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18th of April 1977

A (1968 built) McDonnell Douglas DC-8-53 was scheduled to operate a scheduled flight from Tokyo-Haneda Airport (Japan) to Manilla International Airport (Philippines). The Pratt & Whitney JT3D-3B powered aircraft had 127 passengers and 13 crew on board.

The aircraft in its final position (source

After a normal flight preparation, the engines were started and the aircraft received taxi clearance to runway 15L. When approaching the runway the Pre-Take Off checklist was completed while awaiting the take-off clearance. Once take-off clearance was received the throttles were advanced and the take-off was initiated. The initial take-off run was uneventful. However, after approximately 1000 meters (3280 feet) the aircraft rotated and lifted off prematurely. The aircraft immediately banked left (the left wing stalled) and settled back on the runway. It veered to the left and ran off the runway surface on the soft ground. It continued for 800 meters (2625 feet) before coming to a stop with all three landing gears and all four engines were torn off. While the cockpit crew completed the necessary emergency checklists, the aircraft was evacuated.

The failed elevator and gust lock components (source; Japanese Authorities)

The Japanese Authorities investigated the accident and published their report a year after the accident.

(The report is available by clicking here, please note, the report is in Japanese!) The probable cause was identified as follows;

"Left elevator geared tab drive arm assemblies and elevator gust lock crank assembly had failed. This caused a=the premature lift-off."

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