Flairport From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Posted (10 years 2 weeks 6 days 23 hours ago) and read 6332 times:
On this day in 1985, DL 191 FLL-DFW crashed short of runway 17L at DFW due to a microburst on approach...
"Despite the application of maximum power by the crew, the aircraft touched down in a field, careened across a busy highway snapping off light posts, and struck a car with its no.1 engine, killing the occupant. The aircraft then entered the airport property with a groundspeed of 212 knots and impacted two 4 million gallon water towers."
The flight killed 134 of 163 on board as well as the occupant of the car.
it appears that this incident could have happened to any plane that day. just happened to be DL 191.
B757300 From United States of America, joined Dec 2000, 4114 posts, RR: 23
Reply 1, posted (10 years 2 weeks 6 days 22 hours ago) and read 6190 times:
The movie about DL-191 is "Fire and Rain" and I'm guessing this is the movie you're asking about. The L-1011 actually did touchdown short of the runway and landed briefly onto one of the highways that runs next to DFW. One of its engines crushed a car, killing the driver.
NWA Man From United States of America, joined Jun 1999, 1828 posts, RR: 12
Reply 5, posted (10 years 2 weeks 6 days 22 hours ago) and read 6152 times:
The movie about DL-191 is "Fire and Rain" and I'm guessing this is the movie you're asking about.
As is often the case, the book (by the same name) is much better. It's usually available at places like Half Price Books, half.com, Amazon, and the like. It focuses on DL191, the survivors, the grief, and the aftermath, but other crashes with similar details are mentioned and explored as well. IMO, definitely worth a read.
RogueTrader From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 6, posted (10 years 2 weeks 6 days 21 hours ago) and read 6096 times:
This crash was intensely studied as I believe it was the worst US air disaster up to that time. As usual, there was a chain of unlikely events that all came together at the same time that caused the TriStar to crash. For one thing, the local weather radar officer was on a coffee break or something, which left the next closest radar facility to monitor DFW, an airport which was to the other facility unfamiliar. Its been theorized that someone familiar with the airport would have been able to pinpoint the locally intense thundershower activity and divert traffic. Other aircraft had flown the same airspace minutes before reported no significant problems.
Delta has had three crashes in Dallas, which must make it the worst record of any city for them. I've heard the scenario around this crash is used in flight training simulators to this day. In Dallas at the time, its sounds macabre, but many of us drove out to see the wreckage, which was mainly a still standing upright tail section. Its a very weird thing to see a broken up airliner anywhere, but right on airport property, in full view of arriving and departing traffic - is unbelievable.
What about the poor guy who was just driving on the highway but nevertheless was killed in this airplane crash? This has to be one of the most unlikely ways to die.
Discovery Channel or TLC has done an excellent recreation of this crash using real data, its scary but fascinating.
Spacecadet From United States of America, joined Sep 2001, 3624 posts, RR: 12
Reply 10, posted (10 years 2 weeks 6 days 19 hours ago) and read 5928 times:
As usual, there was a chain of unlikely events that all came together at the same time that caused the TriStar to crash. For one thing, the local weather radar officer was on a coffee break or something, which left the next closest radar facility to monitor DFW, an airport which was to the other facility unfamiliar. Its been theorized that someone familiar with the airport would have been able to pinpoint the locally intense thundershower activity and divert traffic. Other aircraft had flown the same airspace minutes before reported no significant problems.
The main causes were a combination of pilot error and a lack of proper procedures for Delta pilots in windshear situations. The pilots have windows - they can see bad weather, they also have weather instrumentation on board, and it is the pilot's responsibility to maintain the safety of the aircraft. Both pilots saw lightning directly in front of them on approach and elected to proceed into a thunderstorm that had moved over their approach course. Thunderstorms can be fast-moving - just because one airplane makes it through doesn't mean the next one will, and every pilot knows this.
What put this plane into the ground was a microburst; that's true. But it was the PIC's decision to fly into that thunderstorm on approach. Both pilots saw it and knew it was there, and every pilot in the world knows the possible effects of thunderstorms, whether or not there's a working wind-shear alert system at a particular airport (actually, there was a wind-shear alert system at Fort Worth, just not at the point where DL191 crashed). In fact, you tell me - you're a pilot, there's a thunderstorm in your approach path, and there's no windshear alert system in place over your approach. Does the fact that there's no alert system make you feel safer on the approach, or the opposite?
The pilots should have gone around, bottom line...
[Edited 2004-08-03 04:08:14]
I'm tired of being a wanna-be league bowler. I wanna be a league bowler!
RogueTrader From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 12, posted (10 years 2 weeks 6 days 17 hours ago) and read 5821 times:
The 3rd Delta crash was at the predecessor to DFW, Greater Southwest International. Few people even remember it, but it was quite a big and nice airport, eventually it lost popularity to Love, though. Parts of DFW are built on top of it, and you can still see a few remains of the old airport, if you know where to look. This happened in about 1972 on a Delta DC-9 training flight, so 'only' the crew died. They apparently rolled quickly to one side and lost control while in the wake turbulence of an AA DC-10. This incident lead to the 'heavy' designation in ATC communications and the increased separation distances required behind large jets.
Spacecadet, I've studied this and other crashes at length, I even visited the crash site of this Delta loss. I think you're wanting a quick and direct answer for this crash. I just don't think things are black and white and that every crash is avoidable and largely blamed on 'pilot error.' As with almost all air crashes, this one only took place when several different things went wrong at the same time, any one of which alone, had it not happened, could have saved the plane. Today in simulator training, pilots can recover from this exact same data set that took place that day, but only because they know its coming in the simulation program they're using. Put the same weather in another simulation, and they still crash. It was an almost impossibly difficult situation, although this and the loss of a Pan Am 727 in New Orleans also in the early 80s greatly improved wind shear warning technology and implementation. Thank you for your thoughts.
Flairport From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 14, posted (10 years 2 weeks 6 days 17 hours ago) and read 5797 times:
Very interesting that you were in a crash. I know how touchy the subject is, but would you be interested in sharing your story with us? I understand if you don't, but i think it'd be very interesting to see.
DeltaAgent1 From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 104 posts, RR: 2
Reply 15, posted (10 years 2 weeks 6 days 17 hours ago) and read 5746 times:
Flairport, I don't mind answering questions about my experience that day, but I do have my limitations. Do know that on flight 1141 there were many heros that day, and we didn't all make it. Today, I know that each day I am here is "something extra".
Qantasguy From United States of America, joined Oct 2003, 162 posts, RR: 0
Reply 18, posted (10 years 2 weeks 6 days 7 hours ago) and read 5431 times:
This is a rather morbid fascination isn't it. I often get asked why I have so many books on airline disasters. I think we as a general public have still got so much faith in aircraft that when something does go wrong, we are still amazed. I for one am always searching for new accounts of old accidents, and would love to see more TV documentaries on them. May we not forget the human side to this fascination.
OPNLguy From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 20, posted (10 years 2 weeks 6 days 5 hours ago) and read 4853 times:
>>>I remember that day...it was hot--about 103 F and in the early evening thunderstorms were building and then..the bad news appeared on the T.V.
Precisely my recollection, very hot, and very hazy as well. I was sleeping off my graveyard shift when a huge crack of thunder woke me up. I lived in Coppell at the time, just NE of DFW, and my backyard was about 1 mile east of the (then) 17L (now 17C) extended centerline. After the thunder woke me up, I went out into my back yard, and it was so hazy that you couldn't even see where the cell was.
DL191 was the first transport I can think of lost to a thunderstorm that was equipped with a (then) newer generation digital FDR, and as a result, they were able to "capture" more parameters, and that's what made more accurate flight simulator re-creations possible.
This info also helped Dr. T. Ted Fujita in his research on microbursts. Fujita had studied several other crashes, including Eastern 66 (727) at JFK, and more recent to the DL191 accident, Pan Am 759 (727) at MSY in 1982. In addition to a book he wrote on the EA/PA (and other) crashes, he would also write a book specifically on the DL191 crash, entitled, appropriately enough, "The DFW Microburst". It may interest some to know that the cell that knocked down DL191 wasn't some 50,000 or 60,000 foot tall monster, but was only topping out in the low 20,000 foot range. Fujita's book also has some color aerial photos of the L1011's main gear tire tracks from the first touchdown in the muddy field -north- of highway 114, tire tracks across 114 itself, plus other ground scars -south- of 114 on the way to the eventual impact with the two water tanks. The book's other graphics are excellent, and if you can find a copy on Amazon.com or elsewhere, it'd be an excellent addition to any aviation collection.
One of the beneficial things to come out of the DL191 accident was the development of Terminal Doppler Weather Radar (TDWR). Today, there is a TDWR antenna ball just north of I-635 between MacArthur and Beltline which many folks think is for DFW, but this one actually serves Love Field. DFW is served by a separate TDWR, and the antenna for it is sited on the south shore of Lake Lewisville, up around where highway 121 goes under the big railroad bridge NE of Lewisville proper.
Between TDWR, predictive windshear on the aircraft today, and Fujita's work which helped folks understand the mechanics of the microbursts better, the DL191-type of accident is alot less common.
Brons2 From United States of America, joined Sep 2001, 3010 posts, RR: 4
Reply 22, posted (10 years 2 weeks 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 4652 times:
You can download the CVR off of Airdisaster.com for DL191, it's an interesting listen.
You can hear the 2nd officer say in the background "there's lightning coming out of that one" and then the captain just kind mutter "uh-huh". You hear the 1000 ft callout, then the plane suddenly accelerates right before entering the microburst, then the captain says, "you're gonna lose it all a sudden........there it is". (the FO is flying). Then both the captain and second officer exclaim "push it up, way up", and then you hear the big RR's spool up, then back down a bit, then at max.
A couple of seconds later the captain exclaims "hang on to the son of a bitch" and the second officer asks "what's the Vref?" About that time the GPWS activates "whoop whoop pull up, whoop whoop pull up". You hear a lound bang which probably is the plane smacking down on Texas Highway 114, and then the landing gear alarm goes off for a few seconds, and then some expletives and the end.
Quite a ride, it really shows how quickly things can go south on you when you get behind a situation.
Firings, if well done, are good for employee morale.