ASN Aircraft accident McDonnell Douglas DC-8-63CF N6161A New York-John F. Kennedy International Airport, NY (JFK)
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Status:Accident investigation report completed and information captured
Date:Saturday 20 September 1975
Type:Silhouette image of generic DC86 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
McDonnell Douglas DC-8-63CF
Operator:Airlift International
Registration: N6161A
MSN: 45969/396
First flight: 1968
Total airframe hrs:27391
Engines: 4 Pratt & Whitney JT3D-7
Crew:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 3
Passengers:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 1
Total:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 4
Aircraft damage: Minor
Aircraft fate: Repaired
Location:New York-John F. Kennedy International Airport, NY (JFK) (   United States of America)
Phase: Takeoff (TOF)
Departure airport:New York-John F. Kennedy International Airport, NY (JFK/KJFK), United States of America
Destination airport:Miami International Airport, FL (MIA/KMIA), United States of America
Airlift International Flight 101, a McDonnell-Douglas DC-8-63Fm struck components of the runway 22L instrument landing system, the runway 4R automatic landing system flasher, and the runway 4R field monitor while taking off from runway 22L at the New York-John F. Kennedy International Airport.
The accident occurred during the hours of darkness and reduced visibility. The takeoff was made on an 8,400-foot runway using calculations for a takeoff on a 11,352-foot runway.
The four occupants aboard were not injured. The aircraft was damaged slightly and several navigation aid ground components were destroyed.

Probable Cause:

The National Transportation Safety Board determines that the probable cause of this accident was the captain's decision to use a runway that was too short for the aircraft's takeoff performance capability under existing load and weather conditions. As a result, the aircraft struck obstacles beyond the departure end of the runway before it began to climb. The flightcrew had failed to use available data which would have informed them that the runway was not long enough for the takeoff.

Accident investigation:

Investigating agency: NTSB
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 186 days (6 months)
Accident number: NTSB-AAR-76-11
Download report: Final report


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This map shows the airport of departure and the intended destination of the flight. The line between the airports does not display the exact flight path.
Distance from New York-John F. Kennedy International Airport, NY to Miami International Airport, FL as the crow flies is 1745 km (1091 miles).

This information is not presented as the Flight Safety Foundation or the Aviation Safety Network’s opinion as to the cause of the accident. It is preliminary and is based on the facts as they are known at this time.
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