Event Details

Title:Loss of directional control, Trans World Airlines, Inc., Boeing 707-331C, N787TW, National Aviation Facilities Experimental Center, Atlantic City Airport, Pomona, New Jersey, July 26, 1969
Micro summary:This Boeing 707-331C crashed during a simulated three-engine missed approach in which directional control was lost.
Event Time:1969-07-26 at 1233 EDT
File Name:1969-07-26-US.pdf
Publishing Agency:National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB)
Publishing Country:USA
Report number:NTSB-AAR-1970-08
Site of event:NAFEC hangar
Latitude/Longitude:N3926'56" W7433'50"
Departure:John F. Kennedy International Airport, Jamaica, New York, USA
Destination:NAFEC/Atlantic City Airport, Pomona, New Jersey
Airplane Type(s):Boeing 707-331C
Flight Phase:Missed Approach
Operator(s):Trans World Airlines
Type of flight:Revenue
Serious Injuries:0
Other Injuries:0
Executive Summary:Trans World Airlines, Inc., Flight 5787 (TWA 5787) of July 26, 1969, a Boeing 707-331C, N787TW, crashed at approximately 1233 EDT during a simulated three-engine, missed approach to Runway 13 at the National Aviation Facilities Experimental Center (NAFEC), Atlantic City Airport, Pomona, New Jersey. There were three TWA line captains, a flight engineer, and an instructor pilot on board the aircraft. All five were fatally injured.

The flight originated at John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK), New York, New York, for the purpose of providing recurrent training of three TWA captains in accordance with the provisions of Part 121 of the Federal Aviation Regulations.

The required training and proficiency check maneuvers were to be accomplished at the NAFEC/Atlantic City Airport at Pomona, New Jersey.

One of the required proficiency check maneuvers included a simulated instrument approach and the execution of the missed-approach procedure, with a critical engine reduced to training idle in order to also simulate engine failure. While this simulated approach was in process, and after the landing gear and full flaps had been extended, fatigue failure of the left outboard spoiler actuator downline caused the loss of hydraulic fluid from the aircraft's utility hydraulic system.

The TWA emergency procedures for Boeing 707-331C aircraft provided that in the event of hydraulic fluid loss, all pumps were to be turned off. Consequently, when the fluid loss came to the crew's attention, the command, "All of them out, pumps off" was called and obeyed. At this time, the aircraft was approximately 300 feet above ground level (AGL), and at an indicated airspeed of 127 knots. Takeoff power was being produced by engines Nos. 1, 2, and 3. Power for flight was not being produced by the No. 4 engine because the power lever had been re- tarded to the training idle position in order to simulate engine failure.

Power on the No. 4 engine was not-restored, and approximately 21 seconds after the call "pumps off" was issued, directional control of the aircraft was lost. Eleven seconds later, the aircraft struck the ground in a right-wing low, nosedown attitude.

The Board determines that the probable cause of this accident was a loss of directional control, which resulted from the intentional shutdown of the pumps supplying hydraulic pressure to the rudder without a concurrent restoration of power on the No. 4 engine. A contributing factor was the inadequacy of the hydraulic fluid loss emergency procedure when applied against the operating configuration of the aircraft.
Learning Keywords:Operations - Training Flight
Operations - Upset - Uncommanded or excessive Yaw
Systems - Hydraulics
Consequence - Hull Loss


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