On December 20, 1995, at 1136, Tower Air flight 41, a Boeing B-747, veered off the left side of runway 4L during an attempted takeoff at John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK), Jamaica, New York. The flight was a regularly scheduled passenger/cargo flight conducted under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 121. Of the 468 persons aboard (451 passengers, 12 cabin crewmembers, 3 flightcrew members, and 2 cockpit jumpseat occupants), 24 passengers sustained minor injuries, and a flight attendant received serious injuries. The airplane sustained substantial damage. The weather at the time of the accident was partially obscured, with a 700-foot broken cloud ceiling, 1½ mile visibility, light snow, and fog.
The safety issues discussed in this report include the adequacy of Boeing and air carrier procedures for B-747 operations on slippery runways; adequacy of flight simulators for training B-747 pilots in slippery runway operations; security of galley equipment installed on transport category aircraft; role of communications among flight attendants and between the cabin crew and the flightcrew; adequacy of Tower Air galley security training; compliance of Tower Air’s maintenance department with its established procedures; failure of the FDR system to function during the accident; adequacy of the Tower Air operational management structure; adequacy of FAA surveillance and workload imposed on POIs; adequacy of runway friction measurement requirements, including correlation of runway friction measurements with aircraft braking and ground handling performance.