Late last night, around 11:58 p.m. CST, American Airlines flight 1420 from Dallas Fort-Worth, Texas crashed off the end of a runway at Little Rock, Arkansas Airport. The aircraft was an MD-80 which had an excellent safety record. The only minor problem ever found was loss of power in an engine after the housing around it came off. This was not a serious problem because that aircraft is capable on flying on only 1 engine, like many others. The aircraft had also received a complete inspection just 6 weeks ago.
On arrival at Little Rock Airport, the MD-80 began to hydroplane, then rotated 180° at the end of the runway, skidded through a fence and slammed into a steel poll which supported the runway's approach lights. Upon contact, the aircraft split in 2 with the tail end of the aircraft, which extended almost halfway up the aircraft, then skidding within feet of the Arkansas River.
Amidst the terror, a hail storm developed from an already existing super cell and only caused more damage. Survivors without injuries were taken to a nearby theater where they could reunite with friends and family. 9 deaths are confirmed, and last updated, there were 4 bodies remaining on the aircraft. It is believed that the bodies remaining inside are counted in the current death count. 88 of the 145 souls on board (139 passengers, 6 crew members) were taken to local hospitals, many of which were taken to a children's hospital which housed the only burn unit in Little Rock, Arkansas.
The NTSB (National Transportation Safety Board) said earlier today in a press conference that no assumptions should be made about whether or not the crash was due to pilot error, malfunction, miscommunication, etc. However, many have ignored their comments, and many rumors are circulating.
At this time, 12:46 CST, the black boxes in the aircraft are being transported to FAA headquarters where they will be analyzed and, hopefully, will release information that will help us understand why this terrible accident happened. The recordings contained within the black boxes will most likely be released for public listening soon, however, the NTSB's full report will not be completed for a full year or more.
After viewing the aircraft on television, it is obvious that the pilot's side (left) of the MD-80 was charred excessively while the co-pilot's side (right) was less severely damaged. Also, the aircraft has a huge whole in the side of the front part that was left intact. The damage to this aircraft is excessive, but for what damage there is, only 9 deaths at this moment is remarkable.
We are currently working on revising this page with up to the minute information. We are giving a 110% effort to provide you with the information on this crash as soon as possible. This page will be uploaded many times daily and we invite you to check back.
If you happen to have friends or family on board flight 1420, American Airlines welcomes you to call (800) 245-0999.
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