Pan American World Airlines

March 27, 2018 | Author: dagger21 | Category: Aerospace Engineering, Aeronautics, Aviation, Aircraft, Aviation Safety



PAN AMERICAN WORLD AIRLINES FLIGHT 759 JULY 9, 1982 NEW ORLEANS INTERNATIONAL AIRPORTIntroduction The afternoon of July 9th, 1982 appeared to be just another typical summer day for the Gulf Coast city of New Orleans. Thunderstorms scattered across the region was typical for that time of year and no sense of danger was evident by the inhabitants around or the employees at the New Orleans International Airport that day. Flights were departing on schedule and the weather, although raining with an overcast ceiling of 4100 feet and 5 miles of visibility, the conditions did not raise any concern. The crew of Pan American World Airways Flight 759 settled into their Boeing 727-235 at the Pan American gate and began preparations for departure. The captain, a 45 year old Airline Transport Pilot with 17 years of airline experience and 10 years of experience in the B727, with over 11,000 hours of flight time, of which 10,595 hours were in the B727, was responsible for the day’s flight. His first officer, Donald Pierce, was a 32 year old commercial pilot with six years of experience in the airlines and was qualified in the B727 for five years. Pierce, the pilot flying that day, had flown 6,100 hours, of which 3,900 hours were in a B727. Flight 759’s flight engineer, Leo Noone was 60 years old with 14 years’ experience in the B727. Noone had flown 19,900 hours, 10,500 of which were in the B727. The crew prepared for what appeared to be a routine flight to Las Vegas’s McCarran International Airport. 137 passengers boarded the aircraft, which had arrived earlier that day from Miami, Florida, on a regularly scheduled route to San Diego, California. Many of the passengers were excited about their planned weekend of gambling in Las Vegas. Three of its passengers, Erin Ernest, Maylene Deleon, and Mariela Rodriquez were returning home to Las Vegas from Miami where they had participated in a high school graduation cruise. They were all excited about going home and beginning college in the fall. The stopover in New Orleans was routine with no mechanical problems or other issues that the crew had to contend with on this leg of the flight. After receiving clearance to taxi, the aircraft was pushed back and the crew taxied Clipper Defiance N4737 down the taxiway to the threshold of runway 10. The copilot, concerned about the gusty wind conditions made a couple ‘wind-check’ requests from the ground controller. The winds were 040 degrees at 8 knots at the start of taxi and by the time he had requested another wind-check a couple of minutes later the winds were 070 deg. at 17 kts, with peak gust at 23 kts. The captain advised the copilot, who was conducting the takeoff, to let his speed build up on the takeoff roll and to turn off the air conditioning packs in order to obtain maximum thrust. After the final checklists were read before takeoff, the copilot requested and received clearance from the air traffic controller to depart runway 10. After the DC-4 was retired the name was given to one of Pan Am’s new Boeing 707 jets (N704PA). was owned by Pan American Airlines. Stewardess Vivian L. all 8 crew members. with its first flight being conducted on January 24th. The airliner struck the trees and rolled to the left. had arrested its descent rate. Flight Engineer Leo B. The captain gave the copilot the callouts for reaching 80 knots indicated airspeed (KIAS). At approximately 100-150 feet above the ground level (AGL) the aircraft began to settle back towards the earth. The aircraft. 1964. As the engines spooled up the aircraft began accelerating down the runway. Ford (34). In the process it destroyed or damaged 15 homes in a residential neighborhood east of the airport. The aircraft’s Ground Proximity Warning System (GPWS) alarm began to sound as the aircraft continued sinking towards the ground. the Beatles.700 feet from the end of the runway blocked the aircrafts path. At approximately 7. Pierce (32). In his career he had experienced an inflight emergency before where he had a complete loss of A. The crews experience was notable as the captain was considered an ‘above average pilot. Unfortunately. Analysis The Boeing 727-235 with Federal Aviation Administration registration N4737. The aircraft was built in 1967 with construction number 19457/518. Noone (60). rotation speed (Vr). Clipper Defiance lifted off the ground and pitched to a normal climb attitude as it began its initial climb segment. when it was renamed Clipper Defiance in 1970. now at an altitude of 50 feet above ground level.253 hours on the airframe prior to the accident. McCullers (45). . In all 153 people lost their lives. which was used to carry the rock band. The pilot continued to pitch the aircraft with full power. Stewardess Lucille V. The aircraft remained in service with National Airlines until the merger with Pan Am. Copilot Donald G. The aircraft had accumulated 39. Louisiana. which was placed in to service in 1946. to the United States for the first time in February 7. on January 1. contacting the ground with an explosion on impact. The aircraft continued to descend. 1968 and was christened with the name 37 Susan/Erica.C. and 8 residents on the ground. He was described as having excellent judgment and the ability to exercise command. Donnelly (30). Flight 759’s crew that day was Captain Kenneth L. N4737 in 1970. a line of trees approximately 2. All of the aircraft’s passengers were killed. When the aircraft was no longer used in Pan Am service the name was given to Pan Am’s National Airline acquired B727. Steward James P. 1968 (14 years and 6 months prior to the accident). The ensuing fireball of the fuel laden aircraft then plowed its way through the Roosevelt subdivision of Kenner. Purser Dennis M. It was delivered to National Airlines on January 31. He initiated a slight bank to the left. having been used first on a Pan Am DC-4 (N6104C). and the takeoff safety speed (V2).’ by Pan American training personnel. Fijut (37). Brown (35). 1979. The captain cautioned the copilot of his descent and commanded him to ‘come back’ on the control yoke. The gear was placed in the up position after takeoff and the aircraft continued accelerating. electrical power and executed an emergency landing at Houston International Airport in Texas. The name Clipper Defiance has a history with Pan Am.The pilot taxied onto the designated runway and applied throttle to the aircrafts three engines.000 feet down the runway. was a regularly scheduled passenger flight from Miami to San Diego. The captain was Kenneth McCullers. Pamadi pg 151 ISBN 1-56347-583-9 American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics. Virginia 2004 Changes made and recommendations of the NTSB… How Flight 759 has changed aviation and its weather reporting standards… Pan Am Flight 759. were killed. and Control of Airplanes by Bandu N. On afternoon of the accident. construction number 19457/518. All 145 people on board.. The aircraft. Flight 759 began its takeoff from Runway 10 at the New Orleans International Airport (now Louis Armstrong New Orleans International). Louisiana at 4:07:57 PM central . operated by a Boeing 727-235. However. The crash had the highest number of aviation fatalities in 1982. called the target pitch angle.” Performance. Inc. and remained part of the National fleet until the merger with Pan Am where it was renamed as Clipper Defiance.. along with a crew of seven. which depends on the type of airplane. built in 1967. if unavoidable. Stability. N4737 Clipper Defiance. a Boeing 727–200. The aircraft name was 37 Susan/Erica and was registered as N4737. Reston. 1968. the aircraft was carrying 137 passengers and one non-revenue passenger in the cockpit jumpseat. the pilot should increase the thrust to its maximum and rotate that aircraft to an initial attltude. as well as 8 more on the ground. On July 9. 1982. the plane that made this route was forced down by a microburst and crashed into the New Orleans suburb of Kenner. and as of 2013 remains the fifth-deadliest air disaster to occur in United States territory. The pilot is advised to hold these settings until he or she is out of the low-level windshear or microburst region.The weather warning capability at the New Orleans International Airport… The shear wind detected and reported. Pilot responses and what Pan Am manual suggest… The crew’s training at Pan American for encountering and handling a microburst… The NTSB’s analysis of the crews ability to counter the microburst (pg 61 NTSB report)… “The best defense against the windshear or microburst is complete avoidance. it is now recommended that on recognizing a possible encounter with severe windshear/microburst. was delivered to National Airlines on January 31. with en route stops in New Orleans and Las Vegas. The recommended target pitch angle for transport aircraft is about 15 degrees. in Kenner. Royd Anderson wrote and produced a documentary on the crash in 2012.000 feet from the end of the runway. causing the plane to cartwheel and skid and then explode with more than eight thousand gallons of unspent jet fuel aboard. a safety officer for the Professional Air Traffic Controller .610 feet (1405 m) from the end of the runway. there were thunderstorms over the east end of the airport. and subsequent ground fire. about 4. It was f ixed. About 2.daylight time. Louisiana. climbed to an altitude of between 95 and 150 feet (29 and 46 m). the effects of which the pilot would have had difficulty recognizing and reacting to in time for the aircraft's descent to be stopped before its impact with trees. a spokesman for the NTSB.[1] Six houses were destroyed.[3] this. the plane clipped trees and snapped a powerline. McCullers and copilot Donald G. At the time of Flight 759's takeoff. Federal Aviation Administration have on-board windshear detection systems installed by 1993. In the process. Captain Kenneth L. hitting trees and houses before crashing in the residential area of Kenner. which imposed a downdraft and a decreasing headwind. but hunters shot it out again. A total of 153 people were killed (all 145 passengers and crew on board and 8 on the ground).S. along with the similar crash of Delta Air Lines Flight 191 three years later led to the development of the airborne wind shear detection and alert system and the mandate by the U. The left wing plowed into the ground. veered the plane left toward the nearby West Metairie Canal in a desperate attempt to redirect the plane away from a residential neighborhood. Ray P. destroying six homes and damaging five others in a four-block area less than 5.[2] The National Transportation Safety Board determined that the probable cause of the accident was the aircraft's encounter with a microburst-induced wind shear during the liftoff. The winds were gusty and swirling. and then began to descend. Contributing to the accident was the limited capability of then-current wind shear detection technology. Flight 759 cut a deadly swath through Kenner. Flight 759 lifted off the runway. hunters had damaged it with gunfire shortly after it was installed. Pierce.234 feet (681 m)..376 feet (724 m) from the end of runway. explosion. knowing that a crash landing was imminent. The aircraft was destroyed during the impact. “They gave up fixing it. The aircraft continued descending for another 2. Buried deep within the crash report was news of a broken wind-shear detector on the western edge of the east-west runway (the runway that 759 departed from).[4] A memorial to the crash victims is located at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Catholic Church in Kenner. a baby was discovered in a crib covered with debris that protected her from the flames. Another 4 people on the ground sustained injuries. In one of the destroyed houses. La. five houses were damaged substantially.’ said Brad Dunbar. the aircraft struck a line of trees at an altitude of about 50 feet (15 m). Sick. LEO B. Miami Lakes. stewardess.Following is a list of victims of the crash of Pan American World Airways Flight 759 in Kenner. BRUN. 1980. BRUN. purser. BOURGEOIS (no first initial available). San Antonio. BARQUE. Mexico City. AGUILAR. flight engineer. Wendell Gsutier. Miami area. ALLAN. Fla. accepted the blame for the crash in a hearing on May 13. S. D. France. B. France. Kingston. France. McCULLERS. N. Randolph AFB. BECKER. Montevideo. France. F. Uruguay. Sebastian. Connecticut. Mexico City. it was out of service for approximately one year and eight months prior to the crash. BARQUE. Fla. stewardess. Venezuela. Miami area. facing lawsuits in excess of $3 billion. Texas. BOURGEOIS (no first initial available). Paris. Fla. BONNICK. . BRYAN. Montevideo. Lauderdale. Miami area. Miami. BROWN. ALVARADO. BARLOW. 45. in New Orleans and offered victims’ families an undisclosed settlement. AGUIAR. 30. JAMES P. FORD. BOURGEOIS (no first initial available). steward. HOMES LISTED.” CRASH VICTIM NAMES. DONALD G. A.. D. VIVIAN L. Pan American Airlines and the FAA. Passengers' hometowns were not immediately available. a lawyer representing several families. as released by the airline. San Antonio. called the move “astounding. Barqusiteno. I. BOURGEOIS (no first initial available). G. NOONE. 60. 32. Ft. New York (UPI) -.Organization at New Orleans International Airport. 1983. PIERCE. Jamaica. Randolph AFB. 37. FIJUT. 35. Miami area. G. captain. BARLOW. Hollywood. Fla. J. West Hollywood. Paris. ALVAREZ. Fla. La. F. reported it in unsatisfactory condition to the FAA on Oct 29. 34. DONNELLY. Fla. LUCILLE V. J. DENNIS M. Paris. Uruguay. C. KENNETH L. Texas. Fla. Uruguay. H. Montevideo. Miramar. ALEJANDRO. A. first officer. Paris. ALLAN. Grayston. Louis DUPRE. La. EDMONDS (no first initial available). Hong Kong. M. Montevideo. FITZGERALD (no first initial available). K. GEWLD. DELORME. E. New Orelans. Grayston. Switzerland. Hong Kong. DeJESUS. C. N. FRANK. Los Angeles. H. Miami. DIXON. Fla. T. DARTEZ. D. A. Lausarne. J. FRANK. FITZGERALD (no first initial available). DOTSON. CASEY (no first initial available). DOLLOR. J. BLUAJIC (no first initial available). Fort Lauderdale. Willie Mae DUPRE. DEARVILLE. Houma. Maylene DELEON a resident of Las Vegas was returning from a HS graduation cruise J. La. Fort Lauderdale. S. W. DeJESUS. S. Houma. New Orleans. La. DARRA (no first initial available). CUNNINGS (no first initial available). New Orleans. . DELORME. Lausarne. Lausarne. New Orleans. Fla. Switzerland. DELORME. CUNNINGS (no first initial available). FU. FU. Hong Kong. W. M. Lausarne. Erin ERNEST a 17 year old resident of Las Vegas was returning from a HS graduation cruise EYMARD (no first initial available). A. Switzerland. FU. Uruguay. DELORME. CASEY (no first initial available). La.BULAJIC (no first initial available). L. EDMONDS. EYMARD (no first initial available). K. FORBES. M. Switzerland. DARRA. CORREGE. DEVAUX (no first initial available). KONDO. JEFFERS. Mississippi. HARBICH (no first initial available). GONZALEZ (no first initial available). HARBICH (no first initial available). LI. La. Australia. New Orleans. Calif. Las Vegas. JACOBS. New Orleans. GOERS. K. HOLLINS. GONZALEZ (no first initial available). P. Fla. KELLY (no first initial available). LEDET. L. GEWLD. New Orleans. New Orleans. J. La. HALEY. GREENWOOD. Calif. KRAHMAN (infant). K. Australia. B. Hammond. E. KRAHMAN. La Mesa. Mass. New Orleans. J. New Orleans. E. H. La. IVERSTINE. LEWIS (no first initial available). GREENWOOD. GOUDEAU. HARTFORD (no first initial available). Brazil. La. Y. GEWLD. HOOD (no first initial available). New Orleans area. J. LEDET. HARTFORD (no first initial available). C. M. . Houma. JOHNSON. Houma. Houma. M. Miami. W. Houma. GREENWOOD. JACOBS. GOERS. Munson. L. HANSEN (no first initial available). Pembroke Pines. Adelaide. HILL. J. GOUDEAU. GUIDROZE.T. La. Hammond. W. Marreo. IVERSTINE. H. N. HARTFORD (no first initial available). KALM. La. L. E. GEWLD. Brazil. La. Adelaide. G. J. San Diego. Niceville. S. K.LINARES (no first initial available). S. L. B. D. Escondido. JR. R. Brazil. Puerto Rico. E. . MARKS. PAMPIN. STEPHENS. MATHEWS. ROBINSON. New Orleans. Calif. NAEGELE. PURCELL. LIVIDAS). ROBINSON. Porto Alegre. Miami Beach. MILLAFDOR (no first initial available). ROMERO. STEPHENS. A. S. PEKER (no first initial available). New Orleans. SCHIEFELDEIN (no first initial available). Porto Alegre. Calif. PEKER (no first initial available). MILLAFDOR (no first initial available). NAEGELE (no first initial available). ZERWELL (previously given as P. Brazil. SHAPIRO. MARKS (no first initial available). New Orleans. POWELL. A. R. SCHIEFELDEIN (no first initial available). NAEGELE. A. J. Dallas. PELLEBON. D. F. R. THOM. MOREIRA (no first initial available). PEKER (no first initial available). SCHAFFER. MOREIRA (no first initial available). Mariela RODRIGUEZ. Texas. resident of Las Vegas was returning from a HS (Bishop Gorman High) graduation cruise M. F. James MORTON on second honeymoon Barbara MORTON on second honeymoon C. NEIHEUS. Mexico City. NARGOET (no first initial available). N. PAMPIN. San Juan. New Orleans.. Fla. New Orleans. PHILLIPS. SAVOLE (no first initial available). Escondido. At 15:58:48 Boeing 727 "Clipper Defiance" taxied from its gate at the New Orleans International Airport. VANOLI. A.TRIVELLON (no first initial available). Uruguay. United States airport: of America Flightnumber: 759 Narrative: Pan Am Flight 759 was a scheduled flight from Miami (MIA) to Las Vegas (LAS).. Chronicle Telegram Elyria Ohio 1982-07-10 Status: Date: Time: Final Friday 9 July 1982 16:09 Type: Operator: Registration: C/n / msn: First flight: Total airframe hrs: Engines: Crew: Passengers: Total: Ground casualties: Airplane damage: Airplane fate: Location: Phase: Nature: Boeing 727-235 Pan American World Airways N4737 19457/518 1968-01-24 (14 years 6 months) 39253 3 Pratt & Whitney JT8D-7B Fatalities: 7 / Occupants: 7 Fatalities: 138 / Occupants: 138 Fatalities: 145 / Occupants: 145 Fatalities: 8 Destroyed Written off (damaged beyond repair) New Orleans. Uruguay. two . Montevideo. NV (LAS/KLAS).. Before leaving the gate. LA (MSY/KMSY). Montevideo. TRIVELLON (no first initial available). Uruguay.time one eight five five Zulu. the flightcrew had received ATIS message Foxtrot which read in part ". with an en route stop at New Or1eans (MSY). United States of Departure airport: America Destination Las Vegas-McCarran International Airport. weather. VANOLI. LA (United States of America) Initial climb (ICL) Domestic Scheduled Passenger New Orleans International Airport. Montevideo. Uruguay.. N. Montevideo. " Events: Sources: » NTSB-AAR-83/02 ARTICLE Captain Kenneth L. the first officer requested another wind check. PROBABLE CAUSE: "The airplane's encounter during the lift-off and initial climb phase of flight with a micro-burst induced windshear which imposed a downdraft and a decreasing headwind... Winds were 040 degrees at 8 knots.127 of whom were seasoned gamblers heading out of New Orleans on the regular weekend scheduled flight for Las Vegas . and subsequent ground fire. Kenner.let your airspeed build up on takeoff. which would enable them to increase the EPR's on engines Nos." The captain then advised the first officer to ".. Eight persons on the ground were killed. The flightcrew completed the takeoff and departure briefings and turned onto the active runway for takeoff. peak gusts two three. advising another airplane of low level wind shear alerts in the northeast quadrants of the airport." and said that they would turn off the air conditioning packs for the takeoff...000 feet down runway 10.thousand five hundred scattered. explosion.. Contributing to the accident was the limited capability of current ground based low level windshear detection technology to provide definitive guidance for controllers and pilots for use in avoiding low level wind shear encounters. and we have low level wind shear alerts all quadrants. Flight PA759.. reached an altitude of about 100 feet to 150 feet above the ground (AGL). the first officer requested a wind check. According to witnesses. his 137 passengers . wind two four zero at two. Louisiana. the Boeing 727 began its takeoff.. and then began to descend towards trees.were perhaps not so sure. appears to be a frontal passing overhead right now. Ground control replied. temperature niner zero. was described later as “freaky. the crew heard a transmission from ground control. At l6:06:22. 1 and 3 to 1. climbed in a wings-level attitude.92. At 15:59:03. The local rontroller cleared the flight for takeoff. About 16:07:57.” . McCullers was in “good spirits” as he settled himself in to the left hand seat of Pan American's Boeing 727-235 (N4737). two five thousand thin broken. The airplane crashed into a residential area and was destroyed during the impact. visibility six miles in haze. It was approaching four o'clock in the afternoon of July 9. Flight 759 informed the tower that it was ready for takeoff. and completed his pre-flight checks. "Wind now zero seven zero degrees at one seven. At 16:03:33. 1982. and the first officer acknowledged the clearance. At 16:02:34. we're right in the middle of everything. the airplane lifted off about 7. the effects of which the pilot would have had difficulty recognizing and reacting to in time for the airplane's descent to be arrested before its impact with trees. Behind him in the cabin. winds are calm altimeter three zero zero one. and the weather at New Orleans International Airport." The flightcrew requested runway 10 for the takeoff and ground control cleared the flight to taxi to runway 10. while Flight 759 was taxiing to runway 10. Flight 759's first officer asked the tower for another wind check.” but his observation to the First Officer. engineer. a “normal rotation. Immediately.000 gallons of fuel. struck a powerline.let your airspeed build up on take-off” and said that they would turn off the air-conditioning packs. while McCullers eased his aircraft toward takeoff position. sounded almost casual. he told his co-pilot to “. including a dramatic in-flight loss of all electrical power on New Years Day 1979. and ground winds gusted to over 20mph. While Flight 759 stood on the tarmac during the three minute wait for take-off clearance. after which he had been commended for bringing a heavily laden passenger jet to a safe landing in Houston. several of them qualified pilots. McCullers was a veteran of several emergencies. seven knots above the aircraft's V2 takeoff safety speed of summer rain beat against the windows and fuselage of the 105-ton aircraft. freshly loaded to capacity with 8.90 on engines 1 and 3. lift off and initial climb segment.” said one Pan Am pilot.peered through the windscreen cautiously onto runway 10. variable and rain laden winds swirling directly at its nose. which would enable them to increase the EPR on engines 1 and 3 to 1. we're right in the middle of everything. Air crews found him 'comfortable to fly with. despite an ambient air temperature hovering around the 90° mark.000 feet into the air. there was never any doubt to who was in command. so hard that it was causing the windshield wipers to drag. At 16:03:37 ground control replied “winds now zero seven zero degrees at one seven peak gusts two three. appears to be a front passing over right now. and another Pan Am crewman travelling as a passenger in the jump seat . to quote one airline pilot.92.” Captain McCullers remarked that the take-off was liable to be “heavy. At approximately 16:09. At 16:07:57.' “There was no question of his flying ability and judgement.. he and his flight crew heard ground control advise another approaching aircraft of low level windshear in the north-east quadrants of the airport. Flight 759 began its takeoff roll toward the east of the airport. it clipped trees while veering to the left. and we have low level windshear alerts in all quadrants. with gusty. About three dozen witnesses. McCullers and crew held the Boeing on the ground until 158 knots indicated airspeed was reached. and provide relevant wind directions and speeds. and crashed into the . At 16:02:34.92 on engine 2. The target EPRs were 1. Then as a safety measure. Four cabin crew members calmed the nervous passengers while Captain McCullers and his three companions on the flight deck . saw flight 759 lift off about 7.” But it reached a height of only 100-150 feet before beginning to descend in a steep nose up attitude. McCullers ran through “abort” instructions with his first officer. and 1.000ft down runway 10 in. Occasional flashes of lightning cracked from the thunderclouds that towered 35. who was handling the aircraft. " Just after an incoming aircraft had touched down. Just after the doors were closed on the aircraft. As 759 was starting it's roll. the aircraft disappeared behind trees and exploded into a huge fireball. Scattered clouds lay below thunderstorms and rain showers throughout the area.. damaging a further five. All 145 on board were killed. ARTICLE It was a typical summer afternoon on the Gulf coast on July 9. learning the wind was now 070 at 17. The NTSB found that windshear on the runway and environent during the critical liftoff period was responsible. flight 759 finally lifted off nearly 7. the controller saying ". Fully loaded. After climbing to about 100ft.. Now at the departure end of the runway.. with gusts to 25kts. On the flight deck was Captain Kenneth McCullers. the current ATIS was reporting the wind calm. the aircraft then began to sink. Before reaching the departure end of the runway. which was now 040 at 8kts. He also announced a low-level windshear alert with winds at the northeast end of the field from the north at 10kts and from the southeast at 3kts in the northwest end of the field. As 759 taxied out to runway 10. destroying houses and cars for nearly three city blocks. and killing eight people on the ground.000ft down the runway. The crash was the second worst accident in the history of American aviation at the time. a heavy rain began to fall. the controller announced that the winds had become 060 at 15kts. All 144 aboard the aircraft and 8 on the ground were killed. .the middle-class suburb of Kenner.appears the front is passing overhead right now. the controller advised an inbound aircraft that the previous aircraft had encountered a 10kt windshear on final.we're right in the middle of everything. Along with 136 passengers. and Flight Engineer Leo Noone. The aircraft had impacted in a residential area. there were four cabin attendants onboard the Boeing 727. Pierce gave another call as 759 waited to take the runway. Pierce asked again for the current wind. and lamented the fact that no accurate windshear forecasting technology was available for ground controllers or pilots at the time. fireballing and destroying six houses. Still in a nose-up attitude of about 10 degrees. 759 was cleared for takeoff.. First Officer Donald Pierce. 1982 when Pan Am flight 759 was preparing to depart New Orleans enroute to Las Vegas. Reports varied about the intensity of the rain. the engine gauges revealed that the engines had all been set to a high EPR at the time of the crash." This warning however was only to alert the controllers of possible delays on departure and arrival and the tower was not required to pass this information on to flight crews. investigators were able to determine that the flaps and slats were extended properly.. but many described it as gusty and variable. McCullers said "Come on back. More than 100 people witnessed 759's short flight and provided valuable insight as to the cause. Twelve seconds after rotation. Only four people saw lightning at the time and said it was not in the vicinity of the crash. Also. severe turbulence.. each of which were some 4nm in diameter. McCullers calling out the airspeed. Recovery of the FDR showed that everything was functioning normally throughout the short flight. the next aircraft to depart 19 reported neither turbulence nor windshear. The aircraft drifted towards the runway edge and the Captain elected to rotate the aircraft early to avoid going off the runway.come on back!" Another twelve seconds later. After learning of the lowlevel windshear alert. The aircraft that departed prior to 759 on runway 10 reported a storm cell directly over the airport.The damage to the aircraft was so extensive that little could be revealed about the aircraft's condition at the time of the accident. The crew reported that these cells had been the reason why they had not elected to depart runway 10. He advised the tower that they were moving northeast and to "keep an eye on them. About an hour before the accident..'re sinking Don. but with noise filtering. and wind gusts southwest of the airport. However.. The Captain of the aircraft reported that they encountered heavy rain and windshear during the takeoff roll.. some of the recording was decipherable. Reports of the wind direction and velocity also varied. Only one person reported hearing thunder. the McCullers told Pierce to "Let your airspeed build up on takeoff" and suggested they turn off the air conditioning packs for takeoff. . but all seemed to agree that it was at least moderate. Collection of radar images at the time of the accident showed level 3 or greater storm cells to the east of and over the departure end of runway 10.. the largest lying to the east-northeast which had a gradient which "was very steep". the GPWS sounded and the aircraft impacted the ground at 149kts. The aircraft began it's takeoff roll with Pierce flying. McCullers also suggested that they turn slightly to the left on takeoff to avoid the worst of the weather. allowing them to get a higher EPR from the engines. the Centre Weather meteorologist called the tower to advise them of intense thunderstorms with lightning... Another aircraft which departed runway 19 prior to 759 also reported several storm cells all around the airport. The CVR was badly distorted.. No evidence of engine malfunction could be found.. Rainfall gauges near the departure end indicated a rate of over two inches/hour but could have reached upwards of nearly six inches/hour. A business jet waiting for takeoff at runway 19 just prior to the accident reported seeing two cells of severe intensity just east of the airport. indicating the shear could have been as great as 40kts. Investigators also concluded that. it was estimated that 759 initially encountered a 14kt headwind which changed to a 5kt tailwind near the departure end. the actions of McCullers and Pierce were as prompt as could be expected. Evidence at the crash site indicated that they had actually stopped the descent and entered a slight climb just prior to hitting trees. This 19kt difference occurred in less than 1nm. there was another windshear alert. investigators concluded that 759 encountered a microburst. penetrating the centre of it just after rotation where it then encountered a decreasing shear of 48kts as it flew into the backside. encountering downdrafts of around 600feet/minute. Witnesses on the ground reported wind strength of even greater magnitude than was recorded by the sensors. Based on the meteorological data.Two seconds after the accident. . given the limited visual cues available due to the heavy rain. Based on the sensor data.
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