Accident history

Accidents since 1970

Alaska Airlines has experienced five accidents involving fatalities or injuries since 1970. Four involved Boeing 727 aircraft and one involved an MD-80.

Sept. 4, 1971: A Boeing 727 preparing to land in Juneau, Alaska, in poor visibility flew into a mountain about 28 miles west of the airport. All 104 passengers and seven crew members died. The National Transportation Safety Board determined the probable cause was a misleading navigational display and failure by the pilots to follow approved procedures.

April 5, 1976: A Boeing 727 landing in Ketchikan, Alaska, in snow and fog overshot the runway and crashed into a ditch. One of the 43 passengers died. The NTSB determined the probable cause was the pilot’s failure to properly judge distance and speed.

Jan. 31, 2000: An MD-80 en route from Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, to San Francisco crashed into the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Southern California. All 83 passengers and five crew members died. The NTSB determined the probable cause was failure of the aircraft’s horizontal stabilizer trim system caused by excessive wear resulting from insufficient lubrication of the jackscrew assembly.

Other events

Two additional events sometimes appear in databases listing accidents since 1970.

June 9, 1987: Two mechanics taxiing a Boeing 727 without passengers onboard struck a jetway at Anchorage International Airport. The ensuing fire destroyed the aircraft and damaged the jetway and terminal gate. Eleven people suffered minor injuries.

March 13, 1990: A Boeing 727 taking off from Phoenix International Airport struck and killed a man who breached airport security and ran onto the runway. No one onboard the aircraft was injured. Airport authorities determined the pedestrian was a patient at a nearby mental institution.