Posts: 71
Joined: Wed Jul 13, 2005 12:37 am

Accident Report?

Sat Feb 04, 2006 9:11 pm

Over on another non-aviation discussion list, somebody posted this link:

prompting much discussion on what went wrong. It's a video clip of a plane landing very hard, with the whole tail section falling off while the rest of the plane carries on down the runway aparrently othewise intact.

I'd like to find the accident investigation report, but I don't have much to go on. Anybody able to fill in some of the blanks? Who/where/when etc?

Although the video quality is very poor, the plane is clearly not a tristar... looks like a Fokker 100 or an MD80, perhaps?
Posts: 3467
Joined: Fri Oct 06, 2006 8:01 am

RE: Accident Report?

Sat Feb 04, 2006 10:27 pm

It's an MD-80 damaged during a test flight.

The aircraft was N980DC and the incident occurred as it touched down hard on runway 22 at Edwards Air Force Base, 2 May 1980, during an early-morning landing.

There was a crew of seven on board who were testing the aircraft to determine required horizontal landing distance, as part of certification.

It struck the runway at 125kts but with a descent rate of 990ft/min (!)

Only one of the seven on board, a flight engineer, was injured; he suffered a broken ankle when the aircraft touched down.

Investigation subsequently showed that the pilot did not realise that the approach had not been stabilised, and that the thrust setting was below that needed to maintain the required airspeed and descent rate. None of the crew members had acted as a backup to monitor the main flight parameters and alert the pilot to variations.

If you'd like more detail, you can find the formal report here:

[Edited 2006-02-04 14:49:15]
Posts: 71
Joined: Wed Jul 13, 2005 12:37 am

RE: Accident Report?

Sat Feb 04, 2006 10:49 pm

Fantastic - thanks for that!

With that info, I found...

and the accident report...

Posts: 1937
Joined: Wed Sep 08, 2004 8:55 am

RE: Accident Report?

Sat Feb 04, 2006 11:48 pm

The best source of US incident and accident reports can be found here

you can search the database or look month by month
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