All Escape After MD-87 Leaves Runway, Catches Fire

NTSB investigators at the crash site in Brookshire, Texas.
Credit: NTSB via Twitter

Three crewmembers and 18 passengers evacuated safely after their McDonnell Douglas MD-87 left the runway and caught on fire Oct. 19 while attempting to take off from Houston Executive Airport (KTME) in Brookshire, Texas.

The corporate MD-87 narrowbody airliner rolled through a fence and caught on fire in a field while departing KTME shortly after 10 a.m. local time, according to the FAA. The airport, located 35 mi. west of Houston, has a one paved north-south runway (18/36) measuring 6,610 ft. long by 100 ft. wide. The NTSB is leading the accident investigation.

The MD-87 was registered as N987AK to 987 Investments LLC, a company owned by Houston-area real estate developer James Alan Kent, according to media reports. Kent was a passenger on the aircraft, which was destined to fly to Boston Logan International Airport.

Powered by Pratt & Whitney JT8D-219 engines, the MD-87 was manufactured in 1987 and delivered in January 1988 to Finnair. It later served with Aeromexico before being placed in storage, according to Aviation Safety Network. Kent’s 987 Investments acquired the aircraft in 2015.

Bill Carey

Based in Washington, DC, Bill covers avionics, air traffic management and aviation safety for Aviation Week. A former daily newspaper reporter, he has covered the commercial, business and military aviation segments as well as unmanned aircraft systems. Prior to joining Aviation Week in November 2017, he worked for Aviation International News and Avionics and Rotor & Wing magazines.