levg79
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Crash Of PSA 1771

Tue May 17, 2005 10:34 am

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.
 
OPNLguy
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RE: Crash Of PSA 1771

Tue May 17, 2005 10:39 am

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?
ALL views, opinions expressed are mine ONLY and are NOT representative of those shared by Southwest Airlines Co.
 
flyboyaz
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RE: Crash Of PSA 1771

Tue May 17, 2005 10:44 am

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!!
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FLY2LIM
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RE: Crash Of PSA 1771

Tue May 17, 2005 10:50 am

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
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flyboyaz
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RE: Crash Of PSA 1771

Tue May 17, 2005 11:01 am

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.
Catch a ride on a smile!
 
A5XX
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RE: Crash Of PSA 1771

Tue May 17, 2005 11:18 am

we are the boeing... resistance is futile...You will be assimilated
 
SATL382G
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RE: Crash Of PSA 1771

Tue May 17, 2005 11:49 am

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.
"There’s nothing quite as exhilarating as being shot at and missed" --Winston Churchill
 
lincoln
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RE: Crash Of PSA 1771

Tue May 17, 2005 12:18 pm

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
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SATL382G
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RE: Crash Of PSA 1771

Tue May 17, 2005 12:59 pm

Why no NTSB report? Because it was a criminal act, not an accident. Same reason there is no NTSB report for 9/11 crashes.
"There’s nothing quite as exhilarating as being shot at and missed" --Winston Churchill
 
AR385
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RE: Crash Of PSA 1771

Tue May 17, 2005 1:35 pm

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
 
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TheRedBaron
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RE: Crash Of PSA 1771

Tue May 17, 2005 2:35 pm

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
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lincoln
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RE: Crash Of PSA 1771

Tue May 17, 2005 2:42 pm

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...
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levg79
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RE: Crash Of PSA 1771

Wed May 18, 2005 6:10 am

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.
 
FATFlyer
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RE: Crash Of PSA 1771

Wed May 18, 2005 7:01 am

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.""
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levg79
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RE: Crash Of PSA 1771

Wed May 18, 2005 7:10 am

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.
 
EMBQA
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RE: Crash Of PSA 1771

Wed May 18, 2005 7:38 am

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"
 
NBGSkyGod
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RE: Crash Of PSA 1771

Wed May 18, 2005 9:33 am

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.
Pilots are idots, who at any given moment will attempt to kill themselves or others.
 
SATL382G
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RE: Crash Of PSA 1771

Wed May 18, 2005 9:52 am

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]
"There’s nothing quite as exhilarating as being shot at and missed" --Winston Churchill
 
stirling
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RE: Crash Of PSA 1771

Wed May 18, 2005 10:57 am

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.
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flyboyaz
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RE: Crash Of PSA 1771

Wed May 18, 2005 11:09 am

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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