Serious incident Boeing 727-225 Adv. N804MA,
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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 352169
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Date:Tuesday 5 January 1999
Time:10:51 LT
Type:Silhouette image of generic B722 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different    
Boeing 727-225 Adv.
Owner/operator:Miami Air International
Registration: N804MA
MSN: 22435/1674
Year of manufacture:1980
Total airframe hrs:42268 hours
Engine model:P
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 180
Aircraft damage: Minor
Category:Serious incident
Location:Phoenix-Sky Harbor International Airport, AZ (PHX/KPHX) -   United States of America
Phase: Take off
Nature:Passenger - Scheduled
Departure airport:Phoenix-Sky Harbor International Airport, AZ (PHX/KPHX)
Destination airport:Nashville International Airport, TN (BNA/KBNA)
Investigating agency: NTSB
Confidence Rating: Accident investigation report completed and information captured
During takeoff, a passenger in row 32 saw the rear cargo door open as the airplane rotated and notified a flight attendant, who immediately advised the cockpit. The flight crew heard and felt bangs and airframe vibrations, declared an emergency, and returned for a landing without incident. Airport fire personnel saw the cargo door open 90 degrees and the handle to be in or flush with the door as it stopped on the runway. Crew interviews established that the airplane was late being repositioned to the loading area for a scheduled 0830 departure and arrived there at 0800. The captain said the flight engineer was hustling to finish his duties before departure, and after that he performed his final walk-around, which included checking the cargo doors, there were no cargo door lights on the annunciator panel. The captain said that the load manifest showed 172 passengers; 168 passengers were already on the airplane and 2 others arrived late. The ground handlers gave him a final count of 202 bags loaded in the cargo compartments before the late arriving passengers. The ground handling company stated they were positive they loaded a total of 202 bags onboard the airplane, although 5-6 bags were loaded just before the aircraft left. A postincident bag count revealed that there were 208 bags onboard the airplane. The ground handling company said that they were not rushed while working the airplane. With the handle closed, the door will not close flush with the doorframe. The aft cargo door proximity switch was tested and contamination was found between contact terminals; however, no determination could be made whether it would cause an indication anomaly on the annunciator panel. The cargo door open warning light and circuit functioned normally during postincident functional tests. According to the airline's Flight Operations Manual, the flight engineer is responsible for supervising the loading of the aircraft and ensuring that all doors are properly closed and locked.

Probable Cause: The failure of the ground handling personnel to properly secure the aft cargo door following the loading of the late arriving baggage. A factor in the incident was an intermittent cargo door warning light circuit due to contamination in the proximity switch terminals.

Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: NTSB
Report number: LAX99IA072
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 1 year and 5 months
Download report: Final report



History of this aircraft

Other occurrences involving this aircraft
17 December 1992 N804MA Miami Air International 0 Miami, FL min


Revision history:

03-Mar-2024 15:22 ASN Update Bot Added
03-Mar-2024 15:28 ASN Updated [Location, Phase, Nature, Departure airport, Destination airport, Narrative]

Corrections or additions? ... Edit this accident description

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