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RED Air MD-82 Incident Injures Three

Miami Runway Departure Under Investigation

An MD-82 belonging to and being operated by Dominican discount air-carrier RED Air suffered what appears to have been a landing-gear malfunction while landing at Miami International Airport.

The aircraft departed the runway before coming to rest in a grassy area and catching fire. No fatalities were reported, but three of the aircraft’s 126 passengers were transported to local hospitals with unknown injuries.

RED Air flight L5-203 was operating from the Dominican capital of Santo Domingo (SDQ) to Miami (MIA). The [approximately] 32-year-old MD-82 was formerly operated for American Airlines—which retired the type in 2019.

Prior to arrival at Miami, the two hour, 848-mile flight had transpired without incident. Upon touching down on MIA’s Runway 09 at approximately 17:45 EDT, the aircraft veered sharply, departed the touchdown-zone, and proceeded onto a grassy area where it struck several objects before coming to a halt and catching fire.

Passengers fled the burning aircraft—some holding their children, some rolling their carry-on luggage, others taking cellphone video—as firefighters battled the blaze.

Miami-Dade Fire-Rescue spokeswoman Erika Benitez stated, “When our fire crews arrived they saw the wing of the aircraft was on fire and quickly began working on putting out the fire utilizing specialized foam trucks.

Subsequent the incident, Red Air reported that the Dominican Institute of Civil Aeronautics and authorities in the city of Miami had initiated the requisite investigations. The company further asserted that collapse of the MD-82’s nose landing-gear appeared to have been the cause of the runway departure and fire.

Notwithstanding the presumed expertise of the Dominican Institute of Civil Aeronautics and Miami officials, the NTSB will conduct the definitive investigation of the incident and present its findings in the fullness of time.

Red Air is Venezuelan-owned by the Alvarez family (owners of Laser Airlines) and Dominican partners. The carrier commenced operations in November 2021 and operates exclusively between Las Americas International Airport in Santo Domingo and Miami International.



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