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1985 Crash Of Eastern Airlines In La Paz, Bolivia  
User currently offlineJamake1 From United States of America, joined May 2004, 1016 posts, RR: 2
Posted (8 years 2 months 1 week 11 hours ago) and read 17053 times:

The other day, as I was listing a collection of Eastern Airlines items on eBay, it got me thinking about Eastern's last major fatal accident. On January 1, 1985, flight 985 from Asuncion, Paraguay to La Paz, Bolivia, crashed as it was nearing its approach at La Paz. The Boeing 727-200 slammed into a mountain and all passengers and crew were killed. I believe that there were 29 people onboard the aircraft.

At the time, there was not a lot of media coverage regarding this accident. So I am wondering if you fellow A. Netters have any additional information. I am curious to know if the wreckage and human remains were ever recovered. I do recall that it took rescuers nearly 20 hours to locate the wreckage, but I am curious to know if it was ever recovered and if there was ever any footage from this accident. Thanks to any of you who can provide that information. I am just curious...


United's B747-400. "She's a a cruel lover."
21 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineCharlienorth From United States of America, joined Jun 2006, 1131 posts, RR: 5
Reply 1, posted (8 years 2 months 1 week 11 hours ago) and read 17017 times:

I remember reading no human remains were found and only small pieces wreckage was photographed,I do recall a pic of a cockpit crewmembers seat in the snow,the harnesses torn,quite chilling.

User currently offlineCedarjet From United Kingdom, joined May 1999, 8145 posts, RR: 54
Reply 2, posted (8 years 2 months 1 week 10 hours ago) and read 16963 times:

Quoting Charlienorth (Reply 1):
I remember reading no human remains were found and only small pieces wreckage

In fact most of the bodies were spotted, however the crash site is something like 17,000 feet above sea level, the simple fact is people can't get to it without oxygen, so the wreck and the bodies remain to this day. There are stories in the high altitude villages below the crash scene of villagers getting to the crash site, and some items from the aircraft do show up in circulation.

Remember how high some S American ops are - there are a few cities in S America, La Paz among them I think - where the cockpit crew have to wear oxygen masks from before start-up til after takeoff when the cabin pressurises, because without supplemental oxygen, symptoms of hypoxia will occur and mistakes made. A Braniff DC8 crew did the start-up and taxi without O2 masks on and in the process miscalculated all the takeoff speeds. They just about got off, but flew for nearly a minute only 20 feet up, basically hovering in ground effect, before attaining a safe flying speed.



fly Saha Air 707s daily from Tehran's downtown Mehrabad to Mashhad, Kish Island and Ahwaz
User currently offlineSJUSXM From United States of America, joined Aug 2006, 294 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (8 years 2 months 1 week 8 hours ago) and read 16796 times:

WOW! only 29 people on the flight. Lucky the flight wasn't full or it could have been a whole lot worse.


AT7, ER3, ER4, ER5, CR7, E70, E75, F100, M82, M83, 722, 732, 738, 752, 762, 763, AB6, 320, 321, 772, 77W
User currently offlineMarkATL From United States of America, joined Jul 2004, 540 posts, RR: 7
Reply 4, posted (8 years 2 months 1 week 7 hours ago) and read 16754 times:

Quoting SJUSXM (Reply 3):
WOW! only 29 people on the flight. Lucky the flight wasn't full or it could have been a whole lot worse.

You think?



"...left my home in Georgia, 'n headed for the "Frisco" Bay...
User currently offlineBroke From United States of America, joined Apr 2002, 1322 posts, RR: 3
Reply 5, posted (8 years 2 months 6 days 21 hours ago) and read 16515 times:

The flight was going from Ascension, Paraguay to La Paz, Bolivia. There is a restriction on the altitude until you are within a certain distance of La Paz. The flight was off to one side of the airway and started its descent early.

When Eastern began flying to South America in 1982, if followed a Lufthansa practice of requiring new crew members to ride the jump seat into the high altitude airports such as Bogota, Quito, and La Paz for a couple of flights. Following this, a check airman would ride the jumpseat while the new crew member flew his or hers first flights into these airports.

Eastern stopped this practice in 1985 and this captain was making his first night approach into La Pax. He had made a day light arrival and departure into La Paz the day before.

Due to the weather conditions on Mt. Illimani, after the plane was found, it was impossible to reach the wreckage. Some years later a mountain climbing team reached the site and brought back some bits and pieces, but no human remains. Mt Illimani reaches to about 21,000' (6800 meters?).

The wife of the American Ambassador to Paraguay was one of the fatalities.


User currently offlineMEA-707 From Netherlands, joined Nov 1999, 4342 posts, RR: 35
Reply 6, posted (8 years 2 months 6 days 18 hours ago) and read 16298 times:

Quoting MarkATL (Reply 4):
Quoting SJUSXM (Reply 3):
WOW! only 29 people on the flight. Lucky the flight wasn't full or it could have been a whole lot worse.

You think?

It is indeed phrased a bit insensitive for the surviving families and friends of these 29, but he has a point, it could have been 160 on board as well.



nobody has ever died from hard work, but why take the risk?
User currently offlineAtnight From United States of America, joined Dec 2005, 606 posts, RR: 1
Reply 7, posted (8 years 2 months 6 days 16 hours ago) and read 16201 times:

Quoting Cedarjet (Reply 2):
Remember how high some S American ops are - there are a few cities in S America, La Paz among them I think - where the cockpit crew have to wear oxygen masks from before start-up til after takeoff when the cabin pressurises, because without supplemental oxygen, symptoms of hypoxia will occur and mistakes made. A Braniff DC8 crew did the start-up and taxi without O2 masks on and in the process miscalculated all the takeoff speeds. They just about got off, but flew for nearly a minute only 20 feet up, basically hovering in ground effect, before attaining a safe flying speed.

Which airports exactly do pilots need to use O2 masks? Is that necessary for all aircrafts? I personally have not heard of such a thing, but I am interesting in knowing.. Also, the story you told about the aircraft hovering at 20 feet in the air sounds quite a sight, I suppose is possible but almost impossible to accomplish no? Wouldn't they hit a tree or something else?...



B707 B727 B733/5/7/8/9 B742/4 B752/3 B763/4 B772 A310 A318/319/320 A332 A343 MD80 DC9/10 CRJ200 ERJ145 ERJ-170 Be1900 Da
User currently offlineOPNLguy From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 8, posted (8 years 2 months 6 days 16 hours ago) and read 16190 times:

Quoting Atnight (Reply 7):
Also, the story you told about the aircraft hovering at 20 feet in the air sounds quite a sight, I suppose is possible but almost impossible to accomplish no? Wouldn't they hit a tree or something else?...

For some reason, I seem to recall that being mentioned in John Nance's book on the demise of Braniff (v1.0), "A Splash of Colors" IIRC....


User currently offlinePdpsol From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 1117 posts, RR: 5
Reply 9, posted (8 years 2 months 6 days 15 hours ago) and read 16087 times:

I was a child living in La Paz at the time of the accident and was on holiday with my family in Punta del Este when we heard about it. Quite dreadful as we would fly in-and-out of LPB all the time and depended on EA to take us back to the States.

The LB pilots were known as high-altitude experts and the 727 was the equipment of choice for LPB.


User currently offlineImperialEagle From United States of America, joined Jan 2006, 2630 posts, RR: 23
Reply 10, posted (8 years 2 months 6 days 14 hours ago) and read 16017 times:

Quoting Pdpsol (Reply 9):
727 was the equipment of choice for LPB.

As it was for most South American operators back in the day. No doubt, in part, due to the Boeing sales guys and the "death in the Andes" sales ploy rumored to exsist should one happen to buy ( twin engined and thus "underpowered"and with early models "slat-less") DC-9's instead!

Of course everyone denied it, but it was a pretty shrewd rumor and certainly worked!

A retired EA captain I know recounts stories of seeing the reflections of the sun off of the wreckage when going into LPB. Sad.



"If everything seems under control, you're just not going fast enough!"
User currently offlineDtwclipper From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 11, posted (8 years 2 months 6 days 13 hours ago) and read 15995 times:

Quoting OPNLguy (Reply 8):
For some reason, I seem to recall that being mentioned in John Nance's book on the demise of Braniff (v1.0), "A Splash of Colors" IIRC

It is, on Page 74.


User currently offlineCedarjet From United Kingdom, joined May 1999, 8145 posts, RR: 54
Reply 12, posted (8 years 2 months 6 days 13 hours ago) and read 15976 times:

Quoting Atnight (Reply 7):
Which airports exactly do pilots need to use O2 masks?

Don't know if it's still done, unless pilots have grown an extra lung in the last 20 years, I presume so. All airports above a certain altitude, I guess. There are plenty above 8,000 feet, which is high enough for most people who live at or near sea level to start having problems.

Quoting Atnight (Reply 7):
the story you told about the aircraft hovering at 20 feet in the air sounds quite a sight, I suppose is possible but almost impossible to accomplish no? Wouldn't they hit a tree or something else?...

Probably impossible to recreate on purpose, but the story goes that they went tearing out over open countryside kicking up a giant dust trail. I think they lifted off 30 knots too early or something, it wasn't a little mistake. And probably the ground dropped away. Dan Air had a similar event at Luton on a 727, nothing to do with lack of O2 but somehow the weights and speeds were ballsed up and they basically did a carrier takeoff, rolling past the end of the runway, demolish the ILS then off the "cliff" and straight into a descent down the valley til they accelerated enough to start climbing. All good fun.

Quoting ImperialEagle (Reply 10):
727 was the equipment of choice for LPB. As it was for most South American operators back in the day.

Still is matey.

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fly Saha Air 707s daily from Tehran's downtown Mehrabad to Mashhad, Kish Island and Ahwaz
User currently offlineFlight7E7 From United States of America, joined Aug 2005, 103 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (8 years 2 months 6 days 13 hours ago) and read 15969 times:

This brings to mind...Does anyone recall the AA 757 wreck in Colombia on or about Dec 20, 1995?
That was determined as pilot error, wrong settings into the computer....but what about recovery? Don't remember the whole story, but do remember someone I knew who worked at AA went on a mercy mission to help the families at Christmas time.....and he said that the 727 they were in circled over the wreckage and a moment of silence was called for the memory of crew and pax .....he could see christmas presents strewn about, and how people were just brought to tears...and that this horrible crash site was, as well, nearly impossible to reach due to mudslides and low cloud cover not permitting a proper recovery.

Any information contrary to my poor recall, or did this end in the same tragic way EAL did in LaPaz, no chance of recovery?

Thanks,

F7E7


User currently offlineOPNLguy From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 14, posted (8 years 2 months 6 days 13 hours ago) and read 15943 times:

Quoting Cedarjet (Reply 12):
Still is matey.

I wonder what variant of the JT8D those 727-100s and older 727-200s (Basics?) had in them?

Braniff ran the 727-200 ADVanced down there with -17R engines, the "R" indicative of the other two engines being able to provide a certain amount of "reserve" thrust in the event of one engine failing. I don't recall how much thrust the other two made up for, but down there in SA, I guess anything is better than nothing.


User currently offlineCedarjet From United Kingdom, joined May 1999, 8145 posts, RR: 54
Reply 15, posted (8 years 2 months 6 days 13 hours ago) and read 15927 times:

Quoting Flight7E7 (Reply 13):
the AA 757 wreck in Colombia...nearly impossible to reach due to mudslides and low cloud cover not permitting a proper recovery.

The wreckage was relatively easy to reach, and at a manageable altitude, and not much in the way of mudslides and low visibility; but the area of the crash was under FARC control so rescue teams were accompanied by army units in case of guerilla activity.



fly Saha Air 707s daily from Tehran's downtown Mehrabad to Mashhad, Kish Island and Ahwaz
User currently offlineCharlienorth From United States of America, joined Jun 2006, 1131 posts, RR: 5
Reply 16, posted (8 years 2 months 6 days 13 hours ago) and read 15923 times:

The AA 757 was recovered,but much of it was looted,also because of the relatively "low speed flat "impact,much of the avionics and other components were intact and around that time a friend of mine was a mx controller at NWA and they had a list of part #'s and serial #'s of items not recovered and to be on a lookout as they may have been removed from the site and sold.

User currently offlineDeC From Greece, joined Aug 2005, 616 posts, RR: 1
Reply 17, posted (8 years 2 months 6 days 13 hours ago) and read 15888 times:

on the 757 crash:

Yeah, that was really terrible!

" The left turn brought the B757 over mountainous terrain, so a Ground Proximity (GPWS) warning sounded. With increased engine power and nose-up the crew tried to climb. The spoilers were still activated however."

"2. The flight crew's execution of the GPWS escape manoeuvre while the speed brakes remained deployed; "

http://aviation-safety.net/database/record.php?id=19951220-1&lang=en



DEC
User currently offlineJamake1 From United States of America, joined May 2004, 1016 posts, RR: 2
Reply 18, posted (8 years 2 months 6 days 11 hours ago) and read 15795 times:

Here's a link to a photo of the wreckage of AA flight 965.

http://www.airdisaster.com/photos/aa965/photo.shtml



United's B747-400. "She's a a cruel lover."
User currently offlineJimbobjoe From United States of America, joined Oct 2001, 658 posts, RR: 0
Reply 19, posted (8 years 2 months 6 days 8 hours ago) and read 15643 times:

Quoting DeC (Reply 17):
The spoilers were still activated however."

This reminds me of a question I've been meaning to ask. Would a newer aircraft (like a 777, 737NG, A3xx) have figured out "dude...you've got the spoilers down, full throttle and a pull up warning. Maybe I should just raise the spoilers for you?"


User currently offlineDeC From Greece, joined Aug 2005, 616 posts, RR: 1
Reply 20, posted (8 years 2 months 6 days 7 hours ago) and read 15589 times:

Quoting Jimbobjoe (Reply 19):
This reminds me of a question I've been meaning to ask. Would a newer aircraft (like a 777, 737NG, A3xx) have figured out "dude...you've got the spoilers down, full throttle and a pull up warning. Maybe I should just raise the spoilers for you?"

I highly doubt something like this is possible. It’s very logical but like "you’re going down too fast and I have no mechanical or hydraulic problem or anything so ease back, let me pull up and avoid the collision instead of shouting ‘pull up’ ‘pull up’ in your ears" but hey, if this would be able, a series of catastrophic pilot actions here and there would be avoided by the very plane which ultimately –would be flying itself.



DEC
User currently offlineJamake1 From United States of America, joined May 2004, 1016 posts, RR: 2
Reply 21, posted (8 years 2 months 6 days 7 hours ago) and read 15579 times:

Getting back to the subject of the Eastern crash, does anyone know if the black boxes were ever recovered?


United's B747-400. "She's a a cruel lover."
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