Continental Airlines Flight 12

Continental Airlines Flight 12
The aircraft involved in the incident
Date July 1, 1965
Summary Runway overrun
Site Kansas City, Missouri
39°06′51″N 94°35′44″W / 39.11418°N 94.59553°W / 39.11418; -94.59553Coordinates: 39°06′51″N 94°35′44″W / 39.11418°N 94.59553°W / 39.11418; -94.59553
Aircraft type Boeing 707-124
Operator Continental Airlines
Registration N70773
Flight origin Los Angeles International Airport
Stopover Kansas City Downtown Airport
Destination Chicago O'Hare International Airport
Passengers 60
Crew 6
Fatalities 0
Survivors 66

Continental Airlines Flight 12, is a scheduled domestic passenger flight that on July 1, 1965 was operated by a Boeing 707 jet liner, registration N70773,[1] from Los Angeles International Airport to Chicago O'Hare International Airport with an intermediate at Kansas City Downtown Airport. After a routine flight the plane was making an approach on the instrument landing system for runway 18. There was heavy rain and low visibility at the airport. The wind was reported from the East-northeast at 7 knots. At most airports this would normally mean an approach should be initiated from the other direction, runway 36. Quality Hill, in downtown Kansas City overlooks the airport from this direction. It is so close to the end of the runway that aircraft have to go around it to land safely in good weather. This obstacle prevented the installation of an instrument landing system on this runway. It is normally considered safe to land opposite direction in these conditions but they would be landing with a slight tailwind. The flight landed at 5:29 a.m. CST 1,100 feet down the runway. Reverse thrusting and braking were initiated but did not slow the airplane as anticipated. It began to veer 30° left before it ran off the end of the runway. The right wing impacted a blast mound as the aircraft rolled over it, coming to rest in three pieces on the perimeter road between the mound and river levee. After an investigation, the cause of the accident was determined to be "hydroplaning of the landing gear wheels, which precluded braking effectiveness."

Although there were no fatalities in the accident, it highlighted a number of shortcomings with jet aircraft operations at Kansas City Downtown Airport. At 7,000 feet, runway 18-36 was barely long enough for Boeing 707 aircraft. The airport could not be expanded, as it was surrounded on three sides by the Missouri river and a rail yard on the east side. In 1972 airline operations were moved to Kansas City International Airport.

Continental continued to use the "Flight 12" designation on its Honolulu to Los Angeles routing. After its acquisition by United Airlines, the flight number was kept for its LAX-HNL routing but it is now used on an IAH-LGA routing.

Similar accidents


As of 2007, runway 18 and 36 are known as runway 1 and 19. Kansas City did not observe Daylight saving time until 1967.


  1. "FAA Registry (N70773)". Federal Aviation Administration.
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