American Airlines accidents and incidents

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This page lists American Airlines accidents and incidents. For lists of accidents and incidents on subsidiary carriers, see Envoy Air and American Connection

DFW American Airlines departure


  • August 9, 1931: A Ford 5-AT-C Trimotor, registration NC9662, crashed on the bank of the Little Miami River near Cincinnati, Ohio, killing all 6 on board. The cause was failure and separation of the right side engine due to a broken hub.[1]
  • March 19, 1932: A Fokker F.10A, registration NC652E, crashed in an orchard near Calimesa, California after striking power lines in heavy fog, killing all seven on board.[2]
  • September 8, 1932: A Fokker F.10, registration NC9716, crashed into a mountain in poor weather near Salt Flat, Texas, killing 3 of 4 on board.[3]
  • January 20, 1933: A Stearman 4, registration NC11721, crashed into a hillside in poor visibility near Boerne, Texas, killing the pilot. The cause was spatial disorientation.[4]
  • March 6, 1934: A Pilgrim 100A, registration NC710Y, crashed into a snowdrift near Petersburg, Illinois during a blizzard, killing all four on board. The cause was wing/propeller icing.[5]
  • June 9, 1934: A Curtiss Condor, registration NC12354, crashed into Last Chance Hill in New York, killing all seven on board. The cause was pilot error.[6]
  • January 14, 1936: A Douglas DC-2-120 operating as American Airways Flight 1 crashed near Goodwin, Arkansas, killing all 17 people on board. Cause undetermined.[7]





  • December 28, 1970: American Airlines (Trans Caribbean Airways) 727-200; St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands: The pilot made a hard landing which caused the aircraft to bounce, followed by a second touchdown which caused the main landing gear to fail. The aircraft overran the runway and hit an embankment. Two of the 46 passengers were killed, the crew survived.
  • June 12, 1972: American Airlines Flight 96; the rear cargo door of a near-new McDonnell Douglas DC-10 en route from Los Angeles to New York with stops in Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport, MI and Buffalo Niagara International Airport, NY opened in flight, causing an explosive decompression over Windsor, Ontario. Tail controls were damaged but it landed safely at Detroit. The cause was a design flaw of the DC-10 rear cargo door latching mechanism. (See Turkish Airlines Flight 981)
  • April 27, 1976: American Airlines Flight 625, a Boeing 727, crashed on approach to St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands resulting in a considerable number of fatalities. Overran short runway, pilot error cited. American subsequently ceased all jet service into St. Thomas until runway expansion and other airport improvements were completed. During this interim period, American served St. Thomas with Convair 440 prop aircraft operated by a wholly owned subsidiary, American Inter-Island Airlines (see Notes under Fleet history section).
  • May 25, 1979: American Airlines Flight 191, a McDonnell Douglas DC-10, crashed at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport. During the takeoff roll, the left engine and pylon separated from the wing. The crew continued the takeoff, but wing damage due to the engine separation also damaged the aircraft hydraulic system and caused retraction of some flight control surfaces. The aircraft rolled and crashed shortly after takeoff. All 258 passengers and 13 crew were killed. Two people on the ground were also killed. This is the deadliest accident in the airline's history and the deadliest on U.S. soil.
  • 15 November 1979: American Airlines Flight 444 en route from Chicago-Washington, DC; the Unabomber attempted to blow up the flight with a bomb smuggled into the cargo hold. The explosive failed to detonate, instead only giving off large quantities of smoke. There were no fatalities, and 12 passengers were treated for smoke inhalation.




  • November 20, 2000: Purser Jose Chiu, of American Airlines Flight 1291, an Airbus A300, died when a pressurized cabin door opened abruptly during an emergency evacuation at Miami International Airport. The airplane took off from Miami for a planned flight to Haiti. Climbing through 16,000 feet, bleed air from the engines pressurized the cabin to an artificial altitude of 8,000 feet as normal. 11 minutes after departure, warnings from lavatory smoke detectors and a warning light indicating a possible fire in the belly hold (both false, as it turned out) caused the captain to return the aircraft to Miami and order an emergency evacuation upon landing. However, the forward cabin outflow valve was partially blocked by insulation blankets. The blocked valve prevented the cabin from depressurizing and resulted in the cabin pressure increasing further after landing. A flight attendant in the rear cabin (investigators could not determine which one) came forward and advised the captain that the emergency exit doors would not open. About 40 seconds after this statement, Chiu was observed trying to force the handle with both hands. The door, under an estimated 1,500 pounds of pressure, suddenly burst open. The rush of escaping air hurled Chiu more than 40 feet out of the left main door to his death. Two flight service directors in the forward area also were knocked unconscious when the door exploded open.[37]
  • May 23, 2001: The right main landing gear of American Airlines Flight 1107, a Fokker 100, collapsed upon landing on Runway 17C at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport after a scheduled flight from Charlotte/Douglas International Airport. The pilot was able to maintain directional control and bring the aircraft to a stop on the runway. The incident was attributed to metal fatigue caused by a manufacturing flaw in the right main gear's outer cylinder; there were no serious injuries to the 88 passengers or 4 crew, but the aircraft was written off.[38][39]
  • September 11, 2001 attacks: Two of the four planes hijacked were American Airlines flights. The first was American Airlines Flight 11, a Boeing 767-200 that was flown into the North Tower of the World Trade Center, and American Airlines Flight 77, a Boeing 757-200 that was flown into the Pentagon.
  • November 12, 2001: American Airlines Flight 587, an Airbus A300 crashed in the Belle Harbor neighborhood of New York City shortly after takeoff from John F. Kennedy International Airport due to separation of the vertical stabilizer after the pilots overused the rudder while trying to counter wake turbulence from a 747 ahead of them. All 260 people aboard the jetliner and 5 people on the ground were killed.
  • December 22, 2001: A plot to bomb American Airlines Flight 63 by "shoe bomber" Richard Reid was foiled. The flight was en route from Paris Charles De Gaulle to Miami, and was diverted to Boston's Logan Airport.
  • December 7, 2005: Rigoberto Alpizar, a passenger on American Airlines Flight 924, who officials said had claimed to have a bomb in a carry-on bag, was shot and killed by a team of federal air marshals on the jetway as passengers boarded at Miami International Airport for a flight to Orlando, Florida, from Medellín, Colombia.
  • June 2, 2006: A Boeing 767-223ER (registered N330AA, MSN: 22330/LN: 166) suffered a catastrophic engine failure and fire whilst under maintenance at Los Angeles International Airport.[40]
  • September 28, 2007: American Airlines Flight 1400, a McDonnell Douglas MD-82 from Lambert-St. Louis International Airport to O'Hare International Airport suffered an engine fire on take off. The aircraft returned to Lambert-St Louis where a successful emergency landing was made after the nose gear had to be extended by the emergency landing gear extension procedure. No injuries were reported among the 138 passengers and crew, although the aircraft was substantially damaged.[41]
  • February 23, 2008: An American Airlines Boeing 767 was forced to make an emergency landing at Manchester Airport after losing central hydraulics.[42] The aircraft had to land without flaps or spoilers and 2 tires were burst.
  • May 9, 2009: Thomas Jukovich, an American Airlines ramp worker, died after falling to the ground while loading luggage into Flight 995, at Miami International Airport. The aircraft, a Boeing 777, was scheduled to depart to São Paulo, Brazil. The flight was later cancelled.[43]
  • December 22, 2009: American Airlines Flight 331 overran the runway in heavy rain at Kingston, Jamaica during landing and came to rest on an access road just short of the Caribbean Sea, with its fuselage broken in three. More than 40 people were injured.[44]


  • November 5, 2014: American Airlines Flight 992, a Boeing 767, was climbing out of Belo Horizonte with 167 passengers and 12 crew, when an engine emitted a loud bang and streaks of flames; prompting the crew to shut the engine down and return to the airport for a safe landing. The flight was cancelled and the passengers were rebooked onto the next flight to Miami the following day.[45]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ American Airways NC9662 accident synopsis retrieved 2011-20-12
  2. ^ American Airways NC652E accident synopsis retrieved 2011-20-12
  3. ^ American Airways NC9716 accident synopsis retrieved 2011-20-12
  4. ^ American Airways NC11721 accident synopsis retrieved 2011-20-12
  5. ^ American Airways NC710Y accident synopsis retrieved 2011-20-12
  6. ^ American Airways Flight 1 accident synopsis retrieved 2011-20-12
  7. ^ American Airways Flight 1 accident synopsis retrieved 2010-06-05
  8. ^ Record 19430728-0 at Aviation Safety Net
  9. ^ Record 19431015-0 at Aviation Safety Net
  10. ^ Record 19440210-0 at Aviation Safety Net
  11. ^ Record 19450110-0 at Aviation Safety Net
  12. ^ Record 19430223-0 at Aviation Safety Net
  13. ^ Record 19460303-0 at Aviation Safety Net
  14. ^ Record 19460825-0 at Aviation Safety Net
  15. ^ Record 19470808-0 at Aviation Safety Net
  16. ^ Strange and Unusual Accidents at Plane Crash Info. Retrieved 16 April 2013.
  17. ^ Record 19500822-0 at Aviation Safety Net
  18. ^ Record 19520122-0 at Aviation Safety Net
  19. ^ Harry McCormick (1952-06-29). "Two Denton Youths Lose Lives as Plane Hits Giant DC6 Liner". The Dallas Morning News. 
  20. ^ Staff writers (1953-03-06). "Pilot of Small Plane Blamed for Fatal Love Field Collision". The Dallas Morning News. 
  21. ^ Record 19530916-0 at Aviation Safety Net
  22. ^ Accident description for American Airlines Flight 163 at the Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved on 2009-09-13.
  23. ^ Record 19550804-0 at Aviation Safety Net
  24. ^ Record 19570106-0 at Aviation Safety Net
  25. ^ Record 19590815-0 at Aviation Safety Net
  26. ^ "Electra Airliner Flips at LaGuardia, Burns; 76 Aboard Walk Out". Schenectady Gazette (Schenectady, New York). September 15, 1960. Retrieved October 9, 2014. 
  27. ^ "ASN Aircraft accident Lockheed L-188 Electra N6127A New York-LaGuardia Airport, NY (LGA)". Aviation Safety Network / Flight Safety Foundation. Retrieved October 9, 2014. 
  28. ^ Kihss, Peter (March 2, 1962). "All 95 on Jetliner Killed in Crash into Bay on Take-Off at Idlewild; President Spurs Federal Inquiry; Wreckage Burns". New York Times. Retrieved 28 February 2011. 
  29. ^ Record 19850416-0 at Aviation Safety Net
  30. ^ Record 19850627-0 at Aviation Safety Net
  31. ^ Record 19880203-0 at Aviation Safety Net
  32. ^ "NTSB Brief of Accident FTW88NA106". National Transportation Safety Board. Retrieved May 31, 2012. 
  33. ^ "ASN Accident Description". Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved May 31, 2011. 
  34. ^ "NTSB Brief of Accident DCA93MA040". National Transportation Safety Board. Retrieved May 31, 2012. 
  35. ^ "ASN Accident Description". Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved May 31, 2011. 
  36. ^ St. Pierre, Nancy; Box, Terry; Lincoln Michel, Karen; Freedenthal, Stacey (April 15, 1993). "30 Hurt After Jet Slides Off Runway - Passengers Injured During Exit On Escape Chutes". The Dallas Morning News. Retrieved May 31, 2012. 
  37. ^ "Safety Board Calls For Emergency Exit Door Redesign". Air Safety Week. 2002-08-19. Retrieved 2013-07-22. 
  38. ^ "NTSB Brief of Accident FTW01FA127". National Transportation Safety Board. Retrieved May 31, 2012. 
  39. ^ "ASN Accident Description". Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved May 31, 2011. 
  40. ^ "Hull-loss description". Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved 28 January 2014. 
  41. ^ "Preliminary Report - Aviation". National Transportation Safety Board. Retrieved 4 April 2009. 
  42. ^ American Airlines 767 Emergency Landing at Manchester
  43. ^ American Airlines' employee dies after falling down at Miami Intl (in Portuguese)
  44. ^ American Airlines Plane crashes at Jamaica Airport
  45. ^