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Crash Of PSA 1771  
User currently offlineLevg79 From United States of America, joined Sep 2003, 994 posts, RR: 0
Posted (9 years 2 months 2 weeks 3 days ago) and read 9113 times:

Hello everyone!

I'm sure that most of you are aware of airdisaster.com website. I was browsing it and came accross the "Special Reports" section where I've read a detailed description of a PSA 1771 crash.

http://www.airdisaster.com/special/special-pa1771.shtml

It's a very detailed report and interesting to read, however I'm puzzled by one thing. Halfway down the page it says:

"Upon entering the aircraft, Burke scrawled a note onto an air-sickness
bag which read:

“It's kind of ironical, isn't it? I asked for leniency for my family, remember?
Well, I got none, and now you'll get none.”"

Then it says,
"As the aircraft reached its cruising altitude of 29,000 feet, Burke calmly
vacated his chair and made his way to the lavatory, dropping the air-
sickness bag in his supervisor's lap as he passed. Moments later, he
emerged with the handgun, and immediately shot Thompson."

My question is, since the aircraft crashed killing everyone on board, how could anyone know whether or not Burke gave note to Thompson, not to mention the details of him going to the bathroom? Anyone has any details?


A mile of runway takes you to the world. A mile of highway takes you a mile.
19 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineOPNLguy From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 1, posted (9 years 2 months 2 weeks 2 days 23 hours ago) and read 9088 times:

Quoting Levg79 (Thread starter):
My question is, since the aircraft crashed killing everyone on board, how could anyone know whether or not Burke gave note to Thompson, not to mention the details of him going to the bathroom? Anyone has any details?

Dramatic license by the author?

A statement of intent made by someone that knew him?


User currently offlineFlyboyaz From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 2, posted (9 years 2 months 2 weeks 2 days 23 hours ago) and read 9059 times:

That's really a good question. I never thought of that. It was a horrible incident, it was the final devestation of PSA...though never would have happened if US didn't take them over!!

User currently offlineFLY2LIM From United States of America, joined May 2004, 1184 posts, RR: 10
Reply 3, posted (9 years 2 months 2 weeks 2 days 23 hours ago) and read 9021 times:

Quoting Flyboyaz (Reply 2):
...though never would have happened if US didn't take them over!!

How do you know? Someone who shoots and kills doesn't act rationally. He was a crook and got caught, apparently. If not a US Air supervisor, he would have shot a PSA supervisor, or his mother, or his children, or anyone in his way.
And never say "never". Had anyone told us about the 9/11 scenario in the year 2000, we all would have laughed and offered dozens of theories as to why it "couldn't happen" in the US.
FLY2LIM



Faucett. La primera linea aerea del Peru.
User currently offlineFlyboyaz From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 4, posted (9 years 2 months 2 weeks 2 days 23 hours ago) and read 8989 times:

It happened because they had already purchased PSA and those employees were working in the operation, hence if they hadn't purchased them...they wouldn't have been on the flight.

User currently offlineA5XX From Canada, joined Apr 2005, 245 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (9 years 2 months 2 weeks 2 days 23 hours ago) and read 8930 times:

Here's a link to the NTSB report.

http://www.ntsb.gov/NTSB/brief.asp?ev_id=20001213X32679&key=1



we are the boeing... resistance is futile...You will be assimilated
User currently offlineSATL382G From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 6, posted (9 years 2 months 2 weeks 2 days 22 hours ago) and read 8852 times:

As I recall, and I may be wrong, the local Sheriff handled this one vs NTSB/FBI since it was caused by a criminal act and it was a intrastate flight. If memory serves Sheriff asked NTSB to do a spectral analysis of the CVR and determined the sequence of events thru noise of lav door and shots fired.

I suppose, and I'm really speculating here, they could have determined where the shots were fired using the various cockpit mikes and the timing track on the tape(stereo effect). They may have decided it was then improbable for anyone else to be in the lav, i.e. sound of lav door opening followed immediately by shots fired outside of lav.


User currently offlineLincoln From United States of America, joined Nov 2004, 3887 posts, RR: 8
Reply 7, posted (9 years 2 months 2 weeks 2 days 22 hours ago) and read 8800 times:

This and the D.B. Cooper case are the two most intriguing aviation cases to me. And there really isn't that much information about this one out there, it's really been almost completely forgotten in the annals of history.

One of the things that piqued my interest (besides the fact that for all intents and purposes I'm "from" San Diego and PSA was the home-town airline) about this case was the comment I've stumbled across that "the NTSB report was never published".

Was there an NTSB report at all? If not why? If so why wasn't it published/released? (Doesn't the NTSB get involved with pretty much anything that crashes or comes close to crashing as a matter of course?)

Lincoln



CO Is My Airline of Choice || Baggage Claim is an airline's last chance to disappoint a customer || Next flts in profile
User currently offlineSATL382G From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 8, posted (9 years 2 months 2 weeks 2 days 21 hours ago) and read 8728 times:

Why no NTSB report? Because it was a criminal act, not an accident. Same reason there is no NTSB report for 9/11 crashes.

User currently offlineAR385 From Mexico, joined Nov 2003, 6141 posts, RR: 30
Reply 9, posted (9 years 2 months 2 weeks 2 days 20 hours ago) and read 8654 times:
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Quoting SATL382G (Reply 6):
If memory serves Sheriff asked NTSB to do a spectral analysis of the CVR and determined the sequence of events thru noise of lav door and shots fired.

Yep, that was what was done, exactly



MGGS
User currently offlineTheredbaron From Mexico, joined Mar 2005, 2194 posts, RR: 8
Reply 10, posted (9 years 2 months 2 weeks 2 days 20 hours ago) and read 8589 times:

Sad that this depresed guy took innocent lives in his hands, I kinda wonder the same about the Egypt Air crash some years ago, that the pilot was depresed and commited suicide (personally I dont buy it, but guess we may never know).

The D.B Cooper case is def. much more fun... well he is responsible for the infamous Cooper Vane retrofit to 727s

Best Regards
TRB



The best seat in a Plane is the Jumpseat.
User currently offlineLincoln From United States of America, joined Nov 2004, 3887 posts, RR: 8
Reply 11, posted (9 years 2 months 2 weeks 2 days 19 hours ago) and read 8563 times:

Quoting Theredbaron (Reply 10):
The D.B Cooper case is def. much more fun... well he is responsible for the infamous Cooper Vane retrofit to 727s

Hands down...No one lost their lives (AFAIK) at the hands of D.B. Cooper. I won't say no one got hurt (b/c I can't imagine the emotional trauma of being on a hijacked aircraft), but it's just about as close...

Back in the good old days before you had to be strip searched to fly...



CO Is My Airline of Choice || Baggage Claim is an airline's last chance to disappoint a customer || Next flts in profile
User currently offlineLevg79 From United States of America, joined Sep 2003, 994 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (9 years 2 months 2 weeks 2 days 4 hours ago) and read 8286 times:

Quoting AR385 (Reply 9):
Quoting SATL382G (Reply 6):
If memory serves Sheriff asked NTSB to do a spectral analysis of the CVR and determined the sequence of events thru noise of lav door and shots fired.

Yep, that was what was done, exactly

In this case, at which point did they hear him passing a note, not mentioning the text? I have serious doubts believing that the note survived the crash and that investigators were able to read what it said.

Quoting Theredbaron (Reply 10):
I kinda wonder the same about the Egypt Air crash some years ago, that the pilot was depresed and commited suicide (personally I dont buy it, but guess we may never know).

Well, according to the CVR of the Egypt Air, the pilot admitted to shutting down the engines. However, I'm not going to argue since this was not KAL 007 and I'm not Bert Schlossberg.

The amazement with the note onboard the PSA flight really got me interested though, I'm still wondering how they figured that out.



A mile of runway takes you to the world. A mile of highway takes you a mile.
User currently offlineFATFlyer From United States of America, joined May 2001, 5792 posts, RR: 15
Reply 13, posted (9 years 2 months 2 weeks 2 days 3 hours ago) and read 8210 times:

Quoting Levg79 (Reply 12):
I have serious doubts believing that the note survived the crash and that investigators were able to read what it said.

Among the wreckage they found the note as well as pieces of the gun.

A few excerpts from the LA Times news coverage in the days following the crash:

"FBI handwriting experts confirmed Friday that the note of doom penned on an airsickness bag found amid the wreckage of Pacific Southwest Airlines Flight 1771 was written by David A. Burke, who investigators have concluded caused the crash.

FBI spokesman Fred Reagan said Friday that the writing on the note found in the wreckage has been compared with known samples of Burke's handwriting and found to be the same. Reagan also said the note appeared to have been written calmly. `Neat Handwriting' "There didn't appear to be any stress on the writer," Reagan said. "It was very neat handwriting.""



"Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness." - Mark Twain
User currently offlineLevg79 From United States of America, joined Sep 2003, 994 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (9 years 2 months 2 weeks 2 days 3 hours ago) and read 8179 times:

Quoting FATFlyer (Reply 13):
Among the wreckage they found the note as well as pieces of the gun

Now if you think about it, the gun broke down in pieces by the airsickness bag stayed intact. Now I remember that just after 9/11 they were saying that they found a hijacker's passport in the wreckage. Anyone believe in that?

Otherwise that'll be a good explanation.



A mile of runway takes you to the world. A mile of highway takes you a mile.
User currently offlineEMBQA From United States of America, joined Oct 2003, 9364 posts, RR: 11
Reply 15, posted (9 years 2 months 2 weeks 2 days 2 hours ago) and read 8114 times:

I saw a show several year ago on PSA 1774 and it showed video of the gun and it was 'far' from intact, but clearly a gun.


"It's not the size of the dog in the fight, but the size of the fight in the dog"
User currently offlineNbgskygod From United States of America, joined May 2004, 797 posts, RR: 1
Reply 16, posted (9 years 2 months 2 weeks 2 days 1 hour ago) and read 7997 times:

Its possible, I belive for a piece of paper to survive a crash, better than say a gun, simply because a piece of paper has less mass, not to say it wasn't burnt to some extent, but rather would suffer from the deceleration of hitting the ground the same way that a much heavier gun would.


"I use multi-billion dollar military satellite systems to find tupperware in the woods."
User currently offlineSATL382G From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 17, posted (9 years 2 months 2 weeks 2 days ago) and read 7962 times:

Quoting Nbgskygod (Reply 16):
Its possible, I belive for a piece of paper to survive a crash,

It's very possible for a piece of paper to survive, likely even. When an aircraft breaks up in midair, as this one did, the contents spread out and are not concentrated in one area where fire can be a factor. Even if an aircraft stays intact and craters much of it gets buried, away from the fuel and oxygen a fire needs.

This eyewitness account from a police detective at the scene illustrates pretty well that paper will survive a crash. (taken from the website in post 1)

"Detective Bill Wammock is the first to arrive on the scene. He recalls “nothing that resembled an airliner... we went on for hours, before we heard the news reports of a missing airliner, believing that we were dealing with a small airplane full of newspapers that had crashed. We saw no pieces of the aircraft that were larger than, maybe, a human hand. It did not look like a passenger aircraft.”"

[Edited 2005-05-18 02:57:10]

User currently offlineStirling From Italy, joined Jun 2004, 3943 posts, RR: 21
Reply 18, posted (9 years 2 months 2 weeks 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 7453 times:

Quoting SATL382G (Reply 17):
"Detective Bill Wammock is the first to arrive on the scene. He recalls “nothing that resembled an airliner... we went on for hours, before we heard the news reports of a missing airliner, believing that we were dealing with a small airplane full of newspapers that had crashed. We saw no pieces of the aircraft that were larger than, maybe, a human hand. It did not look like a passenger aircraft.”"

Actually, (and it doesn't matter anymore at this point in time), there were a few pieces "larger than a human hand" as stated above, but not many. However for the most part though, most of the wreckage was as described by Detective Wammock.

As a very young reporter, I was on the scene that evening.

Back at the station, we heard over the scanner that it was a small aircraft which had crashed.

It was not until rounding the bend, and entering the narrow canyon, that the full extent of what really took place began to dawn on myself and the other staff member who "went along for the ride"

The windows in our news car were up, the heat was on, I had to fight back the urge to vomit before even leaving the vehicle. The scent of kerosene and charred human flesh blowing in through the vents and on my face is something I'll never forget. The smell lingered on me for days, refusing to leave. I felt haunted.

We parked, and not 5 feet away from my car door, amongst a cyclone of debris, lay a human arm and hand, severed below the elbow, it was wearing a wedding band.

Walking closer to the epicenter, it only got worse. It was Hell on Earth.
Part of a human torso split longitudinally, hung from the branches of a leafless tree. Clothes, papers, shreads of aircraft parts, and more human remains littered the path leading up to the police line, I stepped on half a child's doll (Barbi, GI Joe...couldn't tell) almost tripping. Eventually, the authorities moved the line back, well beyond the bend in the road, and out of sight from the public.

The largest piece of "Identifiable" crash remains were the jet engine cores. (unseen by me, but described to me in an interview with the rancher whose property we were on)

Truly the most terrible thing I have ever witnessed in my life.

I fought back tears and nightmares for months following the crash, only to relive them in the aftermath of 9/11.

Rest in peace.



Delete this User
User currently offlineFlyboyaz From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 19, posted (9 years 2 months 2 weeks 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 7402 times:

A sad memory near the end of life for a super airline. It was immediately following the crash that US decided to do away with the PSA name. I think they had plans to keep it around for a while due to it's popularity. This accident accelerated the change over.

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