MIRACLE ON THE ST. JOHNS RIVER: Florida Boeing 737 skids off runway into water

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — A Miami Air Boeing 737 skidded into the St. Johns River on Friday night with 143 people on board. All passengers were able to get off the plane safely. Read below for live updates as they become available:

UPDATE, 5 P.M., 5/7/19: The National Transportation Safety Board said it has recovered the plane's cockpit voice recorder.

UPDATE: 7:45 A.M., 5/7/19: Crews are back to work on the Miami charter plane that crashed in St. Johns River Friday.

NAS Jax released a statement saying that the plane will be removed onto a barge and stored in a secure location.

A crane has moved in on the plane.

LIVE: Crews back to work on plane in St. Johns River

Crews are back at work on the Miami charter plane that skidded into the St. Johns River Friday: https://bit.ly/2LnKajM

Posted by Action News Jax on Tuesday, May 7, 2019

UPDATE, 10 P.M., 5/6/19: The National Transportation Safety Board said the boeing 737 crashed in the St. Johns River will be removed as early as tomorrow.  An Action News Jax source also said the goal is to get the plane out of the water tomorrow.

This comes as the airline "Miami Air International" offered each passenger a "goodwill gesture" of $2500. Action News Jax reporter Christy Turner spoke to the aviation attorney who says accepting the payment should not affect passenger's rights.

UPDATE, 6 P.M., 5/6/19: The National Transportation Safety Board has released video of its investigation into the Miami Air runway overrun at NAS Jax on Friday.

In the video, investigators can be seen inside the plane taking notes, in rafts along the side of the wing and examining the exits of the plane from the inside and the outside.

PHOTOS: Inside the Miami Air plane that skidded off the runway and into the St. Johns River

UPDATE, 1:29 P.M. 5/6/19: Miami Air International is offering "a goodwill gesture"  of $2,500 to each passenger of the plane that skidded off the runway at NAS Jax Friday.

In the statement released by Miami Air, the company also addressed passengers baggage that is still in the cargo hold letting them know that once it is retrieved it will be catalouged, cleaned and returned to passengers.

UPDATE, 4:30 p.m. 5/5/19: The National Transportation Safety Board said the investigation would be delayed due to weather.

The plane's flight data recorder was recovered and taken to Washington, D.C., on Saturday. According to preliminary information from the recorder, the plane's ground speed at touchdown was 178 knots.

According to NTSB, the aircraft had been in maintenance and the maintenance log indicated the left-hand thrust reverser was inoperative. NTSB said there are procedures to deal with that on the minimum equipment list.

For salvage operations, NTSB said it depends on whether if the plane will stay on Navy property or be moved to another location.

Once NTSB is able to move the aircraft, they will be able then to have access to the voice recorder in the tail of the plane, which is underwater.

Prior to moving the aircraft, NTSB will have to remove all the fuel from the aircraft.

NTSB said the original plan for the pilots was to land the plane to the west on runway 28, but at some point, as they approached the area, they requested to air traffic control to change the direction of landing and land to the east on runway 10.

The air traffic controllers told the pilots that the Navy had a wire barrier set up for recovery from a Navy aircraft operating offshore, in case they couldn't land on the carrier. According to NTSB, this shortened the runway space for the plane to land on.

So even though runway 10 is about 9,000 feet long, according to NTSB the pilots were advised they only had about 7,800 feet to land.

More information on what the pilots were thinking and what the decision-making process was when the voice recorder box is recovered, according to NTSB.

NTSB said the Navy has arranged a dive team to go in and safely remove the pets.

Flights operations out of Naval Air Station Jacksonville will be altered until the aircraft is removed. According to NAS JAX, they will have very limited flights to leave Monday morning, having all the planes out by 7:30 a.m. There will be no planes coming into NAS JAX until the aircraft is removed from the water.

Miami Air released a statement:

Miami Air International was notified of an incident involving Flight BSK293 on Friday, May 3, 2019 at approximately (9:55) pm EDT. The flight was a military charter operation which departed Guantanamo Bay, Cuba to Jacksonville, Florida. Upon landing at approximately (9:42) pm EDT, the aircraft slid off the end of the runway into the St. Johns River.All passengers and crew members were evacuated from the aircraft after it came to a stop resting in water. There were 136 passengers and 7 crew members aboard the flight. According to the Jacksonville Fire and Rescue, 21 individuals were transported to local hospitals due to minor injuries. Miami Air International is providing support to the passengers, crew and their families that were affected by this accident. 

The aircraft, a Boeing 737, was manufactured in 2001 and had last been through a scheduled maintenance check which was completed on 1 May 2019. 

Miami Air International has notified the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) and is cooperating with the authorities on the investigation. We would like to thank all the responding agencies for their support especially, the men and women of the Jacksonville Fire and Rescue. 

We will be providing updates on the response on our website at www.miamiair.com/293.asp 

UPDATE, 5 p.m. 5/4/19: The National Transportation Safety Board said the plane's flight data recorder is on its way to Washington, D.C., and was not damaged.

Investigators expect to get a lot of information from the recorder, including speed, altitude, point of impact and more about the plane during the incident.

The NTSB is still working on formal interviews with flight crew and anticipates conducting those Sunday. Looking at the pilot's experience will also be part of the investigation.

Regarding the pets that are on board the plane, which is still in the river, officials said that human life was their first priority after the crash.

Naval Air Station Jacksonville said that crews checked the cargo bay for pets but did not see or hear animals or crates in that initial response.

Officials said they looked a second time and did not see any pet carriers above the water line and emphasized that human life was the first priority in the intial response, as well as the safety of the rescue crews.

The plane made its landing on Runway 10 at NAS Jax, when skidded off the runway and went into the St. Johns River on Friday at 9:40 p.m.

NAS Jax said that the runway underwent renovation in 2016 to improve its cross slope to help water fall off runway. Officials said that grooving of the pavement, which helps move rain off the runway faster, was not required and not included in that renovation design.

Regarding the passengers who were transported to local hospitals and later released, officials said that a 3-month-old was included in the group of at least 22 people taken to local hospitals.

Officials said that the 3-month-old was admitted as a precaution and everyone has since been released from the hospitals.

The Coast Guard has put up booms to contain jet fuel around the plane to prevent it from contaminating the water. The NTSB said that the fuel appears to be contained.

NAS Jax air traffic is currently closed right now during the cleanup and investigation.

WATCH LIVE: NTSB gives briefing on investigation into plane that skidded into St. Johns River

WATCH LIVE: NTSB gives briefing on investigation into plane that skidded into St. Johns River. MORE: https://bit.ly/2LnKajM

Posted by Action News Jax on Saturday, May 4, 2019

UPDATE, 3:45 p.m.: The NTSB said it will hold a 5 p.m. news conference on the investigation into the Miami Air plane skidding off the runway.

UPDATE, 12:48 p.m. : The NTSB has just arrived at the site where a Boeing 737 plane skidded into the St. Johns River at NAS Jax. A team of 16 people will be investigating.

UPDATE, 11:30 a.m.: The aircraft has to be moved out of the water to get to the pets on board. NAS Jax said it is still waiting on more National Transportation Safety Board agents to arrive. The manifest stated that there were four pets on board, but that could have changed at the last minute. The NTSB's news conference has been pushed back to later this afternoon.

UPDATE, 9:30 a.m.: The four patients who were initially taken to Memorial Hospital have since been released, according to a spokesperson.

MIRACLE ON THE ST. JOHNS: 23 people hospitalized after Florida Boeing 737 skids into water

UPDATE, 8:50 a.m.: The NTSB said its teams will be in Jacksonville around noon on Saturday to look at the plane. The NTSB said it will do a briefing around 2 p.m.


At about 9:40 p.m. Friday, a Miami Air flight arriving from Naval Station Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, coming into Naval Air Station Jacksonville slid off the runway into the St. Johns River, according to NAS Jax.

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NAS Jax told Action News Jax that the aircraft had a mixture of military personnel and civilians onboard.

NAS JAX said there were 136 passengers and seven air crew, making a total of 143 on board the Boeing 737. Everyone was accounted for. Minor injuries have been reported.

STORY: Jacksonville has had two previous commercial plane crashes


  • UF Health Jacksonville said it had three patients who were treated and released.
  • St. Vincent's Riverside said it had three patients who were treated and released
  • Memorial Hospital said it had four patients who were treated and released.
  • Orange Park Medical Center said it had four patients who were treated and released.
  • Park West ER said it had three patients who were treated and released.
  • Baptist Health said it had three adult patients who were treated and released.
  • Wolfson Children's Hospital said it had three child patients who were treated and released.

MIRACLE ON THE ST. JOHNS: Social media support for Florida Boeing 737 passengers

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