Western Airlines Flight 2605
A Western Airlines McDonnell Douglas DC-10 similar to the one involved.
|Date||October 31, 1979|
|Summary||Pilot error, Runway confusion|
|Site||Benito Juarez Int'l Airport
Mexico City, Mexico
|Fatalities||73 (including 1 on the ground)|
|Aircraft type||McDonnell Douglas DC-10-10|
|Flight origin||Los Angeles Int'l Airport|
|Destination||Benito Juarez Int'l Airport|
Western Airlines Flight 2605 was an international scheduled passenger flight from Los Angeles to Mexico City. On October 31, 1979, the aircraft used for the flight, a McDonnell Douglas DC-10, crashed at Mexico City's Benito Juarez International Airport in early morning fog after landing on a runway closed for maintenance. 72 of the 88 people on board, plus 1 person on the ground, were killed. The event was the third-deadliest aviation accident to occur on Mexican soil, after Mexicana Flight 704 and Flight 940, and the seventh-deadliest one involving a DC-10.
The crash of Flight 2605 was one of three fatal McDonnell Douglas DC-10 accidents in 1979, occurring just over five months after American Airlines Flight 191 crashed in Chicago and less than a month before Air New Zealand Flight 901 crashed in Antarctica, although Flight 2605 resulted in far fewer fatalities.
Aircraft and occupants
The aircraft involved was a McDonnell Douglas DC-10-10 registered N903WA. It first flew in 1973 and over the course of its career logged a total of 24,614 flight hours. The three engines powering it were General Electric CF6-6Ks. On the accident flight, the aircraft had 77 passengers and 11 crew on board.
The flight had been assigned to runway 23R, but touched down on runway 23L, which was closed for refurbishing. As go-around power was being added, the aircraft's right main landing gear collided with a parked truck, separated, and hit the right tailplane and elevator. The aircraft then banked to the right until the left wing struck the cab of an excavator 1,500 meters from the runway threshold. Then the DC-10 crashed into a building and caught fire. 72 people on board, and 1 person on the ground, were killed.
The probable cause of the accident was determined to be "Non-compliance with the meteorological minima for the approach procedure, as cleared; failure to comply with the aircraft's operating procedures during the approach phase, and landing on a runway closed to traffic."
- "ASN Aircraft Accident McDonnell Douglas DC-10 N903WA Mexico City-Juarez International Airport (MEX)". Aviation Safety Network.
- Kebabjian, Richard (2012). "Accident Report: Western Airlines Flight 2605". planecrashinfo.com. Retrieved June 29, 2012.
- NTSB summary