Tenerife Disaster 1977 Powerpoint Presentation

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World’s worst civil aviation disaster Los Rodes Airport, Tenerife, Canary Islands, Atlantic Ocean 27th March 1977 Collision of two Boeing 747 jumbo jets 583 people died

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Type – Ground Collision involving weather conditions, pilot error, ATC error, technical limitations Site – Los Rodes Airport(now Tenerife North Airport, Canary Islands) Total Fatalities – 583 Total Survivors - 61

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Pan America World Airways(747-121) KLM Royal Dutch Airlines(747-206B)

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At 1:15, a terrorist bomb exploded in the terminal of Gran Canaria International Airport. Civil Aviation Authorities closed the airport & diverted all its incoming flights to LOS RODES including the 2 BOEING 747 aircrafts. The two planes were ordered to divert to LOS RODES

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At least 5 large aircrafts were diverted to Los Rodeos, a regional airport that couldn’t easily accommodate them. One major Taxiway & one Runway as well as several small taxiways connecting them.

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Authorities reopened the Gran Canaria International Airport. The Pan Am aircraft was ready to depart, but KLM plane & a refueling vehicle obstructed the way to the active runway. Captain Van Zantan had decided to fully refuel at Los Rodeos instead of Las Palmas, apparently to save time, but added extra weight, greatly retarding liftoff ability which proved fatal.

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Due to the fog, neither crew was able to see the other plane & neither of the aircraft could be seen from control tower & the airport was not equipped with ground radar. Miscommunication between crew and airport authorities.

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Sudden fog greatly limited visibility. The controller tower and the crews of both planes were unable to see each other. Simultaneous radio transmissions, with the result that neither message could be heard. Use of ambiguous non-standard phrases by the KLM co-pilot and the Tenerife control tower. The airport was forced to accommodate a great number of large aircraft, resulting in disruption of the normal use of taxiways.

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