Caribbean Atlantic Airlines, Inc. (Caribair), Flight 340, a Douglas DC-9-31, N938PR, was involved in a landing accident at 1409 A.s.t., on August 12, 1969, at Harry S Truman Airport, Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas, Virgin Islands. The aircraft, on its landing rollout, continued 323 feet beyond the far end of Runway 9, and came to rest in an automobile repair shop, after striking several vehicles. There were 114 passengers aboard and a crew of five. Evacuation of the aircraft vas orderly, with one passenger sustaining minor injuries. Three occupants of the ground vehicles, which were struck by the aircraft after it left the runway, were seriously injured and one was slightly injured.
The weather in the vicinity of the airport had been characterized by intermittent rain showers from early in the morning through the time of the accident, and a total of 2.74 inches of rain was recorded for the 24-hour period. The existence of a considerable amount of standing water on the runway was corroborated by witnesses who stated that the aircraft was churning up heavy water spray on its rollout and did not appear to be decelerating very rapidly.
Near the end of the runway, the aircraft vas observed to be fishtailing which was accompanied by loud sounds of engine reversing and associated popping noises. White tire streaks, typical of those observed in cases of known hydroplaning, were observed in the last 1,400 feet of runway, leading off the runway into the aircraft tire tracks in the wet, sodded area between the runway and the street.