Which December crashes stand out in your mind and which have you forgotten over time?
Date: 12/24/1971Location: Puerto Inca, Huanuco, PeruAirline: Lineas Aereas Nacionales SAAircraft: Lockheed L-188A ElectraRegistration: OB-R-941Fatalities/No. Aboard: 91:92
Details: The aircraft was struck by lightning after the aircraft entered an area of thunderstorms and heavy turbulence. The lightning caused a fire which led to the separation of the right wing and part of the left wing. The aircraft crashed in mountainous terrain in the jungle. One passenger, a female teenager, survived and was found after trekking through the jungle for 10 days.
There was a good documentary about this crash on either TLC or Discovery a year or so ago.
Date: 12/29/1972Location: Everglades National Park, FloridaAirline: Eastern Air Lines #401Aircraft: Lockheed L-1011-1 TriStarRegistration: N310EAFatalities/No. Aboard: 100:176
Details: The crew was preoccupied with a landing gear problem and was trying to replace the landing gear light while on autopilot and in a holding pattern. As the captain got up to help, he inadvertently pushed on the yoke releasing the autopilot. With no ground reference and under nighttime conditions, the aircraft gradually descended until it crashed into Everglades, 18.7 miles west-northwest of Miami . The failure of the crew to monitor the flight instruments during the final 4 minutes of flight, and to detect a descent soon enough to prevent impact with the ground. After spare parts from the L-1011 were used on other planes, apparitions of the captain and flight engineer began to be reported by Eastern employees.
Date: 12/08/1972Location: Midway Airport, Chicago, IllinoisAirline: United AirlinesAircraft: Boeing 737-200Registration: N9031UFatalities/No. Aboard: 43:61 +2
Details: The aircraft crashed while making a nonprecision instrument approach to Runway 31L. The accident occurred in a residential area approximately 1.5 miles southeast of the approach end of Runway 31L. Upon reaching mimimum descent altitude, the pilot raised the nose of the aircraft to stop the descent. The stall warning horn sounded and continued to sound until the plane crashed 17 seconds later. The aircraft was destroyed by impact and subsequent fire. The captain's failure to exercise positive flight management during the execution of a non-precision approach, which culminated in a critical deterioration of airspeed resulting in a stall from which level flight could no longer be maintained. U.S. Representative from Illinois George Collins killed. Wife of Watergate's E. Howard Hunt, Dorothy Hunt, killed.
Very mysterious crash which caused a lot of controversy and conspiracy theories because of some of those on board who were killed.
Date: 12/04/1974Location: Maskeliya, Sri LankaAirline: Martinair Holland NVAircraft: Douglas DC-8-55FRegistration: PH-MHBFatalities/No. Aboard: 191:191
Details: The aircraft impacted high ground during approach. The crew descended below a safe altitude due to a position error resulting from misinterpretation of Doppler and weather radar.
Date: 12/01/1974Location: Berryville, VirginiaAirline: TWA Trans World Airlines #514Aircraft: Boeing 727-200Registration: N54328Fatalities/No. Aboard: 92:92
Details: The plane crashed into high terrain at approximately 270 mph during an approach to Dulles Airport. The crew's decision to descend before aircraft reached the approach segment. The crew ignored high terrain marked on the en route chart and continued their descent. Lack of clarity in ATC procedures. The issuance of the approach clearance when the flight was 44 miles from the airport on an unpublished route without clearly defined minimum altitudes. Inadequate depiction of altitude restrictions on the profile view of the approach chart for the VOR/DME approach to Runway 12 at Dulles International Airport.
Date: 12/04/1977Location: Straits of Johore, near Kampung Ladang, MalaysiaAirline: Malaysia AirlinesAircraft: Boeing 737-200Registration: 9M-MBDFatalities/No. Aboard: 100:100
Details: During a hijacking and while descending from 21,000 to 7,000 feet, both pilots were shot and the aircraft crashed into a swamp.
Date: 12/28/1978Location: Portland, OregonAirline: United Airlines #173Aircraft: Douglas DC-8-61Registration: N8082UFatalities/No. Aboard: 10:189
Details: While on a flight from Denver to Portland, the aircraft ran out of fuel while the crew was distracted with a landing gear problem. Failure of the captain to monitor properly the aircraft's fuel state and to properly respond to the low fuel state as indicated by other crew members. Contributing to the accident was the failure of the other two flight crew members either to fully comprehend the criticality of the fuel state or to successfully communicate their concern to the captain.
Date: 12/23/1978Location: Cinisi, Sicily, ItalyAirline: AlitaliaAircraft: Douglas DC-9-32Registration: I-DIKQFatalities/No. Aboard: 108:129
Details: The aircraft crashed into ocean during a landing approach. Poor monitoring of altitudes and too early a transition from ILS to visual flight procedures.
Date: 12/07/1983Location: Madrid, SpainAirline: Iberia Airlines / AVIACOAircraft: Boeing 727-200 / Douglas DC-9-32Registration: EC-CFJ / EC-CGSFatalities/No. Aboard: 93:135
Details: While taking off, the B-727 struck the DC-9 on the runway in poor visibility, fog and snow. Because of poor visibility and inadequate signs and markings the, DC-9 inadvertently wandered on the runway being used by the B-727 to take off. The airport had no ground radar. Fifty-one killed aboard the 727, all 42 aboard the DC-9.
Date: 12/12/1985Location: Gander, Newfoundland, CanadaAirline: Arrow AirwaysAircraft: Douglas DC-8-63PFRegistration: N950JWFatalities/No. Aboard: 256:256
Details: The aircraft stalled and crashed during takeoff. There is controversy surrounding this crash. The majority opinion of the board was that the cause of the sequence leading up to the stall and crash could not be determined, with icing a possibility. The minority opinion was that the crash was possibly caused by detonations of unknown origin in a cargo compartment which led to an in-flight fire and loss of control of the aircraft.
Date: 12/07/1987Location: San Luis Obispo, CaliforniaAirline: PSA Pacific Southwest AirlinesAircraft: British Aerospace BAe 146-200ARegistration: N350PSFatalities/No. Aboard: 43:43
Details: A fired USAir employee, David Burke, after leaving a goodbye message to friends, shot both pilots. The aircraft went into a steep dive and crashed.
Date: 12/21/1988Location: Lockerbie, ScotlandAirline: Pan American World AirwaysAircraft: Boeing 747-100ARegistration: N739PAFatalities/No. Aboard: 259:259 +11
Details: The airliner disappeared from radar shortly after leveling off at FL 310 while on a flight from Heathrow Airport, London, to New York. The aircraft broke up with two main sections of wreckage coming down in the town of Lockerbie. Detonation of an explosive device in the forward cargo area. The aircraft was named Clipper Maid of the Seas.
Date: 12/03/1990Location: Romulus, MichiganAirline: NWA Northwest Airlines / NWA Northwest AirlinesAircraft: Boeing 727-200 / Douglas DC-9-14Registration: N278US / N3313LFatalities/No. Aboard: 8:198
Details: Ground collision in dense fog. The 727 was on its takeoff roll when the DC-9 taxied onto the active runway. Improper crew coordination aboard the DC-9. Failure to stop and alert ATC of positional uncertainty. Eight killed aboard the DC-9.
Date: 12/22/1992Location: Tripoli, LibyaAirline: Libya Arab Airlines / Libya Air ForceAircraft: Boeing 727-200 / MiG23UBRegistration: 5A-DIAFatalities/No. Aboard: 157:157
Details: Midair collision with an Libyan Air Force fighter.
Date: 12/21/1992Location: Faro, Algarve, PortugalAirline: Martinair Holland NVAircraft: McDonnell Douglas DC-10-30CFRegistration: PH-MBNFatalities/No. Aboard: 56:340
Details: While attempting a second landing in high winds, during a storm, the aircraft's wing tip hit the runway resulting in the aircraft departing the runway and causing a fuel tank to explode. Crew error (high rate of descent) and adverse weather conditions (extreme crosswinds).
Date: 12/20/1995Location: Buga, Valle del Cauca, ColombiaAirline: American AirlinesAircraft: Boeing 757-200Registration: N651AFatalities/No. Aboard: 160:164
Details: While on a flight from Miami, FL to Cali, Columbia the aircraft crashed into mountainous terrain 38 miles north of Cali while attempting to land. On approach, the crew were requested to report over Tulua VOR which they already passed. This confused them and they decided to go direct to Rozo beacon. Entering the abbreviation "R", incorrectly steered the plane towards Bogota. More than a minute into the turn the crew steered manually toward Cali, but this now took them into the path of a mountain. Crew error. Lack of situational awareness, failure to adequately plan and execute the approach, failure to realize that the FMS had turned the aircraft toward mountains. Crew also neglected to retract the speed brakes after the ground proximity warning system alert. Lack of adequate radar. Different Flight Management System naming convention from that published in navigational charts.
Date: 12/19/1997Location: Palembang, IndonesiaAirline: SilkAirAircraft: Boeing 737-300Registration: 9V-TRFFatalities/No. Aboard: 104:104
Details: The aircraft was on a flight from Jakarta to Singapore. The plane disappeared off radar screens and shortly after, crashed into the Musi River. The plane, almost brand-new, cruising in good weather and with an experienced crew suddenly left normal flight from 35,000 feet and crashed at a high rate of speed into the Sumatran jungle. The right wing and parts of the rudder separated from the aircraft before it crashed.
I think Eastern 401, Pan Am 103 stand out the most on my mind. Some of the other ones, I don't remember at all.