All Survive MD-87 Crash, Fire

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A McDonnell Douglas MD-87 carrying 18 passengers and three crew members crashed during takeoff from Texas’ Houston Executive Airport (TME) at approximately 10:08 a.m. local time on Tuesday. Everyone onboard was safely evacuated from the aircraft, which was subsequently destroyed by a post-crash fire. Two individuals were taken to a local hospital with minor injuries. Both have since been released.

“The information we have at this time indicates that the plane did not attain altitude at the end of the runway and went across Morton Road, coming to a rest in the field just north of the airport, where it caught on fire,” Waller County Judge Trey Duhon said via Facebook.

According to officials, the fire has been extinguished. The aircraft, which is owned by 987 Investments, was reportedly traveling to Boston, Massachusetts. It is believed the plane overran the runway after attempting to abort takeoff. The NTSB has launched a go-team to investigate.

This article will be updated as more information becomes available.

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18 COMMENTS

  1. This was blind a$$ luck that everyone didn’t die. Love the quote,:

    “The information we have at this time indicates that the plane did not attain altitude at the end of the runway and went across Morton Road, coming to a rest in the field just north of the airport, where it caught on fire,” Waller County Judge Trey Duhon said via Facebook.”

    That’s like the junior Air Force pilot before the safety board, “Well, sirs, the fighter went off the end of the runway, crossed Highway 99, went through the turnip field and then hit the big tree. That’s when I lost control of it.

  2. One drone video I saw showed the tire tracks beginning about 500 feet before the end of the runway, implying that it got airborne and was set back down with no room to stop. It appears that it got airborne briefly.

  3. This is why a very thorough take-off briefing is so important, making it clear what issues will the Captain abort the take off, and when do we continue the take off. Aborting after V1 is not an option. Aborting after being airborne is idiotic.

  4. “the plane did not attain altitude at the end of the runway”

    It never even rotated by all appearances!

    Another observation showed the thrust reversers still stowed after the crash. So, the outstanding question is, does the emergency shutdown procedure require stowing the thrust reverse buckets? Or, merely pull throttle to idle-cutoff?

    • One video shows prominent bursts of smoke from an engine during the roll. It’s likely they aborted the takeoff due to engine trouble. If there’s engine power issues, or an engine fire, maybe thrust reversers aren’t allowed.

  5. There is a video showing the plane starting its takeoff roll at the south end of the 5,000 foot runway. However, a building blocks the last half of the runway so it is not possible to tell if the plane ever left the ground. From an aerial view you can clearly see the skid marks on the end of the runway and the tire tracks leading off the end, across Morton Road and into the field beyond. As the plane crossed the road, it impacted a small grove of trees that caused it to corkscrew to the left coming to rest about 1,600 feet north of the runway and facing almost due west. The video shows that as the plane began its takeoff roll, a short stream of smoke came from one of the engines. Not sure if that is significant or not.

    The plane was a passenger plane converted to a corporate jet a few years ago. The owner and some friends and family members were headed to Boston to watch the baseball playoffs between Houston and Boston. The owner was not piloting the plane. Since it was a converted airliner, it should have a flight data recorder, but it may have been damaged by the extensive fire. Fortunately since the crew survived, they should have a good account of what happened.

  6. A couple of interesting notes: The aircraft had not been flown for almost a year prior to the day of the accident. And, the mechanic responsible for maintaining the plane was on board for the ill-fated flight. It has also been reported, but not verified, that the plane had been for sale for some time.