MAH4546
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Miami Herald: Remembering Eastern 401

Sat Dec 01, 2007 9:36 am

Saturday's Miami Herald as a special section on Eastern Airlines 401, which crashed into the everglades on approach to Miami nearly thirty five years ago. It includes interviews with survivors and multimedia:

http://www.miamiherald.com/multimedia/news/flight401/
a.
 
luv2fly
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RE: Miami Herald: Remembering Eastern 401

Sat Dec 01, 2007 4:02 pm

WOW that is truly humbling to watch and experience. Thanks for sharing.
You can cut the irony with a knife
 
TPAnx
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RE: Miami Herald: Remembering Eastern 401

Sat Dec 01, 2007 4:44 pm

Interesting piece.Surprised to read that the L10-11 weighed 25-000 pounds. Question for cockpit crew members...
did the plane have an indicator which would alert the crew to the fact that the auto pilot had been turned off? Do commercial aircraft now have a system which would capture the attention of the cockpit crew more than whatever
was installed on the L-1011?
TPAnx
I read the news today..oh boy
 
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STT757
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RE: Miami Herald: Remembering Eastern 401

Sat Dec 01, 2007 5:01 pm

Kudos to the Miami Herald for such a beautiful tribute, Eastern Airlines is what got me interested in aviation. My first flight was EWR-ATL-MCO, MCO-JFK back in the late 1970s when I was 3. I've flown on Eastern's L-1011s, I remember watching the ghost of Eastern 401 just prior to a trip to Miami in '89/'90. I was paying attention to everything around me, as the movie spooked me out with the ghosts showing up on other L-1011 flights.
Eastern Air lines flt # 701, EWR-MCO Boeing 757
 
Pu752
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RE: Miami Herald: Remembering Eastern 401

Sat Dec 01, 2007 5:20 pm

Thanks for sharing.........terrible accident indeed.......
 
flymia
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RE: Miami Herald: Remembering Eastern 401

Sat Dec 01, 2007 10:44 pm



Quoting TPAnx (Reply 2):
Surprised to read that the L10-11 weighed 25-000 pounds. Question for cockpit crew members...
did the plane have an indicator which would alert the crew to the fact that the auto pilot had been turned off? Do commercial aircraft now have a system which would capture the attention of the cockpit crew more than whatever
was installed on the L-1011?

Yea maybe they meant 250,000lbs. I dont know anything about the L1011 but commercial airliners now days have a warning sound that comes on any time you turn the Autopilot off, also there are light warnings too. Also I am surprised the Altitude alert did not warn them.
Was there GPWS back than?
"It was just four of us on the flight deck, trying to do our job" (Captain Al Haynes)
 
XXXX10
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RE: Miami Herald: Remembering Eastern 401

Sat Dec 01, 2007 11:57 pm



Quoting TPAnx (Reply 2):
Interesting piece.Surprised to read that the L10-11 weighed 25-000 pounds. Question for cockpit crew members...
did the plane have an indicator which would alert the crew to the fact that the auto pilot had been turned off? Do commercial aircraft now have a system which would capture the attention of the cockpit crew more than whatever
was installed on the L-1011?
TPAnx

I believe that this ws one of the major lessons learned from the accident.

There was a warning but it ws not sufficient for all of the crew to hear. Modern a/c have a much louder warning which you cannot miss.
 
Pu752
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RE: Miami Herald: Remembering Eastern 401

Sun Dec 02, 2007 7:12 am



Quoting FlyMIA (Reply 5):
Yea maybe they meant 250,000lbs. I dont know anything about the L1011 but commercial airliners now days have a warning sound that comes on any time you turn the Autopilot off, also there are light warnings too. Also I am surprised the Altitude alert did not warn them.
Was there GPWS back than?

This was not a lesson for EA 401, CFIT is still happening not matter the GPWS and AP warnings.....ovbiously AP warning was not available at that time on the Lockheed............is still one of the main reasons in accidents.....CFIT and no attention or proper actions with MDA in bad weather of GPWS in night and also bad weather.
 
AA717driver
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RE: Miami Herald: Remembering Eastern 401

Sun Dec 02, 2007 3:46 pm

No GPWS systems except maybe for high closure rate. They made a relatively slow descent into the swamp. I've been off the L1011 for 15 years so it's kind of fuzzy.

Even today, there are ways to inadvertently--subtly circumvent all these safety systems. An attentive, experienced and well-trained pilot is STILL your best safety device. (Psssst! Don't tell that to the FAA or the engineers...  Wink ) TC
FL450, M.85
 
luv2fly
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RE: Miami Herald: Remembering Eastern 401

Sun Dec 02, 2007 3:56 pm

It would have been interesting if they tracked down more of the FA's from the flight. I have a very good friend who was with EA right until the end, though she was based out of ATL she mentioned flying at times with some of these FA's. She was number 50 seniority wise out of ATL so she had a few years under her belt.
You can cut the irony with a knife
 
spacecadet
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RE: Miami Herald: Remembering Eastern 401

Mon Dec 03, 2007 5:51 pm

The point is they wouldn't have needed any more of a warning if somebody was flying the plane. Nowadays, crew training and procedures are such that there is always a pilot manning the controls. This accident would have been best prevented not with a louder warning horn, but with a pilot actually flying the plane.
I'm tired of being a wanna-be league bowler. I wanna be a league bowler!
 
richierich
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RE: Miami Herald: Remembering Eastern 401

Mon Dec 03, 2007 6:03 pm

Wow - thanks for sharing. The Miami Herald did a good job with this.
We should never forget the lives that were lost and families torn apart by this tragedy. It was especially moving to hear passenger Coviello talk about her 4-year old son that was traveling with her and was thrown away from her at the moment of impact. He would have been nearly 40 years old if he had survived.

The human element is the most poignant of all. RIP to the victims of Eastern Flight 401.
None shall pass!!!!
 
CV990
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RE: Miami Herald: Remembering Eastern 401

Mon Dec 03, 2007 6:08 pm

Hi!

I read this report on the book "Air Disaster Nr. 1" and all I have to say is - An accident related to a 10 cent light - but always with the positive feeling that this accident prevented further accidents like this in the future!
Regards
CV990, the Maserati of the skies!
 
aal0616
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RE: Miami Herald: Remembering Eastern 401

Mon Dec 03, 2007 7:36 pm

It seems like it just happened yesterday.

The news reports on film and tape (no live shots) from the Glades as the air boats worked the area to find survivors or assess the accident. The stories of the frog hunters who were out in the swamp that night and were closest to the impact site.

A morning that I will never forget, home in Miami on break from university and off early in the morning with my father and brother for a fishing trip to Islamorada, hearing the news on the radio while driving past MIA toward the Palmetto Expressway and dad having had two or three phone calls about it from friends before we left home. I will never forget what he told me: if you ever become a pilot, especially if you are responsible for people's lives, never, ever get complacent on the flight deck, always monitor the status of your instruments and once in a while look out the window.

Although any visual reference by the time the L-1011 was sinking while flying the second westbound downwind was problematic, this was a very tragic example of poor flight deck and crew management, as well as airmanship. It is so easy to be distracted or to get a one-track mind about a potential problem while other flight management tasks are at hand. This and other events with many carriers led to much better flight deck management in subsequent years.

If you ever notice flying or riding into MIA, it is like an island of lights with jet lack on both the ocean side east and the Glades side west. Almost like flying the approach inbound at night into HNL or any other island station. Visual reference can become very deceiving. Visual approaches can also lead to the rare cases where airline crews have landed at OPF by mistake, or other things like that.

I can also remember in the same vein dad mentioning to us at some point later how many pre-instrument trained airline pilots and especially old PAA flying boat captains, used to absolute control, mad a lot of mental mistakes when transitioning to land based props such as the B-377 or L-49, and even later into B-707s. At first, some of the pre-WWII people balked at or even failed to master more modern instrument flying.

I thought of all those souls that night last night as we approached MIA on the standard Hiley 2 and descending on the 270 heading after the right turn from 200, passing through 4,000 feet abeam of the field for 8R, and making the turn back to the approach. It was another clear, beautiful evening with a hint of ground fog over the swamp. After we blocked in, MIA switched to the west landing/takeoff configuration.

"There but for the grace of God go us."
 
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snn2003
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RE: Miami Herald: Remembering Eastern 401

Mon Dec 03, 2007 8:44 pm

The one thing from this story that made me almost want to cry was "Oh, Mercy, stop complaining. It's the holidays. If we're a little late, it's overtime" Moments later Pat Ghyssels was to die in the crash. She wouldn't make it at all.
One way, IAH-RTB please! No return ticket required.
 
AAR90
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RE: Miami Herald: Remembering Eastern 401

Mon Dec 03, 2007 9:48 pm



Quoting TPAnx (Reply 2):
Question for cockpit crew members...did the plane have an indicator which would alert the crew to the fact that the auto pilot had been turned off?

Yes, but the autopilot was NOT turned off. The CA "bumped" the control column enough that the autopilot switched from ALT HOLD mode to CWS mode and a pleasant one-second "C" chime announced the change.

Quoting TPAnx (Reply 2):
Do commercial aircraft now have a system which would capture the attention of the cockpit crew more than whatever was installed on the L-1011?

Depends upon the airliner. The 738 has an "annoying" C-chime whenever the autopilot switches from CMD (command) mode to CWS (control wheel steering) mode due to control column inputs (was reminded of that just last month).

Quoting Type-Rated (Reply 10):
At the time the only notice the crew got that the autopilot had disengaged was a "C" chime.

Not "disengaged" (see above). If the A/P had actually disengaged, they would have heard a warning "horn" (definitely gets your attention) and seen at least two flashing warning lights. This was one of the mishaps that convinced many airlines to simply disable the entire CWS mode of autopilots --and some manufacturers no longer offer CWS functions.
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PanAm747
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RE: Miami Herald: Remembering Eastern 401

Mon Dec 03, 2007 10:14 pm



Quote:
Question for cockpit crew members...did the plane have an indicator which would alert the crew to the fact that the auto pilot had been turned off?



Quote:
At the time the only notice the crew got that the autopilot had disengaged was a "C" chime.



Quote:
The crew obviously missed it while being preoccupied with the nose gear.

In addition, the 1978 crash of a United DC-8 in Portland, Oregon, was also caused primarily by inattention of the crew. Because of these two accidents, a policy of Cockpit Management Resource Training was required to make sure that someone is always flying the plane and doesn't lose sight of the main goal - arriving safely.
Pan Am:The World's Most Experienced Airline - P(oor) S(ailor's) A(irline): San Diego's Hometown Airline-Catch Our Smile!
 
redflyer
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RE: Miami Herald: Remembering Eastern 401

Mon Dec 03, 2007 10:35 pm

I think this was the first crash of a 1011 and the series had been in passenger service only about a year. Anyone know what line number it was?
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PanAm747
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RE: Miami Herald: Remembering Eastern 401

Mon Dec 03, 2007 10:56 pm



Quote:
I think this was the first crash of a 1011 and the series had been in passenger service only about a year. Anyone know what line number it was?

Production number, ironically, was #1011. I believe its line number was the 11th.

http://aviation-safety.net/database/record.php?id=19721229-0

986 hours and 502 cycles. Virtually brand new.

Sadly, it wasn't the newest plane ever to crash in passenger service:

http://aviation-safety.net/database/record.php?id=19661001-1

West Coast Airlines DC-9 was a week old.
Pan Am:The World's Most Experienced Airline - P(oor) S(ailor's) A(irline): San Diego's Hometown Airline-Catch Our Smile!
 
cf6ppe
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RE: Miami Herald: Remembering Eastern 401

Tue Dec 04, 2007 3:33 am

I'm not sure if the nearly 35 years since the subject tragedy have gone slowly or quickly, but...

I remember picking up the Miami Herald that day and seeing the headlines that an Eastern L-1011 had crashed in the Everglades during the night. I exclaimed 'Oh My God' as I read the article describing the situation. My wife wanted to know what had happened. My concern turned to a co-worker who was returning from JFK and might have taken 401 home; I later learned that the co-worker missed 401 (by a few minutes) and returned to MIA via an alternate routing. In the days following 12/29/72, life and work (at EAL) went like a flash.

Today, thinking of the subject event still seems unreal, but it happened. The cause has been well documented and discussed at length, even now 35 years later.

To answer an above question above, L-1011 hull N310EA was the first crash of a wide body aircraft.
 
Type-Rated
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RE: Miami Herald: Remembering Eastern 401

Tue Dec 04, 2007 6:24 am

I had taken my first L-1011 ride (ATL-ORD) on 12/20/72 going home for the Christmas Holidays. I was in Chicago's Union Station waiting for a BN commuter when I saw the headlines. I immediately wondered if that was the L-1011 I was on the week before.
Strange, but I don't remember any lounges(F or Y) on the EA L1011 I was on. And I traveled in F that trip. I only remember the clothes closets next to each seat and the plants in the planters on top of these closets down the center of the cabin. The flight came in to ATL from SJU and it was very hot inside.
Fly North Central Airlines..The route of the Northliners!
 
ltbewr
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RE: Miami Herald: Remembering Eastern 401

Tue Dec 04, 2007 7:58 am

If I am correct, wasn't there a made-for-TV movie of this crash done a few years after it?
Despite the tragedy of this accident, the investigation of it and the mistakes found did lead to changes in flight procedures, pilot training and equipment to reduce the risks of such accidents in the future.
 
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EA CO AS
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RE: Miami Herald: Remembering Eastern 401

Tue Dec 04, 2007 8:01 am



Quoting LTBEWR (Reply 22):
If I am correct, wasn't there a made-for-TV movie of this crash done a few years after it?

 yes 

Starring....William Shatner.
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