Air Aqua DC 9 30
Air Aqua first bought the DC9 in April of 1969, unveiling this livery with the new aircraft; the livery featured until 1983. The airline then began replacing the 2 Obsolete DC2s and 8 DC6 aircraft to much fanfare and increased passenger numbers. As passengers began flocking to Air Aqua for their Caribbean getaways, the airline added a plethora of new destinations, the most successful of which were from Nassau to Baltimore, Ft. Lauderdale, Atlanta, Tampa, Nashville, Monterrey, Belmopan, Tegucigalpa, and St. Maarten. in the 1970s, the airlines inter-Caribbean network began to solidify, allowing the airline to be the premier choice of travelers in the region.
The DC9s had only three incidents in their time with Air Aqua until their retirement in the late 1990s. the first incident occurred on February 6th 1973 a DC9-32 registered C6-BSS overran the runway on landing at Port-au-Prince during a heavy thunderstorm. The aircraft only suffered minor damage to the fuselage and nose gear from hitting a fence and a sandy embankment and was able to be repaired and reentered service in July after proving to be airworthy. There were only 10 injured during the event.
The second incident involving the DC9 happened on the morning of December 12 1981 when DC9-32 registered C6-BDI was flying at FL290 when it began its decent into Miami. When the autopilot moved the control cables to the elevator, the cables were severed, causing an elevator hard-over. The aircraft dove sharply and broke apart due to aerodynamic forces over the gulf of Mexico. All 88 people on board perished. The result of the crash was the severing of all elevator control wires as a result of a manufacturing error. The cables had been placed too close to the edge of its mounting bracket, causing the wires to rub up against the sharp metal edges of the floor supports. The NTSB found that the issue had only occurred with aircraft manufactured in a one month span of when the incident plane was finished. All affected aircraft were repaired.
The third and final incident occurred on October 22nd 1990 when a DC9-32 registered C6-BFG flew into a formation of West-Indian whistling ducks on departure from Kingston. The aircraft made a safe emergency landing in Kingston. Nobody was harmed.
The aircraft featured is DC9-32 registered C6-AXC Delivered on July 16 1971
Powerplant X2 P&W JT8D-2
Retired: Nov 30 1997
Scrapped: Jan 20 2006