(s):Pan American World Airways
Type of flight:Revenue
Serious Injuries:0
Other Injuries:17
Executive Summary:On July 9, 1982, Pan American World Airways, Inc., Flight 759 (Clipper 7591, a Boeing 727-235, N4737, was a regularly scheduled passenger flight from Miami, Florida, to Las Vegas, Nevada, with an en route stop at New Orleans, Louisiana. About 1607:57 central daylight time, Clipper 759, with 7 crewmembers, 1 nonrevenue passenger on the cockpit jumpeat, and 137 passengers on board, began its takeoff from runway 10 at the New Orleans International Airport, Kenner, Louisiana.

At the time of Flight 759's takeoff, there were showers over the east end of the airport and to the east of the airport along the airplane's intended takeoff path. The winds at the time were gusty, variable, and swirling. Clipper 759 lifted off the runway, climbed to an altitude of between 95 feet to about 150 feet above the ground, and then began to descend. The airplane struck a line of trees about 2,376 feet beyond the departure end of runway 10 at an altitude of about 50 feet above the ground. The airplane continued on an eastward track for another 2,234 feet hitting trees and houses and then crashed in a residential area about 4,610 feet from the end of the runway.

The airplane was destroyed during the impact, explosion, and subequent ground fire. One hundred forty-five persons on board the airplane and 8 persons on the ground were killed in the crash. Six houses were destroyed; five houses were damaged substantially.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines that the probable cause of the accident was the airplane's encounter during the liftoff and initial climb phase of flight with a microburst-induced wind shear which imposed a downdraft and a decreasing headwind, the effects of which the pilot would have had difficulty recognizing and reacting to in time for the airplane's descent to be arrested before its impact with trees.

Contributing to the accident was the limited capability of current ground based low level wind shear detection technology to provide definitive guidance for controllers and pilots for use in avoiding low level wind shear encounters.
Learning Keywords:Operations - Controlled Flight Into Terrain
Operations - In-flight Collision with Ground Structure
Operations - Windshear or Microburst
Consequence - Hull Loss
Close match:Flight Into Terrain During Missed Approach, USAir Flight 1016, DC-9-31, N954VJ, Charlotte/Douglas International Airport, Charlotte, North Carolina, July 2, 1994


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