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Scandinavian Airlines Flight 751 (SAS751) was a regularly scheduled flight between Stockholm, Sweden and Warsaw, Poland via Copenhagen, Denmark.

On 27 December 1991, the McDonnell Douglas MD-81 operating the flight ditched due to a dual engine failure.

Flight Details

Cockpit Crew

The McDonnell Douglas MD81 was flown by Danish Captain Stefan G Rasmussen (44) with 8,000 flight hours and Swedish First Officer Ulf Cedermark (34) with 3,000 flight hours.


The McDonnell Douglas MD-81 was registered as OY-KHO and had serial number 53003, line number 1844. It made its first flight on 16 March 1991 and was delivered to SAS on 10 April 1991. The MD-81 was fitted with two Pratt & Whitney JT8D low-bypass turbofan engines.

Scandinavian Airline Flight 751

The aircraft had arrived at Stockholm-Arlanda International Airport at 22:09 LT after a flight from Zurich the previous evening.

The aircraft was de-iced with 850 litres of de-icing fluid but was not checked afterwards for remaining ice.

The MD-81 departed Stockholm at 8:47 LT. Shortly after liftoff, pieces of ice broke off and entered into both engines. The repeated surges from the engines quickly lead to the breakup of both engines.

After 25 seconds of flight, noises and vibrations were first noticed. The crew responded by throttling down, but the automatic thrust restoration (ATR) system that had not been described to the flight crew by SAS increased throttle.

SAS flight captain Per Holmberg, onboard as a passenger, noticed the issues and hurried to the cockpit. Engine Number 1 surged 39 seconds alter and both engines failed at 76 and 78 seconds into the flight respectively at an altitude of 3,220 feet (FL032.2).

The pilot responded to the engine failures by pitching the MD81 in a dive before levelling it, trying to maintain the longest glide possible without stalling. The pilots requested a turn to Aralnda an attempted to rest5art the engines. However, due to cloud cover, they chose a field in the forest, near Vängsjöbergs säteri in Gottröra, Uppland.


During the final descent, the MD81 hit several trees, losing a large part of the right-wing in the process. It struck the ground tail-first, sliding along the field for 360 feet before breaking into three parts. 25 people were injured, 2 of them seriously. No fatalities occurred.

The flight crew were lauded for the skilled emergency landing.


The Swedish Accident Investigation Board (SHK) investigated the incident. Clear ice was found on the wings. Starting in 1985, McDonnell Douglas gave extensive information, including several 'All Operators Letters' that dealt with the clear ice problem.

On 26 October 1991, SAS distributed a Flight Deck Bulletin/Winterisation to all pilots. It stated: 'It is the Pilot-In-Charge's responsibility to check the aircraft for any ice or snow that may affect performance'.