About the American Airlines Flight 331 Crash
On Dec. 22, 2009, American Airlines Flight 331 from Miami, Florida, departed the runway on landing and crossed a road, eventually coming to rest on a beach just short of the ocean. The flight, which originated in Washington, D.C., carried 148 passengers and six crew members.
In May 2011, the Jamaican Civil Aviation Authority (JCAA) issued its final report on the incident, finding, among other things, that the flight crew was unaware of standing water on the runway and "decided to land in heavy rain on a wet runway in a tailwind close to the tailwind landing limit."
According to the International Air Traffic Association, runway incursions are the leading cause of aircraft accidents, with 82% of the overruns occurring in the landing phase.
Mary Schiavo, Motley Rice aviation attorney and former U.S. Department of Transportation Inspector General, pointed out similarities at the time between the American Airlines Flight 331 incident and that of American Airlines Flight 1420, which departed the runway when landing at Little Rock, Arkansas in 1999, resulting in 11 deaths.
"Both incidents involved late night landings during heavy rain showers. In both incidents, the aircraft were unable to stop on runways that should have been perfectly adequate to accommodate the landing. In American Flight 1420, flight crew fatigue played a role. Considering the stress that the airline industry has been in and the irregular operations caused by recent snow storms, fatigue may have been at issue here, as well," stated Mary Schiavo.
If you have been injured or a family member has been injured as a result of a commercial plane crash, please contact Motley Rice aviation attorney and former U.S. Department of Transportation Inspector General Mary Schiavo or aviation attorney and former pilot navigator James Brauchle by email or call 1.800.868.6456.