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Date:Monday 8 July 1991
Type:Silhouette image of generic B703 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Boeing 707-323C
Operator:Southern Air Transport
Registration: N8404
MSN: 19582/663
First flight: 1967-12-29 (23 years 7 months)
Crew:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 3
Passengers:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 0
Total:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 3
Aircraft damage: Substantial
Aircraft fate: Repaired
Location:Denver International Airport, CO (DEN) (   United States of America)
Phase: Takeoff (TOF)
Departure airport:Denver International Airport, CO (DEN/KDEN), United States of America
Destination airport:Kansas City International Airport, MO (MCI/KMCI), United States of America
During take-off, the pilot felt and heard a thump during rotation. The aircraft would not pressurize, and lost the utility hydraulic fluid. An aircraft on a subsequent take-off reported what appeared to be landing gear debris on the runway. After circling for one hour to burn off fuel, and conducting a tower fly by, the aircraft landed without the nosewheel gear on a foamed runway.

During rotation the nose gear separated. As the aircraft passed over it the belly of the aircraft was damaged. Take-off was completed and an emergency landing was conducted with the main gear and the stub of the nose gear shock strut extended.
Disassembly of the shock strut inner cylinder revealed the absence of several parts. The area where these parts are located is a sealed area that was not compromised. This discrepancy allowed a retention nut to back off which resulted in nose gear separation. The nose gear assembly was overhauled on 9 April 1985.

Probable Cause:

Improper overhaul of the nose gear assembly by other maintenance personnel.

Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: NTSB
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 2 years
Download report: Final report
Language: English

Landing gear collapse
Runway mishap


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This map shows the airport of departure and the intended destination of the flight. The line between the airports does not display the exact flight path.
Distance from Denver International Airport, CO to Kansas City International Airport, MO as the crow flies is 850 km (531 miles).

This information is not presented as the Flight Safety Foundation or the Aviation Safety Network’s opinion as to the cause of the accident. It is preliminary and is based on the facts as they are known at this time.
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