Kalitta Air Flight 207

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Kalitta Air Flight 207
Boeing 747 Kalitta Air N704CK.jpg
Flight 207 after overruning Runway 20
Bird strike
DateMay 25, 2008 (2008-05-25)
SummaryBird strike, resulting in engine failure and overrun of the runway
SiteBrussels Airport
Aircraft typeBoeing 747-200F
OperatorKalitta Air
IATA flight No.K4207
ICAO flight No.CKS207
Call signCONNIE 207 HEAVY
Flight originJohn F. Kennedy Airport
StopoverBrussels Airport
DestinationBahrain International Airport

Kalitta Air Flight 207 (K4207/CKS207) was a scheduled cargo flight between John F. Kennedy Airport to Bahrain International Airport with a technical stopover at Brussels.[1][2] On May 25, 2008, the Boeing 747-200 overran Runway 20 during takeoff at Brussels Airport, causing the aircraft to split into 3 main pieces.[3][4] The occupants sustained minor injuries.[5]

Aircraft and crew[edit]

The Boeing 747-200 involved in the accident, pictured in 2005

The aircraft was a 27 year old Boeing 747-209F registered as N704CK. The aircraft was built in July 1980 for China Airlines with the registration B-1894. It was re-registered as B-18752, operating for the same airline and operated until the end of August 2003 before it was purchased by Kalitta Air in September of the same year and registered as N704CK.[3] The aircraft accumulated 108,560 flight hours with 20,599 flight cycles.[6] The aircraft was equipped with Pratt & Whitney JT9D-7Q engines with serial numbers (from leftmost engine to rightmost engine) 702399, 702394, 702119 and 702082.[6] Engine No.3 was once reported to be in flames in April 2008.[6] The engine was replaced and the damage sustained to the aircraft was repaired. There were 4 crew members and 1 passenger onboard. The captain was 59 years old and was a qualified captain on the Boeing 747, 757, 767 and the McDonnell Douglas DC-8. He had accumulated 15,000 flight hours throughout his career, including 3,000 flight hours in the Boeing 747. The first officer was 48 years old and was a qualified first officer on the Boeing 747, Gulfstream G500, Canadair CL-65 and Saab 340. He had accumulated 7,000 flight hours, including 200 flight hours on the Boeing 747. The flight engineer was 53 years old and was a qualified flight engineer. He had accumulated 7,000 flight hours throughout his career, including 1,950 flight hours on the Boeing 747.[6] The flight carried 76 tonnes of cargo.[7]


The flight was carried out at 11:06 a.m. Flight CKS207 requested for pushback. The flight crew then requested clearance to taxi at 11:13 a.m. The controller requested the crew to taxi to A7 and hold short of Runway 25R. They were later asked to contact the tower controller. The crew neglected the decision of lining up with runway 25R and requested to taxi to runway 19, as that runway was used for take-off's whereas 25R was used for landings. They were asked to line up behind a Korean Air Boeing 747 and wait for their turn to take-off. At 11:29 a.m., they were cleared for take-off from runway 20. At approximately 11:30 a.m., the crew heard a loud bang, followed by an explosion on Engine No.3.[7] They decided to cancel the take-off by engaging the thrust-reversers and setting the engine power to idle. The thrust reversers did not engage and since they had crossed V1 speed (138 knots) by 12 knots, they could not stop in time and overran the runway. Flight 207 stopped 300m from the end of runway 19 and 100m from a railroad just ahead. The aircraft broke into three main pieces: the cockpit, the fuselage and the tail.[1][2][6] The tower immediately called for fire trucks to arrive at the scene.[5][6] The firefighters coated the wings with fire retardant as the plane was filled with fuel, however, the aircraft did not catch fire.[4] A witness heard a "slight knock" and noticed a plane charging towards him. The witness immediately ran for cover.[8]


The investigation authority arrived at the crash site an hour later. The accident was investigated by the Aircraft Accident Investigation Belgium. It was determined that there were traces of the European kestrel inside Engine No.3 causing it to lose power and fail, which was accompanied by a loud bang and it was noticed by the crew with immediate actions to slow down the plane.[5] The Runway End Safety Area (RESA), a part of the runway which helps the aircraft to stop in time, of Runway 20 was met in terms of both length (90m) and width (90m). However, the increase of the RESA to 240m was not met.[8] This was because of a railway ahead of the runway and a road at the other end. The bird strike also caused the thrust reversers to not engage, therefore not adequately slowing down the aircraft.[6] The bird strike, the malfunctioning of the thrust reverser and the lack of situational awareness contributed to the crash of Flight 207.[8]


The crew had minor injuries. The training towards rejecting a takeoff after V1 for Kalitta Air was modified. The information was given in a DVD depicting the same runway as the accident flight in Brussels.[6] The RESA has been made stricter about the Runway extension to 240m which Runway 19 did not comply with. The Bird Control Unit (BCU) was also reinforced to be more accurate and subsequent training for its use has also been provided in the DVD.[6] The use of the full length of Runway 19 was never published in the Aeronautical Information Publication (AIP). It was only exclusive to Runway 25R. A dedicated sentence has also now been provided for Runway 19.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Ranter, Harro. "Accident Description". Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved August 6, 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  2. ^ a b Hubert, Ronan. "Accident Description". Bureau of Aircraft Accident Archives. Retrieved August 6, 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  3. ^ a b "Details of N704CK on planespotters.net". Planespotters. Retrieved August 6, 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  4. ^ a b "Plane comes off of Brussels Runway". British Broadcasting Corporation. May 25, 2008. Retrieved August 7, 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  5. ^ a b c "Engine fire alert preceded Kalitta 747F's rejected take-off". FlightGlobal. May 29, 2008. Retrieved August 6, 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h i "FINAL REPORT ON THE ACCIDENT OCCURRED ON 25 MAY 2008 AT BRUSSELS AIRPORT ON A BOEING B747-209F REGISTERED N704CK" (PDF). Brussels: Federal Public Service and Mobility Transport. 2009-07-10.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  7. ^ a b "Do you remember? Kalitta Air Boeing 747 overruns Runway at Brussels". Aviation24. November 30, 2016. Retrieved August 6, 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  8. ^ a b c Hradecky, Simon (May 25, 2008). "Crash: Kalitta B742 at Brussels on May 25th 2008, rejected takeoff". The Aviation Herald.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)

External links[edit]