tenerifedisaster - Events Leading up to the Crash The...

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Events Leading up to the Crash The accident occurred on March 27, 1977. Two Boeing 747s collided with each other on the runway of the Los Rodeos Airport on the island of Tenerife (part of the Canary Islands). One plane was a Pan American flight, and the other was a Royal Dutch Airlines (KLM) flight. Both flights were headed for the Gran Canaria International Airport on Las Palmas. However, a terrorist bomb was detonated at Gran Canaria and led to all flights bound for Las Palmas to land at the airport on Tenerife. One main problem with the Tenerife airport was its size; the fact that it only had one runway and one taxiway meant the airport was overly congested from all the flights that were redirected. The taxiway had become completely blocked from all the flights and, therefore, to get the two Boeing 747s into the air they would have to back-taxi each other. The KLM flight also decided to fully refuel at Tenerife adding weight and blocking a chance that the Pan- Am flight had to leave before the KLM flight. A combination of events led to the eventual tragedy that transpired. First, a dense fog rolled onto the runway limiting vision to about 300m. Second, poor communication between the air traffic control tower and the two planes also played a huge part in the cause of the crash. Unclear instructions on where to turn off the runway and information about the location of the planes were some
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This note was uploaded on 11/18/2011 for the course SOCI 410 taught by Professor Staff during the Fall '08 term at UNC.

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tenerifedisaster - Events Leading up to the Crash The...

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