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

Bill covers business aviation and advanced air mobility for Aviation Week Network. A former newspaper reporter, he has also covered the airline industry, military aviation, commercial space and unmanned aircraft systems. He is the author of 'Enter The Drones, The FAA and UAVs in America,' published in 2016.