Kennedy International Airport at hours. After the aeroplane was refuelled and a crew change effected, it took off for Las Palmas de Gran Canaria Spain at
The big town on Tenerife is Santa Cruz, and its airport, beneath a set of cascading hillsides, is called Los Rodeos. Five hundred and eighty-three people were killed in what remains the biggest air disaster in history.
The magnitude of the accident speaks for itself, but what makes it particularly unforgettable is the startling set of ironies and coincidences that preceded it. Indeed most airplane crashes result not from a single error or failure, but from a chain of improbable errors and failures, together with a stroke or two of really bad luck.
Never was this illustrated more calamitously, and almost to the point of absurdity, than on that Sunday afternoon over 30 years ago. Inin only its eighth year of service, the Boeing is already the biggest, most influential, and possibly the most glamorous commercial jetliner ever built.
Really, though, what are the chances of that — a Hollywood script if ever there was one.
Both of the Tenerife s are charters. As it happens, neither is supposed to be on Tenerife in the first place. They are scheduled to land at Las Palmas, on the nearby island of Grand Canary, where many of the passengers are on their way to meet cruise ships.
After a bomb planted by Canary Island separatists explodes in the Las Palmas airport flower shop, they divert temporarily to Los Rodeos, along with several other flights, arriving around 2 p.
Somewhere on its nose is the dent from a champagne bottle.
White with a blue window stripe, it wears the name Clipper Victor in frilly writing along the forward fuselage. Both aircraft photographed while waiting on the Tenerife holding pad prior to the accident. Pan Am, arguably the most storied franchise in the history of aviation, requires little introduction.
KLM Royal Dutch Airlinesfor its part, is the oldest continuously operating airline in the world, founded in and highly regarded for its safety and punctuality. Later, when KLM executives first get word of the crash, they will attempt to contact Van Zanten in hopes of sending him to Tenerife to aid the investigation team.
The normally lazy Los Rodeos is packed with diversions. The Rhine and Clipper Victor sit adjacent to each other at the southeast corner of the apron, their wingtips almost touching. Imagine, today, the idea of an airport reopening within a few hours of a terrorist bombing. Pan Am is quickly ready for departure, but the lack of room and the angle at which the jets face each other requires that KLM leave first.
The weather is fine until just before the accident, and if not for KLM requesting extra fuel at the last minute, both would be on their way sooner. During the delay, a heavy blanket of fog swoops down from the hills and envelopes the airport. That fuel also meant extra weight, affecting how quickly the would, or would not, become airborne.
Because of the tarmac congestion, the normal route to runway 30 is blocked. Departing planes will need to taxi down on the runway itself. The airport has no ground tracking radar. Captain Van Zanten will steer to the end, turn around, then hold in position until authorized for takeoff.
Once off the runway, they will report so to the tower. Unable to differentiate the taxiways in the low visibility, the Pan Am pilots miss their assigned turnoff. Depiction of the Los Rodeos airport layout and the chain of events leading to the disaster. Having wheeled into position at the end, Van Zanten comes to a stop.
This is not a takeoff clearance, but rather a procedure outlining turns, altitudes, and frequencies for use once airborne. Normally it is received well prior to an aircraft taking the runway, but the pilots have been too busy with checklists and taxi instructions until now. They are tired, annoyed, and anxious to get going.
There are still a couple of dominos yet to fall, but now the final act is in motion — literally. Because the route clearance comes where and when it does, it is mistaken it for a takeoff clearance as well. At the same instant, the tower radios a message to KLM. I will call you. Either of these transmissions would be, should be, enough to stop Van Zanten cold in his tracks.
He still has time to discontinue the roll. The problem is, because they occur simultaneously, they overlap.Feb 26, · Silent film (Audio dubbed by me) by Vista Stock, c/o Getty Images.
The original, doin' her thing, first year of operations. Be sure to check my channel for the best in VINTAGE & RARE airliner videos!
KLM (Royal Dutch Airlines), for its part, is the oldest continuously operating airline in the world, founded in and highly regarded for its safety and monstermanfilm.com KLM captain, Jacob Van Zanten, whose errant takeoff roll will soon kill nearly people, including himself and all others on his plane, is the airline’s top A Boeing passenger plane, registered NPA, was destroyed in an accident at Tenerife-Norte Los Rodeos Airport (TFN), Spain.
There were passengers and crew members on board. The airplane operated on a flight from Tenerife-Norte Los Rodeos Airport (TFN) to Las Palmas-Airport de Gran Canaria (LPA). Pan Am Flight 93 was the first hull loss of a Boeing , the result of terrorism after it was hijacked by the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine.
On September 6, , a new Pan American World Airways aircraft flying from Amsterdam to New York was hijacked and flown first to Beirut, then to monstermanfilm.comcturer: Boeing Commercial Airplanes.
Pan Am Flight 93 was the first hull loss of a Boeing , the result of terrorism after it was hijacked by the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine.
On September 6, , a new Pan American World Airways aircraft flying from Amsterdam to New York was hijacked and flown first to Beirut, then to monstermanfilm.com: Wide-body, long-range jet airliner.
The Pan Am flight had originated at Los Angeles International Airport and had a stopover at John F. Kennedy International Airport.
The aircraft, Clipper Victor, a , was the same plane that performed the inaugural Boeing commercial flight on .