Date & Time: Dec 22, 2009 at 2222 LT
Type of aircraft:
Boeing 737-800
Operator:
Registration:
N977AN
Survivors:
Yes
Schedule:
Washington DC - Miami - Kingston
MSN:
29550/1019
YOM:
2001
Flight number:
AA331
Country:
Jamaica
Crew on board:
6
Crew fatalities:
0
Pax on board:
148
Pax fatalities:
0
Other fatalities:
0
Total fatalities:
0
Circumstances:
The aircraft departed Washington DC-Ronald Reagan for a regular schedule flight to Kingston, Jamaica, with an intermediate stop in Miami. On approach by night and poor weather conditions, crew was cleared to land on runway 30. The crew requested to land on runway 12 and were subsequently cleared to land on that runway with the controller further advising the crew that the runway was wet and with a tailwind of 26 km/h. After landing, aircraft did not decelerate as expected, overrun, went through a fence and came to rest near the beach, broken in three. All 154 occupants were evacuated, among them 91 were injured. Aircraft was destroyed.
Causes:
Jamaican Director General of Civil Aviation Col. Oscar Derby, stated in the week following the accident, that the jet touched down about halfway down the 8,910-foot (2,720 m) runway. He also noted that the 737-800 was equipped with a head-up display. Other factors that were under investigation included "tailwinds, and a rain soaked runway;" the runway in question was not equipped with rain-dispersing grooves common at larger airports.
The aircraft held a relatively heavy fuel load at the time of landing; it was carrying enough fuel for a round trip flight back to the US.
The FDR later revealed that the aircraft touched down some 4,100 feet (1,200 m) down the 8,910-foot (2,720 m) long runway. Normally touchdown would be between 1,000 feet (300 m) and 1,500 feet (460 m).
The aircraft was still traveling at 72 miles per hour (116 km/h) when it departed the end of the runway.
The aircraft landed with a 16 miles per hour (26 km/h) tailwind, just within its limit of 17 miles per hour (27 km/h).