SKYYBLUE From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Posted (7 years 4 months 3 weeks 4 days 13 hours ago) and read 6571 times:
I was surprised no one mentioned last night, December 29th, was the anniversary of Eastern Air Lines flight 401. The L-1011 took off from New York/JFK bound for Miami and crashed into the Florida everglades. There is a great website about the accident www.geocities.com/donuts13 . Two movies were made about the accident, "Crash" and "The Ghost of Flight 401". I've never seen the latter, but its about the "true" tales of hauntings aboard the crashed L1011's sister ships. Eastern salvaged some parts of the wrecked plane and used them on the sister ships. Flight crews recalled seeing the ghost of Captain Bob Loft.
NW305 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 2, posted (7 years 4 months 3 weeks 4 days 7 hours ago) and read 6442 times:
I was 8 at the time of the accident and the flight probably flew over or near to
my hometown of Sumter, SC (Near Shaw AFB) on it's way to MIA. Eastern continued to use the flight number 401 for years after the accident, unlike present day when a crashed flight number is withdrawn.
Jumpseat70 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 3, posted (7 years 4 months 3 weeks 4 days 5 hours ago) and read 6371 times:
I was based in JFK when this happened. It was such a tragic mistake, since the crew was unaware of the pilot brushing the trim tab with his elbow causing the plane to make an ever so slow descent into the hell of the swamps.
After the recovery of the aircraft, parts of that aircraft were leased to TWA. Very quickly reports came in. We, the employees of TWA, saw the ghost of the Flight Engineer. Several reports came in from, believe it or not, "Pilots".
One in particular was a report of a Eastern Engineer sitting at the desk in the L1011 cockpit when the TWA engineer walked into the empty plane to do his preflight.
The TWA guy was even more startled when the Eastern guy said, "Watch the number three, she's a bit unsteady".
The Eastern guy got up opened the door and promptly disappeared. The TWA guy shared this with his cockpit. They of course laughed and blew it off, until after takeoff some 30 minutes later the number three started vibrating and they had to land.
(And yes, there was speculation as to why an Eastern Pilot was in a TWA jet.)
TWA had so many reports of this nature that crews became rescitent to fly this aircraft. I'm talking cockpit and cabin.
We gave back all the leased parts, but there was talk of "Exorcisms" to particular aircraft.
I know this sounds "nuts", but I swear it's true.
The saddest part of this crash was the fact that most of the victims died of swamp poisoning due to laying the water for so long waiting for rescue.
I never trusted the L1011 after this crash. I hated flying it.
Contrails From United States of America, joined Oct 2000, 1818 posts, RR: 0 Reply 4, posted (7 years 4 months 3 weeks 4 days 4 hours ago) and read 6355 times:
I remember this crash, and I remember giving it some serious thought as I approached MIA from the west a few years ago. Am I correct that there were some survivors?
One of the movies (I can't remember which one) had a memorable scene, when the captain, played by Eddie Albert, got on the PA to tell pax "welcome to sunny Miami", as only Eddie Albert could do. The flight was arriving well after sunset, of course.
It's hard to believe it's been 33 years. Things have sure changed. I must be getting old, I'm starting to sound like my parents.
Corners From Canada, joined Dec 2000, 49 posts, RR: 0 Reply 5, posted (7 years 4 months 3 weeks 4 days 2 hours ago) and read 6266 times:
There was also a paperback book "The Ghost of Flight 401" The movie I believe had one of the "ghost" pilots show up on another L1011 and say that there would never be another crash of a Tristar! I don't think there was for many years afterward either, at least not the planes fault anyway.
NIKV69 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 8, posted (7 years 4 months 3 weeks 4 days 1 hour ago) and read 6159 times:
I own the book, good stuff. I met Frank Borman when my father worked for EAL and at the time didn't know that he was at MIA at the time of the crash and rushed to the scene to help survivors. I believe him to be a great man. Here is some info on him.
Cedarjet From United Kingdom, joined May 1999, 7707 posts, RR: 55 Reply 11, posted (7 years 4 months 3 weeks 3 days 23 hours ago) and read 5970 times:
Quoting Type-Rated (Reply 6): I remember reading the headlines at a news stall at Chicagos Union Station and thought that the type had only been flying for a few months, what could have gone wrong, another DC-10 in the making?
How, in 1972, could it have been "another" DC10 in the making? The DC10 accidents that made that aircraft so notorious were in 1974 (Turkish Airlines crash in France) and 1979 (American Airlines crash at O'Hare).
Quoting Jumpseat70 (Reply 3): the pilot brushing the trim tab with his elbow causing the plane to make an ever so slow descent into the hell of the swamps.
Quoting 474218 (Reply 9): L-1011's have no trim tabs? What the pilot bumped was the control column, disengaging the autopilot.
Quoting Jumpseat70 (Reply 10): Whatever smarty pants....we called it a trim tab back then.
Chaps chaps. Never in the history of flight has the control column / yoke / wheel / etc ever been referred to as a "trim tab". A trim tab is a small control surface on a wing or tail stabiliser. Indeed, it was a knock to the control column that disengaged the autopilot, and the aircraft settled into a shallow descent. The trim did not change.
fly Saha Air 707s daily from Tehran's downtown Mehrabad to Mashhad, Kish Island and Ahwaz
Type-Rated From United States of America, joined Sep 1999, 4350 posts, RR: 20 Reply 13, posted (7 years 4 months 3 weeks 3 days 17 hours ago) and read 5771 times:
AA had a DC-10 baggage door blow open and partially collapse the economy cabin floor choking the hydraulic cables at DTW on June 12, 1972. It resulted in an emergency landing. This incident happened on June 12, 1972. Which is well before flight 401.
Remember it was the ignorance and blind sightedness of Douglas of this particular incident that led to the Turkish Airlines disaster at Paris. There is also a good book outlining this subject, "The Last 10 Seconds". The problems with the DC-10 were actually quite well known by Douglas Co. and the general public before 401 went down.
Touchy there, aren't we? If you can't be nice take your toys elsewhere and play!
Quoting Cedarjet (Reply 11): How, in 1972, could it have been "another" DC10 in the making? The DC10 accidents that made that aircraft so notorious were in 1974 (Turkish Airlines crash in France) and 1979 (American Airlines crash at O'Hare).
Fly North Central Airlines..The route of the Northliners!
BHMNONREV From Australia, joined Aug 2003, 1284 posts, RR: 4 Reply 14, posted (7 years 4 months 3 weeks 3 days 16 hours ago) and read 5721 times:
I remember as a 12-year old the EAL 401 crash into the Everglades because 2 days later, on Dec 31, 1972, baseball great Roberto Clemente died in an air crash at San Juan when the DC-6 or 7 he was flying on crashed shortly after takeoff while flying relief supplies to Nicaragua after a disaster.
Spectre242 From United States of America, joined Jan 2001, 103 posts, RR: 0 Reply 15, posted (7 years 4 months 3 weeks 3 days 14 hours ago) and read 5613 times:
I have read the book and found it very interesting, but has there been any other serious investigations into this besides that of John G Fuller? Do they arrive at similar conclusions as Fuller, that the ghosts of the captain and flight engineer haunted later aircraft? Whether or not you believe in ghosts, it makes an interesting side story, and one which is probably more famous than the crash itself these days. I would like to believe John G Fuller's work to the full extent but I can't help but be a little bit sceptic about novels which are based on 'real events' of this nature. Was/is Fuller a respect author in this sort of investigative writing?
As for the crash itself, a tragic accident which could have been so easily avoided, and brought a lot of hard-earned experience to the industry. Am I right in saying that after this manufacturers had to install audible warnings of autopilot disingagments, amongst other changes to improve crew awareness in the flight deck?
474218 From United States of America, joined Oct 2005, 6340 posts, RR: 9 Reply 17, posted (7 years 4 months 3 weeks 3 days 13 hours ago) and read 5570 times:
Quoting Spectre242 (Reply 15): Am I right in saying that after this manufacturers had to install audible warnings of autopilot disingagments, amongst other changes to improve crew awareness in the flight deck?
The altitude deviation warning horn sounded when they were 250 feet below the selected altitude, but no one in the flight station seemed to be aware of it. They were busy trying to change the light bulb, and visually verifying the nose gear was down and locked by looking through the sight that is installed in the aft wall of the forward avionic bay (forward wall of the nose wheel well).
Jumpseat70 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 18, posted (7 years 4 months 3 weeks 3 days 4 hours ago) and read 5449 times:
I recall the AA DC10 incident. It was said that the door was not latched properly. A casket which was also not stored properly bumped the door and caused the door to fly open.
The casket fell from the cargo bin and landed in some field six feet vertically. The entire flooring collapsed, causing some paxs to fall though to cargo during ascent.
The crew on that flight were all given life time F/C passes for their quick thinking, cabin and cockpit alike. I knew one of the cabin crew. She said all was well and then the floor just fell in along with a rush of noise and air, (decompression, I guess.)
Oh, and I am sorry about the "trim tab" comment. It's all I could remember at the time. That's what happens when you stop flying and start working the gates. Your memory goes along with your sense of humor.
Vegas005 From Switzerland, joined Mar 2005, 287 posts, RR: 0 Reply 19, posted (7 years 4 months 3 weeks 3 days ago) and read 5364 times:
Quoting Jumpseat70 (Reply 3): I was based in JFK when this happened. It was such a tragic mistake, since the crew was unaware of the pilot brushing the trim tab with his elbow causing the plane to make an ever so slow descent into the hell of the swamps.
The autoflight system of the L-1011 aircraft consists of a system which automatically disengages the autopilot if 15 pounds of pressure is placed on either control yoke. In 401's case, the Captain's computer was programmed properly to disengage at 15 pounds, but the First Officer's computer was improperly set to disengage at 20 pounds. Investigators concluded that when Loft turned to speak to Stockstill, he applied an inadvertent force on the yoke which disconnected the autopilot. With Stockstill's computer improperly programmed, his light which indicated autopilot engagement and altitude hold remained lit. The crew believed the autopilot was engaged.
Quoting Jumpseat70 (Reply 3):
I never trusted the L1011 after this crash. I hated flying it.
Bummer for you. This was one of the safest airplanes ever built.
AltairF28 From United States of America, joined Dec 2005, 139 posts, RR: 0 Reply 20, posted (7 years 4 months 3 weeks 2 days 22 hours ago) and read 5314 times:
Quoting Tom in NO (Reply 7): can't recall any fatal L-1011 incidents related to mechanical/aircraft failures since the aircraft was introduced.
Especially ironic considering all the engine problems the 1011 had. According to http://www.airdisaster.com there have been 5 fatal incidents and only one could be blamed on a mechanical problem and it technically wasn't a crash (a Saudia plane decompressed after a tire exploded and three people were sucked out of it through the floor).
A detour is a choice between two tasks, each with its own pros and cons
SaabFA71 From United States of America, joined Apr 2005, 81 posts, RR: 0 Reply 22, posted (7 years 4 months 3 weeks 2 days 17 hours ago) and read 5198 times:
I remember the movie "Crash" pretty well. Although I was to young to remember when the accident happened, I thought the movie provided an accurate account of the timeline leading to the events that took place on that fateful night. On a lighter note, it was different seeing William Shatner starring as the NTSB investigator and Eddie Albert as Flight 401's captain since I haven't seen them in shows other than "Star Trek" and "Green Acres" respectively. One thing I wasn't aware of, which wasn't mentioned in the movie, was about the salvaged parts being re-used on other L-1011s. Very interesting. I do have a question about the Flight 401 crash site. Is it anywhere near the crash site of the ValuJet DC-9 that went down in 1996? The Everglades is a big place, but someone asked me once if any of the two crash sites are near one another.
I used all of my sick days, so now I'm calling in dead.
F27XXX From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 24, posted (7 years 4 months 3 weeks 1 day 21 hours ago) and read 5007 times:
Quoting SaabFA71 (Reply 22): On a lighter note, it was different seeing William Shatner starring as the NTSB investigator and Eddie Albert as Flight 401's captain since I haven't seen them in shows other than "Star Trek" and "Green Acres" respectively.
And how about Adrienne Barbeau and Sharon Gless as F/As in the early 70's Eastern powder-blue uniforms! And the scene of them running thru that cool -and sadly now gone- 50s era Eastern terminal at JFK. What a great time piece! I remember the other movie too, with Ernest Borgnine - that was the one that focused a bit more on the sightings of the deceased crew members later on. Both were good!
25 Type-Rated: On the AA DC-10 case the casket fell out when the door opened and the plane depressurized. The flight landed safely due to the skills of the crew. I
26 Amazonphil: Someone correct me if there has been another L 1011 crash but the last one was in Aug. of 1985? Delta at Dallas because of windshear? Not mechanical
27 Markdirk: I would like to correct this statement as their seems to be some confusion and misinformation on their information. Any salvagable parts from N310EA
28 Thorny: A ghost story with confusion and misinformation? Shocked! Shocked am I!
29 PanAm747: You are correct: http://aviation-safety.net/database/...336%&cat=%1&sorteer=datekey&page=1 There is a listing of all the hull losses of the L1011. In
30 RJpieces: I always find it amazing to read about crashes on popular routes that I frequent....Crazy to look at Terminal 1 at JFK now, and think about that L-101
31 EA CO AS: The Lockheed L-1011 is still regarded as being one of the most advanced aircraft ever conceived, and remains one of the safest ever to fly. It didn't
32 BlazingCessna: I just found this transcript of the CVR. CAUTION: POPUPS Linky
33 474218: The lower galley of an L-1011 is an integral part of the fuselage and can not be reused. However, some small parts such a galley ovens were salvaged.
34 DL_Mech: N317EA had an MESC Avionic rack installed with s/s 1011 stamped on it (s/s=ship serial?). 1011 was the s/n on N310EA (193A-1011).
35 Jumpseat70: Dear MarkDirk, I hear what you are saying and respect your credibility, however I spoke directly with the engineer who saw the ghost, and a F/A who sa