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Source: National Transportation Safety Board (1973). Trans World Airlines, Incorporated, Boeing 707-331C, N788TW, John F. Kennedy International Airport, Jamacia, New York, December 12, 1972. Washington, DC: National Technical Information Service.
Source Type:   Accident
Synopsis: "On December 12, 1972, Trans World Airlines, Inc., Flight 669, a Boeing 707-331C, N788TW, was a scheduled cargo flight from Friendship International Airport, Baltimore, Maryland, to John F. Kennedy International Airport, Jamacia, New York. At 2256 eastern standard time, the aircraft crashed at John F. Kennedy International Airport while executing an instrument landing system approach to Runway 4R. After the descent from cruising altitude, using the autopilot approach coupler, the aircraft was established on the instrument landing system. When nearing Decision Height, the aircraft continued below the glide slope until it struck approach light bars which were mounted on a wooden pier just short of the runway threshold area. The aircraft crashed onto the runway and slid approximately 2,600 feet. It came to rest on sandy ground about 500 feet to the right of the runway edge on a heading reversed to its initial direction. The official weather observation that was made at John F. Kennedy International Airport at 2251 eastern standard time was, in part: Ceiling indefinite 200 feet, sky obscured, visibility 1/2-mile, light drizzle, fog, wind 040° 5 knots, and runway visual range for Runway 4R 4,500 feet variable to more than 6,000 feet. The aircraft received substantial damage. The main landing gear and all of the engines separated along the deceleration path. There was no fire. The three flight crewmembers were the only persons aboard the aircraft, and none was injured. The National Transportation Safety Board determines that the probable cause of this accident was that the captain did not maintain a safe descent path by visual external reference during an instrument landing system approach."
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