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Last updated: 4 December 2021
Date:Saturday 27 August 1988
Type:Silhouette image of generic B721 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Boeing 727-31
Operator:Trans World Airlines - TWA
Registration: N852TW
MSN: 18571/42
First flight: 1964-04-21 (24 years 4 months)
Total airframe hrs:56099
Engines: 3 Pratt & Whitney JT8D-7B
Crew:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 6
Passengers:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 62
Total:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 68
Aircraft damage: Substantial
Aircraft fate: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:Chicago-O'Hare International Airport, IL (ORD) (   United States of America)
Phase: Landing (LDG)
Nature:Domestic Scheduled Passenger
Departure airport:Saint Louis-Lambert International Airport, MO (STL/KSTL), United States of America
Destination airport:Chicago-Midway Airport, IL (MDW/KMDW), United States of America
The landing gear didn't extend and the pilot went around. By using an alternate emergency gear extension procedure, the crew tried to extend the undercarriage , but attempts were unsuccessful. The crew elected to make a belly landing at O'Hare Airport. It appeared that the gear selector actuating rod was disconnected from the normal gear retract and extend actuating assembly. The crew damaged the manual gear extension mechanism in the manual extension attempts.

Probable Cause:

PROBABLE CAUSE: "Improper procedural checklist in which a critical step was not listed. "

Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: NTSB
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 1 year and 11 months
Accident number: CHI88FA223
Download report: Summary report

» ICAO Adrep Summary 4/90 (#2)


photo of Boeing-727-31-N852TW
accident date: 27-08-1988
type: Boeing 727-31
registration: N852TW

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 Saint Louis-Lambert International Airport, MO to Chicago-Midway Airport, IL as the crow flies is 401 km (251 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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Boeing 727

  • 1832 built
  • 53rd loss
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