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Tuesday, 1 February, 2000, 06:14 GMT
Airline's worst incident for 30 years

The crash of an MD-82 last year at Little Rock killed nine


The crash of Flight 261 off the California coast is Alaska Airlines' worst incident in almost 30 years.

Airline safety records show the company had few minor incidents in the 1990s, but several more serious accidents in the 1970s.

In September 1971, an Alaska Airlines Boeing 727 flew into the side of a mountain near Juneau, Alaska, killing all 111 people on board.

In April 1976, another 727 overran the runway at Ketchikan, Alaska, killing one of the 50 passengers.

The jet which went down into the Pacific northwest of Los Angeles was an MD-83, part of the MD-80 series built by McDonnell Douglas, which merged with Boeing in 1997.

The MD-80, in service since 1980, is a twin-jet version of the more widely known DC-9, and is used by many carriers on short- and medium-haul flights.

MD-80 history

The most recent disaster involving an MD-80 series aircraft was in June 1999, when an American Airlines MD-82 crashed and ran off the runway in Little Rock, Arkansas, killing nine people.

In July 1996, a Delta MD-88 aborted its landing at Pensacola, Florida, after an engine fan hub blew apart, killing a woman and her son and injuring three others.

In November 1993, an MD-82 belonging to China's Northern Airlines crashed into a paddy field in western China, killing 12 people and injuring at least 60.

A month earlier another MD-82 overshot a runway in China, killing two people.

The worst recorded incident was in August 1987 when a Northwest Airlines MD-80 crashed on takeoff at Detroit Metropolitan Airport, killing 156.

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02 Jun 99 |  Americas
Nine killed in Arkansas crash

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