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Memorial Day For El Al Bijlmermeer Tragedy.  
User currently offlineEl Al 001 From Israel, joined Oct 1999, 1063 posts, RR: 1
Posted (13 years 8 months 8 hours ago) and read 911 times:

Hello everyone.

Today, exactly 10 years ago, the doomed 747 went down.
This post is in honor of 51 people who lost their life on that horrible day.

El Al cargo flight 1862 departed New York-JFK Airport for a flight to Tel Aviv via Amsterdam. The aircraft arrived at Amsterdam at 13.40h for a crew change, cargo processing and refuelling. The total amount of cargo was 114.7 tons, gross weight of the aircraft 338.3 tons (21 tons below the maximum allowable). The aircraft taxied out to runway 01L at 17.14h and started the takeoff roll at 17.21h. At 17.27:30, as the aircraft was climbing through 6500ft, the no.3 engine and pylon separated from the wing in an outward and rearward movement, colliding with the no.4 engine causing this engine and pylon to separate as well. An emergency was declared and the crew acknowledged their intention to return to Schiphol Airport and reported that they had a no.3 engine failure and a loss of engine thrust of both no.3 and 4 engine. At 17.28.57 the Amsterdam Radar controller informed the crew that runway 06 was in use with a 040 deg / 21kts wind. The crew however requested runway 27 for landing. A straight in approach to runway 27 was not possible because of airplane altitude (5000ft) and distance to the runway (7mls). The Amsterdam Arrival controller then instructed the crew to turn right heading 360deg and descend to 2000ft. During this descending turn the El Al crew reported that the no.3 and 4 engine were out and that they were having flap problems. Final clearance was given to turn right heading 270 to intercept the final approach course. When it became apparent that the aircraft was going to overshoot the localizer, the controller informed the crew accordingly and directed them to turn to heading 290 to try and intercept the final approach path again. A further instruction was given a 310 heading and descent clearance for 1500ft. These instructions were acknowledged and the crew added that they were experiencing control problems now as well. While reducing speed in preparation for the final approach, control was lost and the aircraft crashed into an eleven-floor apartment building the Bijlmermeer suburb of Amsterdam.

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The design and certification of the B747 pylon was found to be inadequate to provide the required level of safety. Furthermore the system to ensure structural integrity by inspection failed. This ultimately caused - probably initiated by fatigue in the inboard midspar fuse-pin - the no.3 pylon and engine to separate from the wing in such a way that the no.4 pylon and engine were torn off, part of the leading edge of the wing was damaged and the use of several systems was lost or limited. This subsequently left the flight crew with very limited control of the airplane. Because of the marginal controllability a safe landing became highly improbable, if not virtually impossible.

"The El Al accident was a tragic event in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. It occurred with a B747 freighter. But again, information derived from the accident led to improvements that affected the entire B747 passenger carrying fleet."

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"...We were in the living room, watching the sports program on television, like so many others in our neighbourhood did that Sunday evening. It was a few minutes after sunset when I noticed an airplane flying low. Low-flying airliners are nothing special here since we live near Schiphol and the route over our heads is one of the busiest for Amsterdam airport. But this particular plane did something strange: it flew in the wrong direction. I didn't pay much attention and it flew out of my sight. Shortly after, however, there it was again, coming right at us as we stared out of the window. My son yelled and dashed for the back of the house. As he looked out the door he saw something no one should ever have to see: the huge plane plunging into the next block, some 250 meters to the east of our building..."

"...The Boeing flew past my window only a few meters away. I was working on my computer when I heard its engines roar very, very loud. There was no time to be afraid: only seconds later it hit our block. I was lucky, my apartment was still okay and, thanks to the strong wind, the kerosene that splashed over the building didn't reach my flat. I ran out on to the veranda. What faced me was surreal: part of the giant plane was still sticking out of the block at the sixth floor. Only a minute or so later, the building started to collapse and what was left of the Boeing fell to the ground. By then the fire had spread to about 100 apartments..."

"...We were the first officers on the scene. A colleague on a motorcycle had told us over the radio that a plane flying near him was obviously in big trouble, so we drove in his direction. As the first column of smoke rose in the air, we parked the car a few hundred meters away and started to run towards the burning building. I saw a woman jump down from her balcony. She can't survive, I thought. But a few seconds later she walked away, apparently unhurt. As we were running I noticed about 10 men running up behind us. Strange: everyone else was fleeing from the heat of the fire..."
El Al's 747-258F, 4X-AXG (the 'Golf'), went down on October 4th, 1992.
Killing 3 crew members, a single companion pax and 47 people on the ground.

I was 8 years old at the time, already an aviation enthusiastic.
My whole country was in a total shock, full of sorrow and grief.
And so was I.


27 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
User currently offlinePW100 From Netherlands, joined Jan 2002, 3104 posts, RR: 18
Reply 1, posted (13 years 8 months 4 hours ago) and read 804 times:

It was a sad day indeed. For me it was one of those moments that one will never forget where one was and what you were doing when it happend.
I visited Leeuwarden [in the North of the Netherlands] that morning, and decided to pass by Schiphol [AMS] on my way back to the south [Tilburg]. I actually saw the 747 landing on 06...
Back at home, I was gearing up to check out the sports on TV when a news flash popped up reporting that a Jumbo had went down in an Amsterdam residential area. It still gives me lots of shivers...


Immigration officer: "What's the purpose of your visit to the USA?" Spotter: "Shooting airliners with my Canon!"
User currently offlineIkarus From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2001, 3524 posts, RR: 2
Reply 2, posted (13 years 8 months 3 hours ago) and read 775 times:

... not to mention all the toxic chemicals & chemical weapons base materials that the jumbo (illegally) carried, causing Gulf-War-syndrom type diseases among the population who lived around the crash-affected area, and those who helped with the rescue efforts, even today...

A sad day indeed.