Tenerife airport disaster - Wikipedia
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A terrorist incident at Gran Canaria Airport had caused many flights to be dc 3 landing youtube er to Los Rodeos, including the two aircraft involved in the accident. The airport quickly became congested with parked airplanes blocking the only taxiway and forcing departing aircraft to taxi on the runway instead.
Patches of thick fog were drifting across the airfield, so that the aircraft and control tower were unable to see one another. The collision occurred when KLM initiated its takeoff run while Pan Amshrouded in fog, was still on the runway and about to turn off onto the taxiway. The impact and resulting fire killed everyone on board the KLM plane and most of the occupants of the Pan Am plane, with only 61 survivors in the dc 3 landing youtube er section of the aircraft.
The subsequent investigation by Spanish authorities concluded that the primary cause of the accident was the KLM captain's decision to take off in the mistaken belief that a takeoff clearance from air traffic control ATC had been issued. The disaster had a lasting influence on the industry, highlighting in particular the vital importance of using standardized phraseology in radio communications.
Cockpit procedures were also reviewed, contributing to the establishment of crew resource management as a fundamental part of airline pilots' training. Tenerife was an unscheduled stop for both flights. Both islands are part of the Canary Dc 3 landing youtube eran autonomous community of Spain located in the Atlantic Ocean off the southwest coast of Morocco. At the time of the accident, van Zanten was KLM's chief flight instructor, with 11, flight hours, of which 1, hours were on the Meurs had 9, flight hours, of which 95 hours were on the Schreuder had 15, flight hours, of which hours were on the The KLM jet was carrying 14 crew members and passengers, including 52 children.
After the aircraft landed at Tenerife, the passengers were transported to the airport terminal. One of the inbound passengers, who lived on the island with her boyfriend, chose not to re-board theleaving passengers on board.
Of the passengers mostly of retirement age, but including two children14 had boarded in New York, where the crew was also changed. The new crew consisted of captain Victor Grubbs, age 56, first officer Robert Bragg, age 39, flight engineer George Warns, age 46, and 13 flight attendants.
At the time of the accident, Grubbs had 21, hours of flight time, of which hours were on the Bragg had 10, flight hours, of which 2, hours were on the Warns had 15, flight hours, of which hours were on the This particular aircraft had operated the inaugural commercial flight on January 22, Both flights had been routine until they approached the islands. At The civil aviation authorities had therefore closed the airport temporarily after the explosion, and all incoming flights bound for Gran Canaria had been diverted to Los Rodeos, including the two Boeing aircraft involved in the disaster.
Los Rodeos was a regional airport that could not easily accommodate all of the traffic diverted from Gran Canaria, which included five large airliners. While waiting for Gran Canaria airport to reopen, the diverted airplanes took up so much space that they were having to park on the long taxiway, making it unavailable for the purpose of taxiing.
Instead, departing aircraft needed to taxi along the runway to position themselves for takeoff, a procedure known as a backtaxi or backtrack.
The authorities reopened Gran Canaria airport once the bomb threat had been contained. The Pan Am dc 3 landing youtube er was ready to depart from Tenerife, but access to the runway was being obstructed by the KLM plane and a refueling vehicle; the KLM captain had decided to fully refuel at Los Rodeos instead of Las Palmas, apparently to save time.
The Pan Am aircraft was unable to maneuver around the refueling KLM, in order dc 3 landing youtube er reach the runway for takeoff, due to a lack of safe clearance between the two planes, which was just 3.
The search for a missing Dutch family of four, who had not returned to the waiting KLM plane, delayed the flight even further. A tour guide had chosen not to reboard for the flight to Las Palmas, because she lived on Tenerife and thought it impractical to fly to Gran Canaria only to return to Tenerife the next day.
She was therefore not on the KLM plane when the accident happened, and she would be the only survivor of those who flew from Amsterdam to Tenerife on Flight The winavi all in one converter with key instructed the KLM to taxi down the entire length dc 3 landing youtube er the runway and then make a degree turn to get into takeoff sea of monsters mobile movie. Because the flight crew was performing the checklist, copying this clearance was postponed until the aircraft was in takeoff position on Runway Shortly afterward, the Pan Am was instructed to follow the KLM down the same runway, exit it by taking the third exit on their left and then use the parallel taxiway.
Initially, the crew was unclear as to whether the controller had told them to take the first or third te para tres gustavo cerati movies. The crew asked for clarification and the controller responded emphatically by replying: The crew successfully identified the first two taxiways C-1 and C-2but their discussion dc 3 landing youtube er the cockpit never indicated that they had sighted dc 3 landing youtube er third taxiway C-3which they had been instructed to use.
The Pan Am crew dc 3 landing youtube er to remain unsure of their position on the runway until the collision, which occurred near the intersection with the fourth taxiway C The angle of the third taxiway would have required the plane to perform a degree turn, which would lead back toward the still-crowded main apron.
At the end of C-3, the Pan Am would have to make another degree turn, in order to continue taxiing towards the start of the runway, similar to a mirrored letter "Z".
Taxiway C-4 would have required two degree-turns. A study carried out by the Air Line Pilots Association ALPA after the accident concluded that making the second degree turn at the end of taxiway C-3 would have been "a practical impossibility. Drifting clouds of different densities cause wildly varying visibilities, from unhindered at one moment to below the minimums the next. The collision took place in a high-density cloud. The Pan Am crew found themselves in poor and rapidly deteriorating visibility almost as soon as they entered the runway.
Meanwhile, the KLM plane was still in good visibility, but with clouds blowing down the runway towards them. The aircraft completed its degree turn in relatively clear weather and lined up on Runway Immediately after lining up, the KLM captain advanced the throttles and the aircraft started to move forward. Go ahead, ask. The KLM crew then received instructions that specified the route that the aircraft was to follow after takeoff.
The instructions used the word "takeoff," but did not include an explicit statement that they were cleared for takeoff. Meurs read the flight clearance back to the controller, completing the readback with the statement: The controller, who could not see the runway due to the fog, initially responded with "OK" terminology that is nonstandarddc 3 landing youtube er reinforced the KLM captain's misinterpretation that they had takeoff dc 3 landing youtube er.
The controller's response of "OK" to the co-pilot's nonstandard statement that they were "now at takeoff" was likely due to his misinterpretation that they were in takeoff position and ready to begin the roll when takeoff clearance was received, but not in the process of taking off.
The controller then immediately added "stand by for takeoff, I will call you",  indicating that he had not intended the clearance to be interpreted as a takeoff clearance. A simultaneous radio call from the Pan Am crew caused mutual interference on the dc 3 landing youtube er frequency, which was audible in the KLM cockpit as a 3-second-long shrill sound, or heterodyne.
This caused the KLM crew to miss the crucial latter portion of the tower's response. The Pan Am crew's transmission was "We're still taxiing down the runway, the Clipper !
Either message, if heard in the KLM cockpit, would dc 3 landing youtube er alerted the crew to the situation and given them time to abort the takeoff attempt. Due to the fog, neither crew was able to see the other plane on the runway ahead of them.
In addition, neither of the aircraft could be seen from the control tower, and the airport was not equipped with ground radar. After the KLM plane had started its takeoff roll, the tower instructed the Pan Am crew to "report when runway clear. When it became clear that the KLM aircraft was approaching at takeoff speed, captain Grubbs exclaimed, "Goddamn, that son-of-a-bitch is coming! Get off! Captain Grubbs applied full power to the throttles and made a sharp left turn towards the grass in an attempt to avoid the impending collision.
Its nose landing gear cleared the Pan Am, but its left-side engines, lower fuselage, and main landing gear struck the upper right side of the Pan Am's fuselage,  ripping apart the center of the Pan Am jet almost directly above the wing.
The right-side engines crashed through the Pan Am's upper deck immediately behind the cockpit. The KLM plane remained briefly airborne, but the impact had sheared off the outer left engine, caused significant amounts of shredded materials to be ingested by the inner left engine, and damaged the wings. The full load of fuel, which had caused the earlier delay, ignited immediately into a fireball that could not be subdued for several hours. One of the 61 survivors of the Pan Am flight, John Coombs of HaleiwaHawaii, said that sitting in the nose of the plane probably saved his life: Both airplanes were destroyed in the collision.
All passengers and crew aboard the KLM plane died, as did passengers and crew aboard the Pan Am plane,  primarily due to the fire and explosions resulting from the fuel spilled and ignited in the impact. Dc 3 landing youtube er other 61 passengers and crew aboard the Pan Am aircraft survived, including the captain, first officer, and flight engineer. Most of the survivors on the Pan Am walked out onto the intact left wing, the side away from the collision, through holes in the fuselage structure.
The Pan Am's engines were still running for a few minutes after the accident despite first officer Bragg's intention to turn them off.
The top part of the cockpit, where the engine switches were located, had been destroyed in the collision, and all control lines were severed, leaving no method for the flight crew to control the aircraft's systems. Survivors waited for rescue, but it did not come promptly, as the firefighters were initially unaware that there were two aircraft involved and were concentrating on the KLM wreck hundreds of meters away in the thick fog and smoke.
Eventually, most of the survivors on the wing dropped to the ground below. Captain Veldhuyzen van Zanten was KLM's chief of flight training and one of their most senior pilots. He had given the co-pilot on Flight his Boeing qualification check about two months before the accident.
The following day, the Canary Islands Independence Movement, responsible for the bombing at Gran Canaria that started the chain of events that led to the disaster, denied responsibility for the accident. Los Rodeos airport, the only operating airport on Tenerife inwas closed to all fixed-wing traffic for two days. The first crash investigators to arrive at Tenerife the day after the crash travelled there by way of a three-hour boat ride from Las Palmas.
The C transport was arranged by Lt. Col Dr. James K. Slaton, who arrived before the crash investigators and started triaging surviving passengers. Slaton, who was a flight surgeon attached to the th Tactical Fighter Squadronworked with the local medical staff and remained on scene until the last survivor was air lifted to awaiting medical facilities.
The C transported all surviving and injured passengers from Tenerife to Las Palmas; many of the injured were taken from there to Air Force bases in the United States for further treatment. Spanish Army soldiers were tasked with clearing crash wreckage from the runways and taxiways. Analysis of the CVR transcript showed dc 3 landing youtube er the KLM pilot thought that that he had been cleared for takeoff, while the Tenerife control tower believed that the KLM was stationary at the end of the runway, awaiting takeoff clearance.
It appears that KLM's co-pilot was not as certain about take-off clearance as the captain. The investigation concluded that the fundamental cause of the accident was that captain Veldhuyzen van Zanten attempted to take off without clearance. The investigators suggested the reason for this was a desire to leave as soon as possible in order to comply with KLM's duty-time regulations which went in place earlier that year and before the weather deteriorated further.
The Dutch authorities were reluctant to accept the Spanish report blaming the KLM captain for the accident. Although the Dutch authorities were initially reluctant to blame captain Veldhuyzen van Zanten and his crew,   the airline ultimately accepted responsibility for the accident.