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FedEx Express Flight 80

The plane bursting into flames moments after touching down on the runway.
Accident summary
Date March 23, 2009
Type Under Investigation
Site Narita International Airport
35°45′53″N 140°23′11″E / 35.76472°N 140.38639°E / 35.76472; 140.38639Coordinates: 35°45′53″N 140°23′11″E / 35.76472°N 140.38639°E / 35.76472; 140.38639
Passengers 0
Crew 2
Injuries 0
Fatalities 2 (all)
Survivors 0
Aircraft type McDonnell Douglas MD-11F
Operator FedEx Express
Tail number N526FE
Flight origin Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport, People's Republic of China
Destination Narita International Airport, Japan

FedEx Express Flight 80 was a scheduled cargo flight from Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport in the People's Republic of China, to Narita International Airport in Narita, Chiba Prefecture (near Tokyo), Japan. On March 23, 2009, a McDonnell Douglas MD-11F (N526FE)[1] operating the flight crashed at 6:28 am JST (21:48 UTC, March 22), while attempting a landing on Runway 34L in gusty wind conditions. The aircraft became destabilized at flare and touchdown resulting in an unrecovered "bounced" landing with structural failure of the landing gear and airframe, and came to rest off the runway, inverted, and burning fiercely.[2][3] The Captain and First Officer, the jet's only occupants, were both killed.[4]

Contents

Accident

After making an approximately 1,800-mile overnight flight from Guangzhou, China, the aircrew made an early morning approach to Narita Airport just outside Tokyo.[5] Other traffic landing just ahead of the accident aircraft reported "wind shear at an altitude of under 600 meters," and this information was relayed to the FedEx aircrew.[3] Surface winds at the time of the accident were reported from 320º at 26 knots gusting to 40.[6] After making a hard landing on Runway 34L, the plane bounced three times, coming back down on its nose gear first (a condition called "porpoising") resulting in the loss of directional and attitudinal control. The left wing struck the ground as the gear failed, causing the aircraft to veer to the left, burst into flames and invert as the airframe broke up, and come to rest upside down in the grass to the left of the runway.[2][3][7][8] It took firefighters about two hours to extinguish the blaze, which completely destroyed the aircraft and its contents.[8]

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Fatalities

The only persons on board the aircraft were the Captain, Kevin Kyle Mosley, 54, of Hillsboro, Oregon, and First Officer Anthony Stephen Pino, 49, of San Antonio, Texas.[4] Both pilots were removed to the Narita Red Cross Hospital where they were pronounced dead. Captain Mosley, a former United States Marine Corps fighter pilot, had been with FedEx Express since 1996 and had accumulated more than 12,800 total career flight hours.[9] First Officer Pino joined FedEx Express in 2006 and had accumulated more than 6,300 total career flight hours.[10] No persons on the ground were injured.

Runway closure

Runway 16R/34L (13,125 feet/4,000 meters) was closed for many hours after the accident, leaving the shorter 16L/34R as the only available active runway.[11][12] As a result, many flights operated by larger aircraft had to be canceled or diverted to other airports, as 16L/34R is too short (7,150 feet/2,180 meters) for some types to operate safely, and some large aircraft types such as Boeing 777-300ER and Airbus A340-600 are restricted from using Taxiway "B" (Bravo) which services that runway because of inadequate horizontal clearances.[13]

Investigations

The Japan Transport Safety Board (JTSB)[14] dispatched six investigators to the airport.[15] The United States's National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has said it is sending a team to Japan to assist with the investigation.[12][16][17] The crash was FedEx's first fatal accident involving a jet aircraft, as well as the first fatal accident at Narita Airport.[1][12]

Aircraft history

The aircraft was built in 1994[18] as an MD-11 passenger airliner, in which configuration it was owned and operated by Delta Air Lines from 1996 to 2004 under the FAA registration N813DE.[19] The trijet was sold to FedEx in October 2004 when Delta retired its MD-11 fleet in favor of switching to more-efficient twin-engine Boeing 767s and Boeing 777s on its long-haul routes. Following its acquisition by FedEx, the plane was stored at Phoenix Goodyear Airport in Goodyear, Arizona[20] pending its conversion there to an MD-11F by Dimension Aviation, Inc., Boeing's Douglas Products Division airframe conversion contractor located at that field. The aircraft entered service with FedEx in its all cargo configuration in late 2006 as N526FE.[21]

Similar 1997 FedEx MD-11F accident

On July 31, 1997, another FedEx MD-11F (N611FE) operating as FedEx Flight 14 was written off after a similar destabilized landing accident at Newark Liberty International Airport. After a flight from Anchorage, Alaska, that aircraft crashed at the airport just before midnight when it bounced twice after a hard touchdown on Runway 22R, resulting in the failure of the right main landing gear. As in the Narita accident, the plane also caught fire as the airframe broke up, flipped over, and came to rest inverted off the runway. The captain, first officer, and three passengers on board all survived the 1997 Newark crash and were able to escape from the burning aircraft with only minor injuries.

See also

References

  1. ^ a b "FedEx". Aviation Safety Network. http://aviation-safety.net/database/operator/airline.php?var=6217.  
  2. ^ a b "FedEx jet crashes at Narita; pilots die". The Japan Times. March 24, 2009. http://search.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/nn20090324a1.html. Retrieved March 24, 2009.  
  3. ^ a b c "Cargo plane crashes at Narita, killing 2". Asahi Shimbun. March 24, 2009. http://www.asahi.com/english/Herald-asahi/TKY200903240088.html. Retrieved March 24, 2009.  
  4. ^ a b "FedEx Express Releases Additional Information Regarding FedEx Express Flight 80." FedEx. Retrieved on March 24, 2009.
  5. ^ Accident Description Aviation Safety Network
  6. ^ Weather at Narita at the time of accident: 2009/03/22 21:30Z RJAA 320 26G40KT 9999 FEW020 12/M02 Q0999 WS R34L NOSIG
  7. ^ Airport CCTV video of Narita airport Fedex MD-11F crash Landing accident - Deleted from Youtube
  8. ^ a b "FedEx Plane Crash Lands At Narita Airport, 2 Confirmed Dead". Nikkei Inc.. March 23, 2009. http://www.nni.nikkei.co.jp/e/fr/tnks/Nni20090323D23JF742.htm. Retrieved March 24, 2009.  
  9. ^ Kevin Kyle Mosley, 54, Hillsboro, OR, Obituary The Oregonian, March 29, 2009
  10. ^ FedEx Express Releases Additional Information Regarding FedEx Express Flight 80 Press Release, FedEx Express Corporation, March 23, 2009
  11. ^ "Cargo plane crashes at Tokyo airport". msnbc.com. March 22, 2009. http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/29828648/. Retrieved March 22, 2009.  
  12. ^ a b c "Deadly plane crash at Tokyo airport". CNN. March 22, 2009. http://www.cnn.com/2009/WORLD/asiapcf/03/22/japan.planecrash/index.html. Retrieved March 22, 2009.  
  13. ^ International Industry Working Group (IIWG), 50th Meeting, Cape Town, Republic of South Africa, August,18-20, 2004, Final Meeting Report, Nov 12, 2004 In re: Narita International Airport, Japan: "Since August 3, 2004, further ground movement restrictions exist for the B777-300 ER and the A340-600 aircraft to use rwy 16L/34R due to clearance limitations on Taxiway B."
  14. ^ JTSB was established on October 1, 2008 by integrating ARAIC (Aircraft and Railway Accidents Investigation Commission) and JMAIA (Japan Marine Accident Inquiry Agency).
  15. ^ "FedEx jet crashes at Narita / Pilot, copilot die in airport's 1st fatal accident; wind blamed". Yomiuri Shimbun. March 24, 2009. http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/dy/national/20090324TDY01302.htm. Retrieved March 24, 2009.  
  16. ^ "Two dead in courier plane crash". The Australian. March 23, 2009. http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,25197,25227602-12377,00.html. Retrieved March 23, 2009.  
  17. ^ "FedEx plane crashes, explodes on landing in Tokyo". Reuters. March 22, 2009. http://www.reuters.com/article/worldNews/idUSTRE52L1P920090323. Retrieved March 22, 2009.  
  18. ^ "McDonnell Douglas MD-11F - MSN 48600 N526FE". FAA. http://registry.faa.gov/aircraftinquiry/NNumSQL.asp?NNumbertxt=526FE&cmndfind.x=16&cmndfind.y=11. Retrieved March 24, 2009.  
  19. ^ "N813DE". Aviation Safety Network. http://aviation-safety.net/photos/displayphoto.php?id=20090323-0&vnr=1&kind=PO.  
  20. ^ "N813DE in storage at Goodyear - Phoenix / Goodyear (Litchfield Municipal) (GYR), April, 2004". Airliners.net. http://www.airliners.net/photo/Delta-Air-Lines/McDonnell-Douglas-MD-11/0572779/L/&tbl=&photo_nr=12&sok=&sort=&prev_id=0636382&next_id=0554236. Retrieved March 23, 2009.  
  21. ^ "N813DE (cn 48600/560) No longer in service with Delta and now owned by Fed Ex, the aircraft is seen parked on the Fed Ex maintenance ramp at Los Angeles prior to its conversion to a freighter. (2006)". Airliners.net. http://www.airliners.net/photo/Untitled-(Delta-Air/McDonnell-Douglas-MD-11/1014638/L/&tbl=&photo_nr=9&sok=&sort=&prev_id=1173246&next_id=1014479. Retrieved March 23, 2009.  

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