7 August 1997 - Fine Air 101

On August 7, 1997, Fine Air flight 101, a Cargo DC-8-61F registration N27UA, en route from Miami to Santo Domingo, in the Dominican Republic, suffered sudden movement of cargo materials in the aft cargo hold while on take off. The aircraft's nose rose steeply due to the sudden uneven weight distribution caused by shifting cargo of denim material that had not been securely fastened.

The pilots, departing out of the former Runway 27R (now 26L) attempted to recover but the aircraft stalled and crashed onto a field adjacent the Miami City Rail Yard less than a mile from the airport. The aircraft missed two factories, a commercial building, and the Budweiser Distribution Center in unincorporated Miami, Florida between the populated residential suburbs of Miami Springs and Doral, FL.

It skidded across the field and onto NW 72nd Ave, a road that is typically full of traffic. Fortunately, the crash occurred at 12:01 PM, a time when NW 72nd Ave was free of traffic. The plane's wreckage skidded across the roadway and onto the parking lot of a commercial mini-mall across the street from the empty field; it took out 26 cars in the lot.

Inside one of the cars sat a man who had just arrived back at his shop in the mini-mall after picking up lunch for his wife and himself. He was unable to make it out of the car and was caught up in the fireball that engulfed the multi-lane avenue, field, and parking lot.

The plane's wreckage fell four feet short of the entrances to three shops. It missed two occupied cars and a truck that were waiting for the traffic signal at the intersection of NW 31st Street and NW 72nd Avenue, less than 30 yards (27 m) away.

The only deaths were those of the three aircrew members, a company security guard on the flight, and the man in the parking lot. In the minutes following the crash, police were alerted to a fire at NW 72nd Ave, only to discover it was a plane crash. For nearly 45 minutes, mixed reports claimed the plane was a passenger flight, but within the hour the control tower at MIA confirmed it was Fine Air Cargo Flight 101.

PROBABLE CAUSE: "The aircraft had entered a 85deg. nose-up attitude after take-off, stalled and crashed. Preliminary investigation results show that, of the 49 aluminum cargo latches that were found, 48 were in an open (unlocked) position. There are a total of 90 cargo latches on the plane to hold the 16 pallets of denim it was carrying at the time."


Transcript of the Cockpit Voice Recorder (CVR)

Legenda RDO = Radio transmission from accident aircraft
CAM = Cockpit Area Microphone sound or source
-1 = Voice identified as Captain
-2 = Voice identified as First Officer
-3 = Voice identified as Second Officer
TWR = Miami Local Controller (tower)
GND = Miami Ground Controller
* = Unintelligible word
# = Expletive deleted
() = Questionable text
(()) = Editorial insertion
- = Pause


Notes: All times are expressed in eastern daylight savings time. Only radio transmissions involving the accident aircraft were transcribed.

Time: Source: Content:
1232: 20 CAM- 1 after start when ever you're ready.
1232: 22 CAM- 3 okay.
1232: 27 CAM- 3 okay after start-rain removal.
1232: 28 CAM- 1 checked off.
1232: 29 CAM- 2 checked off.
1232: 30 CAM- 3 gust lock.
1232: 30 CAM- 2 off.
1232: 32 CAM- 3 electrical panel checked no lights.
1232: 33 CAM- 3 aileron and rudder power.
1232: 34 CAM- 1 clear.
1232: 35 CAM- 2 clear right.
1232: 41 CAM- 3 lights out hydraulics' checked, door lights checked out engine pneumatic bleeds off ground equipment.
1232: 50 CAM- 1 clear left.
1232: 50 CAM- 2 clear right.
1232: 51 CAM- 3 nose gear pin.
1232: 52 CAM- 1 I saw it.
1232: 53 CAM- 3 okay cockpit door is closed, starter arm switch.
1232: 54 CAM- 1 it's off.
1232: 56 CAM- 3 pitot heat.
1232: 57 CAM- 1 it's on lights out.
1232: 58 CAM- 3 after start checklist complete.
1232: 59 RDO-2 Miami ground Fine Air one oh one heavy Jurassic park ready taxi.
1233: 02 GND Fine Air one oh one heavy Miami ground taxi runway two seven right.
1233: 05 RDO-2 taxi two seven right Fine Air one oh one heavy.
1233: 08 CAM- 1 and ah we can block this baby at thirty one and let's go flaps one five and taxi and take off checklist.
1233: 15 CAM (( sound of clicks)).
1233: 17 CAM- 2 cleared to taxi two seven *.
1233: 19 CAM- 1 okay.
1233: 26 CAM- 3 okay taxi takeoff check.
1233: 27 CAM- 3 brakes.
1233: 28 CAM- 1 they're checked.
1233: 28 CAM- 3 flaps and slots.
1233: 29 CAM- 2 fifteen fifteen slots lights out.
1233: 31 CAM- 3 anti-ice, anti-ice, de-ice and PT2.
1233: 33 CAM- 2 they're off.
1233: 34 CAM- 3 yaw damper.
1233: 34 CAM- 1 checked and on.
1233: 36 CAM- 3 okay flight recorder is on T/C's and bleeds are off spoiler pump is normal pressure's checked, fuel system is set and flight controls.
1233: 45 CAM- 1 ready.
1233: 45 CAM- 3 ready.
1233: 46 CAM- 2 ailerons left.
1233: 47 CAM- 3 double drop rise.
1233: 47 CAM- 2 neutral.
1233: 48 CAM- 3 double drop rise.
1233: 49 CAM- 2 ailerons right.
1233: 50 CAM- 3 double drop rise.
1233: 50 CAM- 2 neutral.
1233: 51 CAM- 3 double drop rise.
1233: 53 CAM- 2 EPI down, EPI aft indication.
1233: 56 CAM- 1 rudder left.
1233: 56 CAM- 3 drop rise.
1233: 57 CAM- 1 neutral.
1233: 58 CAM- 3 drop rise.
1233: 58 CAM- 1 rudder right.
1233: 59 CAM- 3 drop rise.
1234: 00 CAM- 1 neutral.
1234: 00 CAM- 3 drop rise.
1234: 01 CAM- 1 checked.
1234: 04 CAM (( sound of trim-in-motion tone)).
1234: 02 GND Fine Air one oh one heavy monitor tower one one eight point three we'll see ya.
1234: 05 RDO-2 eighteen three see ya later.
1234: 07 CAM- 1 data please.
1234: 08 CAM- 3 okay takeoff data.
1234: 11 CAM- 1 completed left center.
1234: 12 CAM- 2 set right.
1234: 14 TWR Fine Air one oh one are you ready to go.
1234: 15 CAM- 1 I need thirty seconds.
1234: 16 RDO-2 about thirty seconds.
1234: 15 CAM- 3 stabilizer and trim tabs.
1234: 19 CAM- 2 two point four indicated zero zero.
1234: 22 CAM- 3 takeoff and departure briefing completed radios and flight director.
1234: 24 CAM- 2 set for departure and cross checked.
1234: 26 CAM- 3 seat-belts and shoulder harness.
1234: 26 CAM- 1 on.
1234: 27 CAM- 2 on.
1234: 27 CAM- 3 okay at the line.
1234: 28 RDO-2 Fine Air one oh one is ready for takeoff two seven right.
1234: 30 CAM- 1 I got this guy.
1234: 31 TWR Fine Air one oh one's traffic's five mile final seven four seven two seven right fly heading two seven zero cleared for takeoff.
1234: 35.9 RDO-2 cleared for take off two seven right Fine Air one oh one heavy.
1234: 36.6 CAM- 1 below the line please.
1234: 39.7 CAM- 3 anti skid.
1234: 40.0 CAM- 1 on light's checked.
1234: 42.2 CAM- 3 stand-by rudder pump's on continuous ignition.
1234: 42.8 CAM- 2 all engines.
1234: 43.9 CAM- 3 transponder DME.
1234: 44.4 CAM- 2 on on.
1234: 45.2 CAM- 3 okay landing lights.
1234: 46.1 CAM- 1 they're on.
1234: 47.0 CAM- 3 okay checklist complete.
1234: 50.0 CAM- 1 this guy's pretty pretty close to I think we'll need to take it rollin' he looks like he is closer than four miles to me I don't want him to go around, we're not that heavy anyway *.
1235: 01.4 CAM- 1 I'll just stand them up here, take it on the roll , okay you're spooled.
1235: 02.1 CAM (( sound of increasing engine sounds)).
1235:07.6 CAM-3 okay four spooled and ah stable.
1235:10.6 CAM-2 max power.
1235:13.2 CAM-1 just like auto throttles.
1235:15.2 CAM-2 yeah.
1235:17.3 CAM-2 airspeed on the right.
1235:19.5 CAM-1 okay comin' up on sixty knots power's set.
1235:26.2 CAM-1 eighty, you got the steer on the rudders.
1235:36.7 CAM-3 okay number four's is (heatin' up a little).
1235:39.6 CAM ((Sound of thump).
1235:43.1 CAM-1 vee one.
1235:47.3 CAM (( sound of thump)).
1235:49.9 CAM-1 rotate.
1235: 51.5 CAM- 1 easy easy easy easy.
1235: 55.6 CAM- 1 vee two.
1235: 56.9 CAM- 1 positive rate.
1235: 58.7 CAM- 2 gear up.
1236: 00.0 CAM- 2 what's goin' on.
1236: 01.3 CAM- 1 whoa #.
1236: 01.7 CAM- 1 ##.
1236: 01.8 CAM (( sound of trim-in-motion tone)).
1236: 02.2 CAM (( sound of stick shaker starts)).
1236: 02.8 CAM (( sound of trim-in-motion tone)).
1236: 04.5 CAM (( sound of trim-in-motion tone)).
1236: 05.6 CAM (( sound of trim-in-motion tone)).
1236: 07.4 CAM- 1 oh no # no.
1236: 07.5 CAM (( sound of trim-in-motion tone)).
1236: 08.8 CAM (( sound of trim-in-motion tone)).
1236: 09.3 CAM- 1 oh no # No.
1236: 12.0 CAM (( stick shaker stops)).
1236: 13.3 CAM- 1 # # #.
1236: 15.1 CAM- 1 hold on hold on keep it light easy #.
1236: 17.8 CAM (( stall warning starts and continues until end of recording)).
1236: 17.6 GPWS too low gear.
1236: 19.2 CAM- 1 oh #.
1236: 19.4 GPWS too low - terrain terrain.
1236: 20.73 CAM (( sound similar to engine surge)).
1236: 20.8 CAM- 1 oh # #.
1236: 20.81 CAM (( sound similar to engine surge)).
1236: 20.88 CAM (( sound similar to engine surge)).
1236: 21.9 GPWS woop woop pull up.
1236: 21.96 CAM (( sound similar to engine surge)).
1236: 22.73 CAM (( sound similar to engine surge)).
1236: 22.85 CAM (( sound similar to engine surge)).
1236: 22.9 CAM- 2 something - what's happening.
1236: 24.5 CAM- 2 oh no.
1236: 25.4   end of recording.

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