tenerife airport disaster report


[APP transmission is readable but slightly broken]. Still looking at his map, the Pan Am copilot is probably referring to either Charlie 2 or Charlie 3 taxiways here, both of which lie at roughly 45° angles to the runway. The copilot is apparently announcing that KLM is now taking off, yet the tower does not understand his comment this way, evidenced by its instruction moments later to stand by and wait for its clearance.

APP—Air traffic control tower at Los Rodeos Airport takeoff minimums The transverse taxiways are identified as Charlie 1, 2, 3, and 4, as shown in the diagram. Get your need-to-know Perhaps because of the KLM pilot's very senior position, neither the copilot nor flight engineer questions the pilot again, and the impact occurs about 13 seconds later.

1704:09.7 PA 1: Okay, right turn right and left yaw. Captain van Zanten on the KLM plane apparently mistakes the meaning of "clearance" here. All those onboard this plane when it crashes die. Because of warnings of a possible second bomb, the airport was closed. Every airport has its own minimum visibility requirement for takeoffs. The KLM aircraft is ahead of the Pan Am aircraft (see Figure 1 below).

1704:21.7 PA 1: They're free, the indicators are checked. I will call you. In the aftermath of the disaster at Tenerife, officials implemented standard aviation phrasing worldwide to avoid similar confusion in the future. 1704:58.2 APP: [KLM] 8705 [sic] and Clipper 1736, for your information, the centerline lighting is out of service. it's a 45 The airplane operated on a flight from Tenerife-Los Rodeos International Airport (TCI) to Las Palmas-Airport de Gran Canaria (LPA). © WGBH Educational Foundation. A massive explosion followed by a ball of fire erupted at Los Rodeos airport, Tenerife, in the Canary Islands, in dense fog as both airliners were taxiing for take-off at 1800 local time. 1706:14.00: [Sound of engines starting to accelerate.]. Eyewitnesses said the airport is now covered in dense black smoke following the explosions and emergency services are struggling to cope with the enormous numbers of casualties. 1704:39.8 PA 3: We got four and a half and we weigh 534. The Pan Am pilot sees Charlie 2, which his plane is now passing in the fog.


I'll ask him again. The 1977 disaster saw 583 killed when a KLM Boeing 747 attempted to take off from fog-bound Los Rodeos Airport in Tenerife, only to smash into a … Air Traffic Control gives the KLM crew clearance, but, crucially, not to begin takeoff but only to fly a certain route after takeoff. But from the transcript it's unclear what the flight crew subsequently considers the proper taxiway to turn on, Charlie 3 or Charlie 4.

It departed from Los Angeles bound for the same intended destination as KLM 4805—Las Palmas's Gran Canaria International Airport—but was diverted to Tenerife. 1704:13.6 PA 1: Here's two left, center, two right center. The Pan-Am pilot was deemed to be blameless. US election 2020: What are this year's swing states? 1703:47.6 APP: ...er 7136 [sic] report leaving the runway. It is a chartered flight bound from Amsterdam to Las Palmas in the Canary Islands. 1702:59.9 APP: Okay ... at the end of the runway make 180 [degree turn] and report—ah—ready—ah—for ATC clearance. The Airline Pilots Association decided to tackle the accident and issue a U.S. style report with the collaboration of human factors specialists.

The transcript uses standard aviation notation to represent time. The army is expected to move in to help the rescue operation. US election 2020 live: How to watch the results in the UK and first exit poll claims voters more worried about the economy than Covid, Golden Retriever treks 62 miles over two weeks to find her owners, Mystery Brit bets £4,000,000 on Trump winning US election, At least 54 killed in school yard massacre in Ethiopia. The Pan Am flight crew now sees taxiway Charlie 1, which they're now just passing on their journey up the runway. 1701:57.0 PA RT: Tenerife, the Clipper 1736. 1703:36.4 APP: The third one, sir, one, two, three, third, third one. Receive emails about upcoming NOVA programs and related content, as well as featured reporting about current events through a science lens. It is thought to be the world's worst disaster involving aircraft on the ground. Charlie 1 1703:21.6 PA 2: Ninety-degree turn to get around this ... this one down here, it's a 45. The sound of the explosion was heard across the island.

This portion of the transcript comes from the Pan Am cockpit voice recorder. The Pan-Am plane was a charter flight carrying 16 crew and 378 passengers and there were said to be about 60 survivors, the majority of whom were injured. He tried to take off quickly on seeing the plane parked, but was unable to get sufficiently high off the ground, with all 248 people on the KLM jet killed. The couple then sprinted away from the plane, shortly before it exploded in a huge fireball. That smash happened after a bomb exploded at Las Palmas Airport in Gran Canaria – her intended destination – and saw the plane she was traveling on diverted to Tenerife. Why Air Traffic Control would say "okay" after KLM has said it is taking off is unknown. and Captain Jacob Veldhuyzan van Zanten did not see the Pan Am jet until it was too late because of the bad weather.

1659:28.4 KLM RT: Approach, you want us to turn left at Charlie 1, taxiway Charlie 1? The Pan Am copilot has a small map of the airport, which shows that the first taxiway is a 90-degree turn. 1703:16.6 PA 1: We could probably go in, it's ah... 1703:19.1 PA 2: You gotta make a 90-degree turn. 1702:08.4 APP: Affirmative, taxi into the runway and—ah—leave the runway third, third to your left, [background conversation in the tower].

1702:03.6 PA RT: Ah—we were instructed to contact you and also to taxi down the runway, is that correct? The KLM jumbo preparing for take-off is understood to have clipped the Pan-Am plane which was taxiing across the runway. 1704:37.7: [Sounds similar to stabilizer trim]. 1659:04.5 KLM RT: Roger, make a backtrack.

In the transcript, both Runway 12 and Runway 30 are mentioned. 1706:25.59 PA RT: Okay, we'll report when we're clear. 1702:39.2 PA 1: What really happened over there today? Like the other airplane involved in the crash, it is diverted to Tenerife's airport when the Las Palmas airport suddenly closes. US election results map live: Who is currently winning – Trump or Biden?

Joe Biden wins Vermont in race for US president. PA RT—Pan Am aircraft radio transmission [sound of stabilizer trim]. Climb to and maintain flight level 90 ... right turn after takeoff proceed with heading 040 until intercepting the 325 radial from Las Palmas VOR. 1659:10.0 KLM RT: KLM 4805 is now on the runway.

KLM - Pan Am TENERIFE DISASTER March 27, 1977 Tenerife is in Spanish jurisdiction, therefore, the NTSB was unable to issue a report even though it involved a United States airline. we're now at takeoff This would clear the way for the KLM plane to take off.
Clipper 1736 The following messages are audible in the KLM cockpit, causing the KLM flight engineer, even as the KLM plane has begun rolling down the runway, to question the pilot: 1706:25.47 APP: Ah—Papa Alpha 1736 report runway clear. A Boeing 747-206B passenger plane, registered PH-BUF, was destroyed in a take-off accident at Tenerife-Los Rodeos International Airport (TCI), Spain. The KLM jet was also diverted to Los Rodeos. 1658:47.4 KLM RT: Roger, sir, (entering) the runway at this time and the first (taxiway) we, we go off the runway again for the beginning of Runway 30. They also called in a threat of a second bomb. As Los Rodeos Airport fills up on this day with an uncommon number of large aircraft, Air Traffic Control orders the planes to line up at the end of the landing runway (see number 2 on the diagram).

Neither airline was originally due to be at the airport but both were diverted from the much bigger Las Palmas on nearby Gran Canaria island after a terrorist bomb blast near the departure lounge. Backtracking means using the same runway for both taxiing and takeoff, i.e., taxiing down it in one direction then turning around and taking off in the opposite direction. Get off!" A massive explosion followed by a ball of fire erupted at Los Rodeos airport, Tenerife, in the Canary Islands, in dense fog as both airliners were taxiing for take-off at 1800 local time. Here, read an annotated transcript of the two planes' communications with the tower.

1705:32.4 PA 1: Yeah, but it goes ... ahead, I think (it's) gonna put us on (the) taxiway. 1705:28.5 PA 3: Next one is almost a 45, huh, yeah. KLM Flight 4805 (a B747-206B, registration PH-BUF, from Amsterdam) and PanAm Flight 1736 (a B747-121, registration N736PA, coming from Los Angeles and New York). The Pan Am pilot guns the engines but it's too late. 1703:29.3 PA RT: Would you confirm that you want the Clipper 1736 to turn left at the third intersection?

But the problem is compounded in the moments immediately following, when both Air Traffic Control and Pan Am RT speak simultaneously.

And in the end, the KLM pilot initiates takeoff, even though Air Traffic Control has not issued the proper clearance. Gran Canaria shut down for several hours, causing the temporary diversion of KLM 4805 and Pan Am 1736 to Los Rodeos Airport on Tenerife.

Perhaps, the official investigation noted, the controller thought that KLM meant "we're now at takeoff position." PA RT: And we are still taxiing down the runway, the Clipper 1736. 90-degree turn PA 3—George Warns, Pan Am Flight Engineer. Early reports suggest a Boeing 747, belonging to Dutch national airline KLM, and a Pan American 747 travelling from Los Angeles to Las Palmas were involved in the accident.

(One passenger, a tour guide, got off the plane in Tenerife.).

1706:11.08: [Brakes of KLM 4805 are released.]. [background conversation in tower]. Las Palmas Airport opened to traffic again at 15.00h. PA 2—Robert Bragg, Pan Am First Officer No.

There were 234 passengers and crew members on board. She and Ridout freed themselves from their seats, before jumping two stories from a door of the wrecked jet. A crash of such magnitude before take-off has horrified industry insiders. Note: The transcript below comes from the official Spanish accident report (see www.project-tenerife.com/engels/PDF/Tenerife.pdf) and has been slightly modified for clarity and ease of reading. KLM 4805

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