Uncontrolled Impact with Terrain
Fine Airlines Flight 101
Douglas DC-8-61, N27UA
August 7, 1997
NTSB Number AAR-98/02
NTIS Number PB98-910402
Synopsis: On August 7, 1997, at 1236 eastern daylight time, a Douglas DC-8-61, N27UA, operated by Fine Airlines Inc. (Fine Air) as flight 101, crashed after takeoff from runway 27R at Miami International Airport, Miami, Florida. The three flightcrew members and one security guard on board were killed, and a motorist was killed on the ground. The airplane was destroyed by impact and a postcrash fire. The cargo flight, with a scheduled destination of Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, was conducted on an instrument flight rules flight plan and operated under Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 121 as a Supplemental air carrier.
The National Transportation Safety Board determines that the probable cause of the accident, which resulted from the airplane being misloaded to produce a more aft center of gravity and a correspondingly incorrect stabilizer trim setting that precipitated an extreme pitch-up at rotation, was (1) the failure of Fine Air to exercise operational control over the cargo loading process; and (2) the failure of Aeromar to load the airplane as specified by Fine Air. Contributing to the accident was the failure of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to adequately monitor Fine Air's operational control responsibilities for cargo loading and the failure of the FAA to ensure that known cargo-related deficiencies were corrected at Fine Air. Safety issues discussed in this report include the effects of improper cargo loading on airplane performance and handling, operator oversight of cargo loading and training of cargo loading personnel, the loss of critical flight data recorder information, and FAA surveillance of cargo carrier operations.