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23 March 2009

Crash of a FedEx Express MD-11 near Tokyo on 23 March 2009

The aircraft was on a cargo flight from Guangzhou, China to Narita Airport near Tokyo, Japan. The aircraft bounced on landing, and contacted the runway a second time nose wheel first. The plane then rolled to the left, hit the runway with its left horizontal stabilizer and wing, caught fire and rolled over onto its back, coming to rest off the left side of the runway. Both crew members were killed. This was the first fatal accident at Narita Airport since it opened in 1978.

This was the fourth crash landing of an MD-11 that led to either fatalities or to the destruction of the aircraft. Two previous crashes involved FedEx Express, a July 1997 crash in Newark, New Jersey, and an October 1999 landing overrun at Subic Bay Airport in the Philippines. No one was killed in these two events. An August 1999 China Airlines crash landing in Hong Kong during a rain storm led to the death of three of the passengers on board. There have been three fatal crashes involving passengers, the most recent being the Hong Kong crash.

About two hundred MD-11s were built, and about 182 are currently in service. FedEx Express operates the world's largest MD-11 fleet with about 57 active aircraft. Well over half of all active MD-11s are flying as dedicated cargo aircraft, with many of them being converted passenger airliners (including about 19 aircraft operated by Lufthansa Cargo). In addition to the two MD-11 crashes, NTSB records indicate that FedEx MD-11 aircraft have been in at least five other landing incidents or accidents involving either a bounced landing or a tail strike.

Watch or listen to the report on this accident below:

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23 March 2009 Crash of a FedEx MD-11 near Tokyo

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Other FedEx Express Plane Crashes
Other MD-11 Plane Crashes

Coincidentally, just a few hours after the FedEx Express crash, a Pilatus PC-12 aircraft crashed on approach to Butte, Montana. The aircraft had been on a flight from Orovile, California to Bozeman, Montana. The pilot changed the flight plane to Butte, MT, and the aircraft crashed about 500 feet (150 meters) from the airport. All 14 on board were killed, including several children.

1 comment:

  1. Just a short note to correct a fact in the article: Lufthansa does not have any MD-11 in a passenger configuration. All the 19 MD-11s are cargo only aircraft and operated by Lufthansa Cargo.