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"Overlooking Runway 25 - Right, at Los Angeles International Airport"

"Miracle At Kingston"

American Airlines Flight 331

A Year of Aviation Miracles

American Airlines Called To Answer

Feature Date: Dec. 31 2009

Event Date: Dec. 22 2009

Countryman & McDaniel

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"Overlooking Runway 25 - Right, at Los Angeles International Airport"

On The Scene -- At Kingston's Norman Manley International Airport

 A 20009 Countryman & McDaniel

Cargo Nightmare Prize Contender

UPDATE: Jan. 4 2010 - Federal Aviation Administration Launches Investigation of American Airlines -- Too Many Recent Rough Landings

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Other Great Disasters of our Time

The Cargo Letter Photo Gallery of Transport Loss - Items Below Are Only A Sample

"Did You Hear That?" - Dec. 26 2009

"Star Crossed" - JDS Kurama - Dec. 1 2009

"General Motors Increases Training" - Nov. 28 2009

"Singapore Sling" - M/V MSC Kalina - Nov. 12 2009

"Road Warrior" - Important Moments In Transport History - Nov. 2009

"The Bridge On The River Shetrumji" - India Road Trip - Nov. 2009

"Make 25 Knots, Then Sit" - M/V Marko Polo - Nov. 2009

"Reefer Madness" - M/V Vega Gotland - Oct. 2009

"Meet Me At The Roundabout" - M/V MCS Nikita - Sept. 2009

"Auckward Straddle" - Sept. 2009

"Death of M/V Ioannis N.V." - August 2009

"Big Bunch 'O Black Barges - Beached" - Barge Margaret

"Walvis Wollover" - June 2009

"Pacific Mis-Adventure" - May 2009

"MV Maersk Alabama - 206 Year Deja Vu" - April 2009

"The Retaking of M/V Maersk Alabama" - April 2009

"Miracle At Schiphol" - Flight TK 1951 - March. 2009

"Do Not Chill" - FedEx life with the ATR-42 - March. 2009

"Miracle On The Hudson" - Flight 1549 - Jan. 2009

"The Attack On M/V Zhen Hua 4" - Dec. 2008

"The Taking of MT Biscaglia" - Jan. 2009

"M/V Ciudad de Ushuaia Stuck At The Pole" - Dec. 2008

"The Taking of M/T Sirius Star" - Somalia Pirates Take Supertanker - Stakes Raised - Nov.- Jan. 2008

"Fedra Backs In" - Death of M/V Fedra" - Oct. 2008

"Tank You, From The Somali Pirates" - Somalia - M/V Faina - Sept.- Jan. 2009

"The Death of Hercules" - Nov. 2008

"JAXPORT Jumble" - August 2008

"Callsign Connie: 44 Tragic Days" - July 2008

"Too Little Runway - Too Much Plane" - TACA Flt 390 - June 2008

"Recurring Dream" - M/V Norwegian Dream - May 2008

"Paradise & Pirates" - S/V Le Ponant - April 2008

"The Light At The End of The Tunnel" - M/V Zhen Hua 10 & 23 - Mar. 2008

"Mess At Manzanillo" - M/V CMA CGM Dahlia - Mar. 2008

"Big Battered Banana Boat" - M/V Horncliff - Feb. 2008

"Back To The Beach" - M/V Riverdance - Feb. 2008

"Glider Operations At Heathrow" -- B-777 Crash - Jan. 2008

"Fighting Fires On Mars"- Martin Mars - Dec. 2007

"Steeplechase"- A340 - Nov. 2007

"Explorer Ship Down" - M/V Explorer - Nov. 2007

"Kwanyang Crane Kaboom" - Nov. 2007

"Den Den Done" - M/V Denden - Sept. 2007

"For The "L" of It" - M/V Action Alpha - August 2007

"Stack Attack!" - M/V Ital Florida - July 2007

"Pepito Flores Did Not Need To Die " - OUR INVESTIGATION RESULTS

"Riding Down The Marquis" - M/V Rickmars Dalian - June2007

"Carrying Coal To Newcastle" - M/V Pasha Bulker - June 2007

"Between A Yacht & A Hard Place" M/V Madame Butterfly - May 2007

"Boxing Up The Rhine" M/V Excelsior - April 2007

"Best Worst Laid Plans?" M/V Republica di Genoa - March 2007

"Crack'n On The Sidmouth" - M/V MSC Napoli - Jan. 2007 - Disaster In Real Time

"Full Speed Ahead" - M/V Alva Star - Nov. 2006

"Where The Trade Winds Blew" - Oct. 2006

"Maersk Montevideo Melee!" - M/V Leda Maersk - Oct. 2006

"Laying Down On The Job" - M/V Cougar Ace -- Aug. 2006 -- Amazing !

"Vine Ripened Tires" - M/V Saga Spray -- May 2006 -- Amazing !

"Singles Only" -- Our One Photo Disasters

These Are Only Examples

"Mis-Fortune" - M/V Hyundai Fortune - March 2006

"Scheldt Snafu!" - M/V Grande Nigeria - Feb. 2006

"A Day A The Beach - M/V APL Panama - Jan. 2006 - OUR EPIC COVERAGE

"NO Rails" - destruction of New Orleans - Dec. 2005

"Backhaul !" - for July 2005

"The Boeing Tri-Motor" - for April 2005

"Catch of The Day" - for March 2005

"One Brick Short of A Runway" - for Jan. 2005

"Taichung Tumble" - May 2009

"World's Most Stupid Pirates" - May 2009

"LAX Lunch Deja Vu" - May 2009

M/T Vicuna Explodes - for Jan. 2005

"Unstacked" - overboard & Dr. Beach - Nov. 2004

"Coal Face" - the cargo was danger - July 2004

"Super Loss" - March 2004

"On A Wing & A Prayer" - Jan. 2004

"Stepping In It" - Dec. 2003

"Angel Fire" - Nov. 2003

"Broken Spirit" - M/V Tasman Spirit - Aug. 2003

"Denise & Polargo" - a love story - July 2003

"Columbia River Round Up" - June 2003

"Keel Hualed" - M/V Hual Europe - May 2003

"Thrice Bitten" -- M/V Tricolor - Jan. 2003

"Ramp-Age" - Feb. 2003

"Piñata" - breaking the box - Jan. 2003

"Halifax Hash"--M/V Maersk Carolina - Jan. 2003

"Thar She Blows!" - M/V Hanjin Pennsylvania - Nov. 2002

"T-E-U Bar-Be-Cue" - aftermath of M/V Hanjin Pennsylvania

"Container Pool" - a mystery - May 2002

"Strangers On My Flight" -- by Frank Sinatra - don't blame us - we only report this stuff!

"Dropping In On The Trucker" - it happened again - April 2002

"UNDER Achiever" - tell your friends ! - March 2002

Tell It To The U.S. Marines! - A Symbol of Our Day of Infamy - Sept. 11

Heavy Metal - lifting the un-liftable object - Disaster at Monrovia July 2001

Rail Mate -- an Egyptian rail loss - Tragedy At Ain Sokhna July 2001

Meals: Ready To Explode - Navy container barbecue at Guam! June 2001

America West Kisses Concrete M/V Ville De Orion - stack shift at LAX

U.S. Navy EP- 3 -- China Hostage Situation - Spring 2001

Attack On USS Cole (DDG-67) - - Dramatic Photos!

M/V OOCL America - Feb. 2000

M/V APL China - world's greatest container disaster - Nov. 1998

M/V New Carissa - the ship that would not die - 1999

M/V Tampa Maersk "on a dock diet"

Hanjin's Bad Stab - Under The Dock At Pusan, Korea - Exclusive Photo!

The Cargo Letter Photo Gallery of Transport Loss




"Miracle At Kingston"

On The Scene At

Kingston's Norman Manley International Airport

A Year of Aviation Miracles

December 22 2009


Boeing 737-800 - In Better Days

Boeing 737 800 - General
Boeing 737 800 - Specific Aircraft

Passenger capacity: 148 -- Models in 2009 hold 160 passemgers

16 in 1st class; and

132 in the coach

737-800: Stretched version of the 737-700, and replaces the 737-400

Aircraft type entered American Airline's fleet: 1999

Engines: CFM56

Number operated by American Airlines: About 108

Number on order: 45 in 2010, eight in 2011, 11 in 2013-16

Airplane: Boeing 737-800

Built: 2001

Certificate issued by FAA: Sept. 27, 2002

Pilot & Co-Pilot On Duty Hours At Crash Time: 12

Crew Experience:

Pilot: 22 years of experience & 2,695 hours flying 737s as a captain

Co-Pilot: 10 total years of experience & 5,027 hours as a 737 first officer

A Cargo Nightmare Prize Contender

The Date: December 22 2009

The Time: 2222 Hrs.

The Place: Kingston's Norman Manley International Airport

The Cargo Letter - Dec. 22 2009

An American Airlines plane with more than 150 people on board overshot the runway Tuesday night while landing in heavy rain in Kingston, Jamaica, injuring more than 40 people, officials said. Flight 331 took off from Miami International Airport at 8:52 p.m. ET and arrived at Kingston's Norman Manley International Airport at 10:22 p.m. ET. The flight originated at Reagan National Airport in Washington, D.C. It was carrying 148 passengers and six crew members.  

Flight 331 In The Dark -- Off The End of Runway 12

Flight 331 Skidded Off Runway 12 -- Plowed Through An Embankment -- Through A Fence -- Across Port Royal Road -- And Onto The Beach

Who Could Walk Away From This?

Capt. Brian Cole Speeds Injured Passengers To Waiting Ambulances

The Cargo Letter - Dec. 22 2009

An American Airlines plane with more than 150 people on board overshot the runway Tuesday night while landing in heavy rain in Kingston, Jamaica, injuring more than 40 people, officials said. Flight 331 took off from Miami International Airport at 8:52 p.m. ET and arrived at Kingston's Norman Manley International Airport at 10:22 p.m. ET. The flight originated at Reagan National Airport in Washington, D.C. It was carrying 148 passengers and six crew members.

The plane reportedly skidded across a road at Norman Manley International Airport while landing during a heavy rainstorm, and halted at the edge of the Caribbean Sea, apparently prevented from going into the water only by the upward slope of the sand. The nose of the jet was less than three meters from the water.

Jamaican Information Minister Daryl Vaz said "the airplane is broken in two" and that 44 people were taken to Kingston Public Hospital. He said some others were taken elsewhere or treated at the airport.

The plane, a Boeing 737-800, skidded off the runway, crossed a road and broke through a perimeter fence, coming to rest near the water.The plane's fuselage was cracked, its right engine broke off from the impact and the left main landing gear collapsed

A Total of 92 passengers and the 6 crew members were taken to 4 hospitals.

Did It Matter There Were No Lights?

Morning Shows Flight 331 Across Port Royal Road & Onto The Beach

American Airlines Flight 331 Had To Touch Down In Heavy Rain Without The Aid of Approach Lights

A 400-Meter (1,312 feet) Stretch of White Lights Over The Water From The Shoreline Near The Kingston Airport Was Out

An Advisory To Pilots Concerning The Approach Lights Was Issued Before Nov. 30, Warning About The Darkened Approach to Runway 12

Did The Lighting Problem Contribute To The Aircraft Stting Down Further Along The Runway?

Runway Overruns Have Become The Most Frequent Type of Airline Mishap In Recent Years

Aircraft Are Known To Go Off The Runway Either Due To Ecessive Speed Or High Winds

Those Were Factors In Two Southwest Airlines Runway Accidents, at Burbank, CA (March 2000) And ......

..... At Chicago, IL (Dec. 2005) In A Snow Storm When The "Pilots Failured To Use Available Reverse Thrust In A Timely Manner," The NTSB Concluded.

The Cargo Letter - Why Do Aircraft Overrun Runways?

As we have seen above, the principle causes are ecessive speed or high winds.

But other causes include:

Spoilers & thrust reversers that slow down the aircraft which don't deploy.

Brake failure

Autopilot malfunctions

Pilot error

Did The Lighting Problem -- In Heavy Rain -- Contribute To Flight 331 Stting Down Further Along The Runway Than Was Safe?
The Investigation Will Move Forward.

Why Did Flight 331 Almost Make The Bay? How Did Anyone Survive?

The Belly Cargo Aborad Flight 331 Was Toast

Most All Air Cargo Travels As Belly Cargo On Passenger Aircraft

American Airlines Flight 331 Was Our Third Miracle of The Year 2009

Beating The Odds -- All Walked Away - A Whole New Meaning To First Class

The "Miracle At Kingston" - 22 Dec. 2009

The Cargo Letter -- A Year of Aviation Miracles

"Miracle On The Hudson" - 15 Jan. 2009

"Miracle At Schiphol" - 25 Feb. 2009

"Miracle At Kingston" - 22 Dec. 2009

These modern miracles are in large part due to the aviation engineerers who build us better planes, to the science which brings us survivor inovation and to the remarkable training of today's air crews.

The Cargo Letter -- FAA Launches Investigation of American Airlines - Jan. 5 2010

Two weeks ago, American Airlines 737 skidded off a runway in Jamaica. The fuselage cracked, and dozens of passengers were injured. But that wasn't the only landing mishap American had last month.

Two other American jets &emdash; one in North Carolina on Dec. 13 and one in Texas on Dec. 24 &emdash; experienced problems as they landed. And now the Federal Aviation Administration says it's increasing its oversight of the airline to figure out if there's a pattern.

The other rough landings were far less serious than the Jamaican accident. Both of the incidents involved MD-80 series jets, and in both cases, the tip of a wing touched the runway as the aircraft landed. Nobody was injured on either flight, but it's unusual for a major airline to have three bad landings in just a couple weeks.

Aviation expets say regulators likely will look into whether the mishaps are symptoms of some larger problem in American's operation.

"Every airline develops its own procedures both for maintenance and for flying. So one kind of scrutiny could be going through to make sure that those procedures were actually done," he said. "They could [also] have FAA flight examiners basically looking over the shoulders of some pilots to see whether or not they're operating in accordance with FAA regulations" said aviation safety expert Todd Curtis.

American says it's cooperating with the FAA. Airline officials declined to be interviewed, but issued a written statement saying the company is conducting an internal review of the wingtip incidents and is working with authorities investigating the crash landing in Kingston.

The company says it's discovered no connection among the three events, and Bill Waldock, an aerospace safety professor at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, sees no obvious link either.

"Two of the three airplanes were MD-80 aircraft that has a wing that's relatively low to the ground and a different set of landing characteristics than the 737 that actually crashed in Kingston," he said. "Right now we're not sure if they're related."

Waldock says these kinds of FAA actions are uncommon, but not unheard of. In 2008, for instance, the agency ordered a wide review of maintenance records after fuselage cracks were found in several Southwest Airlines jets. Still, Waldock says, he's seen nothing about the investigation that makes him worry about the safety of flying. And other aviation experts doubt the three landing mishaps will affect consumers' faith in air travel, especially now when a seemingly more pressing issue &emdash; terrorism &emdash; is dominating much of the news.

"Most people believe that air travel is safe, and even when you believe that air travel has a significant risk factor, it's the other guy it happens to, not you," says David Field, a veteran aviation journalist and a former editor at Airline Business magazine.

Though the number of passengers was already down because of the economy, there's been no sign of a further drop because of safety or security worries.

But Field says people might start to shy away from air travel if the failed Christmas Day bombing leads to an increase in the amount of time it takes to get through security checkpoints. He says people are more deterred by the hassle and inconvenience of security screening than they are by actual concerns about safety.

Photo above by RodrigoBNO

American Airlines Cargo Operations At Kingston's Norman Manley International Airport

Shippers Must Have Quality Marine Cargo Insurance ........ Because......... "Ship Happens! ©"

To Repeat -- No Matter How Careful You Are -- Or Who You Hire ....... "Ship Happens! ©"

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The Dedication of This Feature Is Simple: To The Crews of American Airlines Flight 331 and it's families.

SPECIAL NOTE: The historic dangers of carriage by air & sae continue to be quite real. Shippers must be encouraged to purchase high quality marine cargo insurance from their freight forwarder or customs broker

It's very dangerous out there.


Important Links To Our Feature:
Norman Manley International Airport
Crash Details


Boeing 737-800

Picking The Right Seat On A 737-800

The Three Aviation Miracles of 2009

"Miracle On The Hudson" - 15 Jan. 2009

"Miracle At Schiphol" - 25 Feb. 2009

"Miracle At Kingston" - 22 Dec. 2009

Our Daily Vessel Casualties - stay informed

"Singles Only" - visit our individual moments of transport crisis for more.

The Greatest Container Losses Of All Time - these are the grand fathers -

M/V OOCL America

M/V APL China

M/V APL Panama - The EPIC

"Great Misfortune"- M/V Hyundai Fortune - March 2006

SPECIAL NOTE: The historic dangers of carriage by sea continue to be quite real. Shippers must be encouraged to purchase high quality marine cargo insurance from their freight forwarder or customs broker. 

It's very dangerous out there.

Thanks To Our Contributors For The "Miracle At Kingston" Feature

Our Contributor for this feature is greatly appreciated:
Our Anonymous contributor
Anonymous Contributors Must Always Remain Anonymous*

NOTE: Please Provide Us With Your Additional Information For This Loss.

EDITOR'S NOTE FOR SURVEYORS, ATTORNEYS & MARINE ADJUSTERS: The Internet edition effort of The Cargo Letter now celebrates it's 8th Year of Service -- making us quite senior in this segment of the industry. We once estimated container underway losses at about 1,500 per year. Lloyd's put that figure at about 10,000 earlier this year. Quite obviously, the reporting mechanism for these massive losses is not supported by the lines. News of these events is not posted to the maritime community. Our new project is to call upon you -- those handling the claims -- to let us know of each container loss at sea-- in confidentiality. Many of you survey on behalf of cargo interests with no need for confidentiality. Others work for the lines & need to be protected. As a respected Int'l publication, The Cargo Letter enjoys full press privileges & cannot be forced to disclose our sources of information. No successful attempt has ever been made. If a personal notation for your report is desired -- each contributor will be given a "hot link" to your company Website in each & every report. Please take moment & report your "overside" containers to us. If you do not wish attribution, your entry will be "anonymous." This will will benefit our industry -- for obvious reasons! McD

* NOTE: The Cargo Letter wants you to know that by keeping the identity of our contributors 100% Confidential, you are able to view our continuing series of "Cargo Disasters." Our friends send us materials which benefit the industry. The materials are provided to our news publication with complete and enforceable confidentiality for the sender. In turn, we provide these materials to you.  

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