Plane emergency at Miami International Airport
The dramatic incident took place when a Red Air flight arrived from Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, said Miami-Dade aviation department spokesperson Greg Chin.
Three people received minor injuries and were taken to hospital for treatment, while the remaining passengers were bussed from the site of the accident to the terminal.
The plane was arriving from Santo Domingo around 5.30pm when the incident took place.
It appeared to have come to rest near a grassy area by the side of the runway.
Some flights were delayed due to the fire, airport officials said.
Miami airport passenger posts video taxiing past wrecked plane
Twitter user @findmory posted a video of the Miami-Dade Fire Rescue response to the crashlanding of the Red Air flight from the Dominican Republic as his own flight taxied past the wreckage.
A great deal of damage can be seen to the nose of the aircraft from where it impacted the runway after the landing gear collapsed.
What is the McDonnell Douglas MD-80, the airliner that crashed in Miami on Tuesday?
On Tuesday at approximately 6pm, a McDonnell Douglas MD-80 that had taken off from the Dominican Republic, the home base for the recently founded airlines RED Air, caught fire when its landing gear collapsed on the runway at Miami International Airport.
The McDonnell Douglas MD-80 is a mid-size, medium-range jet airliner and is manufactured by McDonnell Douglas. Since taking off in 1979, it has been used by dozens of airlines from around the world, with major customers including Delta Air Lines, Spirit Airlines, American Airlines, Alaska Airlines and Swissair.
American Airlines was the first major US carrier to use the airliner and began by leasing 20 of the 142-seat aircraft from McDonnell Douglas in 1982. In the early 2000s, the airline announced that it would retire all of its MD-80s and replace them with the more fuel efficient Boeing 737-800s. The final American Airlines MD-80 flight flew on 4 September 2019.
As of May 2022, there were 148 MD-80 series aircrafts in service, with operators including USA Jet Airlines, who has a total of 18 of the airliners, and Canadian Airways Congo, who has two of the jets in service, among a number of other carriers with smaller fleets.
According to the Aviation Safety Network, the database has documented 88 occurences of accidents involving the McDonnell Douglas MD-80 since 1979, with 1,446 fatalities.
RED Air mechanic describes ‘shocking’ landing
A 36-year-old mechanic from RED Air interviewed by the Miami Herald provided his first impressions about the landing of the plane on Tuesday night, which he describes as being a “hard landing”.
Hector Dejesus, employed by the airline and a former Dominican military aviation mechanic, first told a reporter from the Florida-based outlet that he thought perhaps there was a pilot error in the landing.
“I suppose it was a hard landing. We do maintenance all the time. I suppose it was that,” he told the Miami Herald. “I’m in shock. I would see things like this in the air force.”
An investigation into the crash is being handled by the National Transportation Safety Board, who told reporters they’d be sending a team of investigators to the incident site on Wednesday.
Passenger onboard the crashed flight describes ‘frightening’ scene
A passenger who was onboard RED Air Flight 203 when it crashed at the Miami International Airport described a “frightening” scene to local news outlet the Miami Herald.
“People were very frightened,” said Mauricio Davis, who was returning from Venezuela and grabbed a connecting flight in Santo Domingo to Miami.
“People were grabbing the seats to keep from spinning around,” he added, noting that when the 126 passengers travelling onboard realised there was fire, they collectively began screaming with panic.
Read more from the Miami Herald here.
Watch: Red Air Flight 203 passenger shares footage of his escape
One of the passengers travelling on board Red Air Flight 203 from Santo Domingo to Miami on Tuesday afternoon filmed the terrifying moments before he and other passengers made an emergency exit down the plane’s evacuation slide.
Paolo Delgado, who shared his cellphone footage with CBS Austin’s John-Carlos Estrada, can be seen fleeing the grounded plane while passengers ahead and behind him are heard hurriedly trying to get off the smoking airliner.
As Mr Delgado descends the emergency slide, a plume of black smoke can be seen wafting from the plane that he has just seconds ago escaped from.
The footage shows some passengers had stopped to collect luggage including wheeled suitcases before exiting the aircraft, against rules about evacuating in an emergency.
Watch the full clip below:
Red Air: one of the region’s newest airlines
Red Air is one of the region’s newest airlines. The company, which is based in the Dominican Republic, launched in the fall of 2021 — looking to challenge other cut-rate airlines by offering relatively affordable flights between the US and the Caribbean country.
Abe Asher takes a look at the newcomer airline to the region’s aviation sector.
Red Air statement on the crash
Red Air released the following statement after Tuesday’s crash.
ICYMI: Video shows terrified passengers fleeing after the crash
Just before 5.40pm on Tuesday, a Red Air flight arriving from the Dominican Republic had a landing gear failure upon arrival, sending a jet with 126 people sliding across runway nine at MIA.
The craft quickly caught fire, sending passengers running from the grounded jet, which was inbound from Santo Domingo.Some were filmed hustling away from the wreck, while others stopped to film the crash with their phones.
Many were seen hauling away luggage from the burning plane as emergency crews arrived.
Josh Marcus reports the details:
NTSB launch Miami crash probe as survivors speak out
Investigators from the National Transportation Safety Board are expected to arrive at Miami International Airport on Wednesday to begin their probe of a Red Air flight after its landing gear collapsed on the runway and caused it to crash.
“NTSB is sending a team of investigators to Miami following today’s gear collapse and runway excursion of an MD-82 jetliner at Miami International Airport,” the investigative agency responsible for civil transportation accidents wrote on Tuesday night, just a few hours after the 5.40pm incident that sent RED Air Flight 203 into smoke.
Johanna Chisholm reports.