Private McDonnell-Douglas MD-87 crashes during takeoff

A private MD-87, similar to the one involved in the accident. Photo: © Aero Icarus/Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

A privately-owned McDonnell-Douglas MD-87 operating a flight from Houston’s Executive Airport to an unknown destination suffered a runway excursion during take off and was destroyed in a subsequent fire.

All 21 people on board, including three crew members, have survived the accident. Involved rescue services only reported one minor injury among the occupants.

The aircraft, registered as N987AK, was a 1987-built McDonnell-Douglas that started its life as a passenger aircraft with Finnair. In 2000, it was sold to Aeromexico which stored the aircraft in 2007. It was bought by “987 Investments LLC” and converted to a VIP configuration in 2015. 987 Investment LLC is a company owned by James Alan Kent, a self-described “land owner and developer” who owns several real-estate companies in and around Houston and the southern states of the US. He was also a passenger during the accident.

Houston Executive Airport is an airport west of Houston, Texas, and exclusively sees private aircraft operating from it. The airport has a 2,015m (6,610ft) long runway.