Reddit / u/booostd
This MD-80 was on a test sortie on May 2, 1980, to evaluate the aircraft’s landing distance. As it approached the runway, the pilot flew steeper than anticipated, flared late, and touched down hard as a result.
Its nose slammed down, and its tires blew, but the pilot still continued the landing procedure. By the end, the MD-80 was 2,298 ft down the runway and missing a tail.
Out of the seven people onboard, only the flight test engineer was injured due to a broken leg. The NTSB determined the official cause to be the pilot’s failure to fly a stabilized approach within the manufacturer’s tolerances.
Luckily, McDonnell Douglas was able to repair this airframe, which they later used for their unducted fan demonstrator until it was broken up in 1994.