On December 22, 2009, an American Airlines Boeing 737-823 plane plowed through Norman Manley International Airport’s perimeter fence and skidded across a roadway. The plane missed the rain-soaked runway and landed on rocks and sand dunes by the Caribbean Sea.
Today, five years after the accident, investigators have concluded that the flight from Miami consisted of a crew that may have been suffering from fatigue. As a result, the landing was botched.
The 154 people in the plane, including crew and passengers, all survived the ordeal. However, more than a dozen were injured. The jet was severely damaged. The right wing spilled jet fuel, and the fuselage was split into three sections.
Based on the investigations, another big factor for the crash was that the flight crew opted to land the plane on drenched runway with the jet’s tail placed too close to the landing limit. The crew was not aware that there was a standing water warning for the airport. Because of this, the crew was not able to perform a proper assessment of the landing distance needed to safely touchdown on the runway. As a result, the jet landed farther down the ideal landing spot on the runway.
With the miscalculations and the fatigued crew, which were said to have had been working 12 hours and have been awake for over 14 hours at the time of the crash, the accident was bound to happen.
Ava Marie Ingram, the spokeswoman for the aviation authority, said, “The investigation involved a number of very involved processes,” which accounts for the length of time that it took for them to conclude the investigation.
The final report regarding the incident was posted by the Jamaica Civil Aviation Authority on their website on Tuesday.
The investigation results have been forwarded to the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board. American Airlines has yet to comment on the latest findings.
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