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‘Crashed plane had landed in middle of Jamaica runway’

Last Updated: Thursday, January 7, 2010 - 11:39

Kingston: The American Airlines plane that crash landed at a Jamaican airport last month touched down almost in the middle of the runway, a report by Jamaica`s Civil Aviation Authority said on Wednesday.
The report, which had contributions from the US National Transportation Safety Board, did not lay blame on anyone for the crash of flight 331 that injured over 90 of the 148 passengers and six crew members, but the local aviation authority said that a further report would be released as the investigations continue.

The Boeing 737 aircraft careened off the runway and broke into three parts on December 22 as it tried to land in rainy weather at the Norman Manley International Airport in Kingston.

The flight data recorder indicated the plane was travelling at more than 186 miles per hour when "the wheels made initial contact at about 4,000 feet down the 8,900-foot (2,700-meter) runway," the report said.

The aircraft bounced once, then settled onto the runway, but the crew had trouble slowing the plane, which was still travelling at 72 mph when it reached the end of the runway, the report said.

"The plane went through the perimeter fence, crossed a road, and came to rest on a rock-strewn beach about 175 feet beyond the departure end of Runway 12 and about 40 feet from the water line," the report said.

The report confirmed that the aircraft`s fuselage was broken into three major pieces and the right engine, right inboard aft trailing edge flap and the right main landing gear were torn from the aircraft during the accident.

The Jamaican authority said investigators were still evaluating runway surface conditions at the time of the plane`s landing to determine the effect on the braking forces, adding that no mechanical problems had been found with the aircraft so far.

Bureau Report

First Published: Thursday, January 7, 2010 - 11:39

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