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2009 American Airlines crash in Jamaica due to pilot error, report finds

Pilot error is cited as the cause of a 2009 American Airlines passenger jet crash. The Boeing 737-800 came in too fast for a landing at the rain-soaked Norman Manley International Airport in Kingston. 14 people were seriously injured.
By JC Finley Follow @JC_Finley Contact the Author   |   May 8, 2014 at 11:22 AM

KINGSTON, Jamaica, May 8 (UPI) -- The cause of an American Airlines passenger jet crash on a runway in Kingston, Jamaica in 2009 was due to pilot error, the Jamaican Civil Aviation Authority concluded in a report that recently came to light.

According to the agency, the pilots failed to follow proper procedure as they landed the Boeing 737-800, bringing the plane down 2,600 feet beyond the optimal landing zone on the 8,911-foot runway. Insufficient pilot training and fatigue were cited as possible factors.

"The flight crew members were possibly fatigued after being on duty for nearly 12 hours, and awake for more than 14 hours."

The pilots did not account for the duration required to stop the plane in "heavy rain" conditions with the wind at their rear, and standing water on the runway.

The air traffic controllers at Norman Manley International Airport were also faulted for failing to alert the pilots to "heavy rain" and assigned the plane an incorrect runway.

Unable to stop, the plane carrying 148 passengers slid through a fence, broke into three pieces, and skidded to a stop on a rock shore of the Caribbean. 14 people were seriously injured.

In response to the crash, American Airlines revised its flight manuals and issued a memo to its pilots on how to improve safe landings.

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