CAAC Flight 301

CAAC Flight 301,[1] a Hawker Siddeley Trident operated by CAAC Guangzhou Regional Administration (now China Southern Airlines) from Guangzhou Baiyun to Hong Kong Kai Tak, ran off the runway in Hong Kong on 31 August 1988 after clipping approach lights. This was the first accident of China Southern Airlines since the split of CAAC Airlines from 1 July 1988. Six crew members and one passenger perished in the accident. The crash shut down Kai Tak Airport for more than six hours after the accident. [2]

CAAC Flight 301
B-2219 Hs.121 Trident CAAC (7157452339).jpg
Trident 2b B-2219, sister ship to the accident aircraft
Date31 August 1988
SummaryA combination of pilot error and bad weather
SiteKowloon Bay near Kai Tak Airport, Hong Kong
Aircraft typeHawker Siddeley Trident 2E
OperatorCAAC Guangzhou Regional Administration (now China Southern Airlines)
Flight originGuangzhou Baiyun International Airport (former)
DestinationHong Kong Kai Tak Airport
Seating map


The aircraft involved was a British built Hawker Siddeley Trident 2E, powered by three Rolls-Royce Spey 512-5W, The first flight was in 1973, Total air frame hours were 14,332, C/n /msn 2159. Registration was B-2218. [1]

Accident sequenceEdit

While on final approach to Kai Tak Airport, in rain with 450 metres (1,480 ft) visibility, the right wing of the Hawker Siddeley Trident operating the flight clipped approach lights of Runway 31 and the main landing gear tyres hit the runway promontory, causing the right main landing gear to be ripped from the wing. The aircraft then became airborne and impacted the runway 600 metres further on. The aircraft then veered off the runway to the right and diagonally crossed the grassed runway strip surrounding it. The nose and left main landing gear then collapsed and the aircraft slid over the parallel taxiway and into Kowloon Bay.[1] The cockpit was cut off and the rest of the aircraft was intact. Attempts were made by divers to get to the cockpit where the flight crew were stationed but were unsuccessful, the cockpit crew were injured by the impact but autopsies showed that the cause of death was from drowning.[3]


Of the 89 occupants of the aircraft, seven died and an additional 15 received injuries. Of the dead, six were crew members and one was a Hong Kong passenger who succumbed to his injuries in a hospital. The dead crew members were in the front of the aircraft. Three crew members, all Chinese, received injuries and survived. Of the 12 American passengers, two received injuries. Seven Hong Kong passengers, two Taiwanese passengers, and one Frenchman received injuries. One injured passenger was a Chinese-American.[2]


The report noted "From the limited evidence available it was not possible to positively determine the cause of the accident. The report concludes that the final approach became unstable, and that windshear may have been a contributory factor. The final deviation below the normal approach path was probably due to a sudden reduction and distortion of the visual reference caused by heavy rain."[4]


  1. ^ a b c "ASN Aircraft Accident Hawker Siddeley Trident B-2218". Retrieved 15 July 2012.
  2. ^ a b "Chinese plane crashes in Hong Kong harbor." Associated Press at The Day (New London, Connecticut). Thursday 1 September 1988. p. D8. Retrieved from Google News on April 9, 2013.
  3. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2012-11-08. Retrieved 2012-07-28.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  4. ^ "CAAC Flight 301 Accident Report" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2012-11-08. Retrieved 2012-07-17.

External linksEdit

Coordinates: 22°19′43″N 114°11′40″E / 22.3287°N 114.1944°E / 22.3287; 114.1944