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Aaron747
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Stunning Footage - 1971 Pan Am 747 Accident @ SFO

Mon Jun 10, 2013 1:45 pm

Wow, just happened upon this training video highlighting the infamous Pan Am 747 accident at SFO in 1971, in which the crew departed 1R after miscommunication/miscalculation, and ended up severely damaging the aircraft as the MLG impacted approach lights at the runway end just before getting airborne. They dumped fuel and returned to the airport some time after.

The incredible thing is there are two fairly good quality views on this video of the aircraft's landing and subsequent evacuation. This is much more visceral than simply reading the NTSB report of the time. Amazing! Sufficee to say this could have been one of the first major accidents with the 747, but luckily for most everyone that day, things turned out positively.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tl_wXfSwRzM
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readytotaxi
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RE: Stunning Footage - 1971 Pan Am 747 Accident @ SFO

Mon Jun 10, 2013 2:02 pm

What a find, that has to be the best video all year, thanks for posting.
Lots of lessons to be learnt from that incident no doubt.
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clickhappy
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RE: Stunning Footage - 1971 Pan Am 747 Accident @ SFO

Mon Jun 10, 2013 2:31 pm

Wow! Great video, thank you for sharing.
 
aluminumtubing
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RE: Stunning Footage - 1971 Pan Am 747 Accident @ SFO

Mon Jun 10, 2013 2:36 pm

I witnessed the approach and emergency landing that day. It was quite impressive.
 
crownvic
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RE: Stunning Footage - 1971 Pan Am 747 Accident @ SFO

Mon Jun 10, 2013 2:41 pm

This video was posted and discussed last week towards the end of a thread titled... "Sacriest 747 landing ever video- gotta Love It"
 
shufflemoomin
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RE: Stunning Footage - 1971 Pan Am 747 Accident @ SFO

Mon Jun 10, 2013 2:46 pm

That's just crazy. Could they have been more lucky? How many times did people cheat death or serious injury here? They were lucky the aircraft lifted off at all, lucky that it just missed the water, lucky that one of the four hydraulic systems stayed working, lucky that the tail plane & elevator damage still allowed control, lucky that the seats that were damaged were empty, lucky the wheel fire was extinguished by dirt, lucky that the bounce on landing and the lack of steering didn't cause anything worse, lucky that they still survived plummeting down an almost vertical slide. The list goes on and on...

I'm also stunned that they continued flying for two hours with only one working hydraulic system and severe control surface damage.
 
richierich
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RE: Stunning Footage - 1971 Pan Am 747 Accident @ SFO

Mon Jun 10, 2013 3:51 pm

Quoting shufflemoomin (Reply 5):
I'm also stunned that they continued flying for two hours with only one working hydraulic system and severe control surface damage.

I flew on that aircraft in 1984, blissfully unaware of the history of that airframe 13 years earlier! To be honest, given the severity of the damage, I'm surprised this aircraft was returned to service!
None shall pass!!!!
 
tistpaa727
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RE: Stunning Footage - 1971 Pan Am 747 Accident @ SFO

Mon Jun 10, 2013 4:12 pm

Quoting richierich (Reply 6):
I flew on that aircraft in 1984, blissfully unaware of the history of that airframe 13 years earlier!

WOW. After watching that video it is hard to believe they were able to put that aircraft back into service. One would think some major structural damage would have occurred just from the bounce alone. I guess that is why I am not a structural engineer!
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TheRedBaron
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RE: Stunning Footage - 1971 Pan Am 747 Accident @ SFO

Mon Jun 10, 2013 4:35 pm

Excellent video ! thanks Aaron

(what a luck there were no pax on those seats punctured by a large beam!)

TRB
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AeroWesty
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RE: Stunning Footage - 1971 Pan Am 747 Accident @ SFO

Mon Jun 10, 2013 4:37 pm

Thanks for posting this. I was a young teen living in the Bay Area at the time, and remember this accident clearly. A lot of changes to safety procedures were amended due to this accident.

One thing I remember finding interesting in the NTSB report I read online a few years ago was that runway distance markers were found lacking, which contributed to this accident. Changes were made to runway markings as a result.

The NTSB report is in PDF form here:

http://www.airdisaster.com/reports/ntsb/AAR72-17.pdf
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tb727
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RE: Stunning Footage - 1971 Pan Am 747 Accident @ SFO

Mon Jun 10, 2013 4:40 pm

Wow that's an amazing video! Thanks for sharing, that is a good reminder to check the numbers! I would like to have seen that takeoff, from the ground of course, pretty scary stuff.
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SpaceshipDC10
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RE: Stunning Footage - 1971 Pan Am 747 Accident @ SFO

Mon Jun 10, 2013 4:48 pm

Quoting richierich (Reply 6):
To be honest, given the severity of the damage, I'm surprised this aircraft was returned to service!

Well the aircraft had been flying with PA for less than a year when the accident happened. It was probably deemed worthy to repair it. Otherwise, if the airline had decided to ditch it, when was the next slot available on the production line for a replacement aircraft then?
 
pdxswa
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RE: Stunning Footage - 1971 Pan Am 747 Accident @ SFO

Mon Jun 10, 2013 5:25 pm

Wow amazing video thanks for sharing this with everyone here !
 
richierich
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RE: Stunning Footage - 1971 Pan Am 747 Accident @ SFO

Mon Jun 10, 2013 6:04 pm

Quoting SpaceshipDC10 (Reply 11):
Well the aircraft had been flying with PA for less than a year when the accident happened. It was probably deemed worthy to repair it. Otherwise, if the airline had decided to ditch it, when was the next slot available on the production line for a replacement aircraft then?

Obviously the aircraft was worth repairing because it returned to service! My comment was that I was surprised it was repairable given the damage - a buckled floor, penetrations through the fuselage, parts of the cabin fittings, rear empannage and hydraulic system destroyed, not to mention major undercarriage damage - it all adds up to a very costly fix!
None shall pass!!!!
 
hiflyer
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RE: Stunning Footage - 1971 Pan Am 747 Accident @ SFO

Mon Jun 10, 2013 6:10 pm

Worked for PA in SFO later...this bird was heavier than the rest of the fleet due to the repairs. Was told the aft cargo pit was full of computer parts which absorbed a lot of the impact and was a fun time unloading what was left with the tilt on it.
 
hh65man
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RE: Stunning Footage - 1971 Pan Am 747 Accident @ SFO

Mon Jun 10, 2013 6:54 pm

Would love to see a program made with some of the crew and passengers. Nice piece of airman ship also, any landing you can walk away from is a good landing. Awesome to see the HH52A helicopter hovering nearby from Airstation San Fransico. Great film......
 
catiii
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RE: Stunning Footage - 1971 Pan Am 747 Accident @ SFO

Mon Jun 10, 2013 6:57 pm

I believe, and I could stand to be corrected, that one of the changes that came out of this incident was a requirement making the slides longer so that, if the airplane's CG did go aft putting it on its tail, the 1 door and upper deck slides would still touch the ground safely. Anyone know if that is accurate?
 
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OA260
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RE: Stunning Footage - 1971 Pan Am 747 Accident @ SFO

Mon Jun 10, 2013 6:59 pm

Amazing video thanks for sharing. Really one of the best videos so far this year.
 
fanofjets
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RE: Stunning Footage - 1971 Pan Am 747 Accident @ SFO

Mon Jun 10, 2013 7:39 pm

Amazing footage - somehow this incident is new to me. I recall the JAL 747 skidding off the runway at Anchorage in the mid-1970s and sustaining major damage (the aircraft was repaired).

Interesting to note that there are two photos of this aircraft for sale on eBay:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/PAN-AM-747-a...efaultDomain_0&hash=item3382c8236c

Note the original name, "Jet Clipper America." First time I saw that on anything other than a Boeing 707. I know that the "Jet" was deleted soon after. (My first 747 flight was aboard Clipper Derby, N743PA.) Was't this ship called "Clipper Young America" at one time?
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David L
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RE: Stunning Footage - 1971 Pan Am 747 Accident @ SFO

Mon Jun 10, 2013 7:51 pm

What a coincidence:

Scariest 747 Landing Ever - Video..gotta Love It! (by BN747 May 31 2013 in Civil Aviation)

You wait years for video footage of a Pan Am 747 incident and the same one comes along twice in a week.  
 
richierich
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RE: Stunning Footage - 1971 Pan Am 747 Accident @ SFO

Mon Jun 10, 2013 7:59 pm

Quoting fanofjets (Reply 18):
Note the original name, "Jet Clipper America." First time I saw that on anything other than a Boeing 707. I know that the "Jet" was deleted soon after. (My first 747 flight was aboard Clipper Derby, N743PA.) Was't this ship called "Clipper Young America" at one time?

N747PA was Clipper America and was scheduled to operate the first Pan Am Boeing 747 flight in 1970 from JFK-LHR. However the aircraft went tech shortly before the flight and was replaced by N736PA for the inaugural B747 commercial flight. N736PA was called Clipper Victor but was hastily renamed Clippper Young America for it's flight across the pond. Unfortunately ship 736's historic flight was not to be its only brush with history - seven years later she was lost at Tenerife after the collision with the KLM 747. As most of us know, this still stands as the worst loss of life in an aviation accident.

N747PA was repaired and returned to service where she outlived her delivery airline. Eventually renamed Juan Trippe (as she was when I flew her in 1984), N747PA operated with until the final day of that grand airline before changing hands to second tier airlines.
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PanAm1971
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RE: Stunning Footage - 1971 Pan Am 747 Accident @ SFO

Mon Jun 10, 2013 8:51 pm

One tough bird. Amazing.
 
maxpower1954
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RE: Stunning Footage - 1971 Pan Am 747 Accident @ SFO

Mon Jun 10, 2013 9:26 pm

As the late Paul Harvey used to say, now you know the rest of the story! (once you click on the link below.)

http://oldplanepictures.blogspot.com...013/03/the-sad-tale-of-n747pa.html
 
Alnicocunife
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RE: Stunning Footage - 1971 Pan Am 747 Accident @ SFO

Mon Jun 10, 2013 9:30 pm

As a kid I very well remember looking at the plane from my friends fort on the top of Los Montes Dr. in Burlingame. It was cool to see the plane on its tail and I was bummed we missed the landing by about 30 min. I have never seen the two video angles.
 
rfields5421
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RE: Stunning Footage - 1971 Pan Am 747 Accident @ SFO

Mon Jun 10, 2013 9:30 pm

Quoting shufflemoomin (Reply 5):
I'm also stunned that they continued flying for two hours with only one working hydraulic system and severe control surface damage.


They were in stable, controlled flight.

They didn't know how severe the control surface damage was.

What they did know is that if they tried to land that heavy and full of fuel, the plane would likely break off the remaining landing gear and end up as one huge ball of fire.
 
crownvic
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RE: Stunning Footage - 1971 Pan Am 747 Accident @ SFO

Mon Jun 10, 2013 9:37 pm

Quoting David L (Reply 19):
Quoting David L (Reply 19):
What a coincidence:

Scariest 747 Landing Ever - Video..gotta Love It! (by BN747 May 31 2013 in Civil Aviation)

You wait years for video footage of a Pan Am 747 incident and the same one comes along twice in a week

did you read reply 4???
 
shufflemoomin
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RE: Stunning Footage - 1971 Pan Am 747 Accident @ SFO

Mon Jun 10, 2013 9:37 pm

Quoting rfields5421 (Reply 24):
They were in stable, controlled flight.

They didn't know how severe the control surface damage was.

The video explained that other aircraft had confirmed the damage. Since you don't know much worse it can get, I'm surprised they didn't risk the landing. Losing the last hydraulic system or one of the control surface breaking free would have likely spelled certain doom. It still seems a risky move to me.
 
tundra767
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RE: Stunning Footage - 1971 Pan Am 747 Accident @ SFO

Mon Jun 10, 2013 9:43 pm

Quoting catiii (Reply 16):

You are correct. This is also why the upper deck slides have the higher wall looking sides to help keep the slides from blowing up in the air with wind gusts.
 
tonystan
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RE: Stunning Footage - 1971 Pan Am 747 Accident @ SFO

Mon Jun 10, 2013 9:59 pm

What's found terrifying was when the aircraft began to tip on its tail, passengers continued to jump from D1L! You can note them dropping like stones from the door. Horrible!
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rfields5421
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RE: Stunning Footage - 1971 Pan Am 747 Accident @ SFO

Mon Jun 10, 2013 10:06 pm

Quoting shufflemoomin (Reply 26):
It still seems a risky move to me.

There were not any No Risk options.

There were only several risky options.

Once an aircraft gets into the air with damage caused by external impacts like this - the likelyhood of new impacts and new damage is exceedingly remote. So losing the last hydraulic system was very unlikely.

As far as losing a control surface - the chase planes would have been able to tell the crew if that was likely. If something was 'flapping' in the wind and showing a possible failure.

The flight crew would want time to consult with their airline chief pilot, maintenance staff and very likely Boeing engineers.

Since this particular damage sequence had probably not happened before and not been considered in design - Boeing and the company would need to build the crew special checklist procedures on how best to get the plane to land safely.

That takes time.

As long as the plane is in stable flight - letting them research and plan the procedures for the crew is a much better option than making a risky landing with no idea how the plane will react, how hard it might hit, if it might bounce, if other gear is likely to collapse, etc.
 
Viscount724
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RE: Stunning Footage - 1971 Pan Am 747 Accident @ SFO

Mon Jun 10, 2013 10:19 pm

Quoting fanofjets (Reply 18):
Note the original name, "Jet Clipper America." First time I saw that on anything other than a Boeing 707. I know that the "Jet" was deleted soon after.

At least 11 Pan Am aircraft were named "Clipper America" at various times, sometimes only briefly.

N88858 L-049 Constellation
N86520 L-749 Constellation (leased for a few months 1947/48; believe it operated Pan Am's first around-the-world flight)
N1023V B377 Stratocruiser
N1025V B377 Stratocruiser
N1030V B377 Stratocruiser
N90941 B377 Stratocruiser
N710PA B707-121
N711PA B707-121 (renamed from Clipper Mayflower for the inaugural 707 flight IDL-LBG Oct. 26, 1958)
N747PA B747-121
N529PA B747SP
N202PA Airbus A300B4

They also had 2 flying boats named "American Clipper", a Sikorsky S-40 and a Boeing 314. Also a DC-4 and 707-321C named Clipper Pride of America, and 2 747s and 1 747SP named Clipper Young America.
 
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Aaron747
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RE: Stunning Footage - 1971 Pan Am 747 Accident @ SFO

Mon Jun 10, 2013 10:54 pm

Quoting AeroWesty (Reply 9):
One thing I remember finding interesting in the NTSB report I read online a few years ago was that runway distance markers were found lacking, which contributed to this accident. Changes were made to runway markings as a result.

I was surprised by that too. In the second angle shown of the landing, the cameraperson was somewhere in the vicinity of the current Superbay (don't think it had been built yet then). The runway signage in the foreground was incredibly rudimentary. I am not sure when the current standards of white-on-red signage were adopted, but they were obviously badly needed. I can just imagine trying to see the sign in the video on a foggy SFO day - forget it.

Quoting David L (Reply 19):
You wait years for video footage of a Pan Am 747 incident and the same one comes along twice in a week.  

Sorry, had no idea! This video turned up in my side panel on Youtube last night, and I thought "wow, what's this??"
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United_fan
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RE: Stunning Footage - 1971 Pan Am 747 Accident @ SFO

Mon Jun 10, 2013 11:05 pm

What an amazing video . I have never seen a 747 pound and bounce on the runway like that . One can only imagine what ity was like inside plane.
I wonder how they got it to the hangar,and how much and how long it took to repair.
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David L
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RE: Stunning Footage - 1971 Pan Am 747 Accident @ SFO

Mon Jun 10, 2013 11:47 pm

Quoting crownvic (Reply 25):
did you read reply 4???

I did. However, I thought a link might be useful.

Quoting aaron747 (Reply 31):
Sorry, had no idea!

I wouldn't worry about it - it wasn't glaringly obvious from the other thread's title.
 
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Dan23
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RE: Stunning Footage - 1971 Pan Am 747 Accident @ SFO

Tue Jun 11, 2013 1:34 am

It is astounding to me that the aircraft could touchdown that heavily on 3 legs and avoid destruction. It is also amazing how much damage the aircraft endured, yet it still returned everyone to the ground in one piece.
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pliersinsight
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RE: Stunning Footage - 1971 Pan Am 747 Accident @ SFO

Tue Jun 11, 2013 2:03 am

Some pictures of it in the hangar undergoing repair. Amazing.



http://www.airlinercafe.com/page.php?id=77
 
quiet1
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RE: Stunning Footage - 1971 Pan Am 747 Accident @ SFO

Tue Jun 11, 2013 3:13 am

Wasn't the addition of "pack boards" to slides a result of this event? ISTR that those slides that were twisting and flapping in the wind, like 2R and 2L, resulted in the pack boards later being added at the girt end of 747 slides to increase rigidity/stability in windy conditions.
 
flyerboy1990
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RE: Stunning Footage - 1971 Pan Am 747 Accident @ SFO

Tue Jun 11, 2013 4:04 am

Absolutely amazing. And interesting to see what happened after it came to a stop (delayed slides, blowing in wind, undeployed slides, tipping due to pax movement, etc.).
Flown in: 712, 722, 73G, 738, 752, DC10, CR2, CR9, A319, A320 Want to fly in: A330, 767, 777, MD80, E170 series
 
vikkyvik
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RE: Stunning Footage - 1971 Pan Am 747 Accident @ SFO

Tue Jun 11, 2013 4:25 am

Quoting aaron747 (Reply 31):
Quoting AeroWesty (Reply 9):
One thing I remember finding interesting in the NTSB report I read online a few years ago was that runway distance markers were found lacking, which contributed to this accident. Changes were made to runway markings as a result.

I was surprised by that too. In the second angle shown of the landing, the cameraperson was somewhere in the vicinity of the current Superbay (don't think it had been built yet then). The runway signage in the foreground was incredibly rudimentary. I am not sure when the current standards of white-on-red signage were adopted, but they were obviously badly needed. I can just imagine trying to see the sign in the video on a foggy SFO day - forget it.

You might be right Aaron, but I think Westy was talking about the runway distance markers, which are either the (painted on the runway) fixed distance markers, or the white-on-black distance remaining signs. No white-on-red for those.
I'm watching Jeopardy. The category is worst Madonna songs. "This one from 1987 is terrible".
 
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Aaron747
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RE: Stunning Footage - 1971 Pan Am 747 Accident @ SFO

Tue Jun 11, 2013 5:05 am

Quoting vikkyvik (Reply 38):
You might be right Aaron, but I think Westy was talking about the runway distance markers, which are either the (painted on the runway) fixed distance markers, or the white-on-black distance remaining signs. No white-on-red for those.

Sorry that was a pretty low context post. I was just commenting generally on how crappy the airport signage was in that era in general, as a follow-on from the lack of distance markers. That being said, anyone familiar with SFO history knows the runway lengths were constantly in states of change/upgrade from about 1960-1975.
If you need someone to blame / throw a rock in the air / you'll hit someone guilty
 
AeroWesty
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RE: Stunning Footage - 1971 Pan Am 747 Accident @ SFO

Tue Jun 11, 2013 5:22 am

Quoting vikkyvik (Reply 38):
I think Westy was talking about the runway distance markers, which are either the (painted on the runway) fixed distance markers, or the white-on-black distance remaining signs.

Yes, indeed, thanks. Not being a pilot, I'd no idea how to describe them otherwise. If you word search the NTSB's PDF for "remaining" there are a few instances where they state that the crew wasn't aware of how much runway was left. One of the board's recommendations to the FAA from this accident was: "Require the installation of runway distance markers at all civil airports where air carrier aircraft are authorized to operate."

That seemed like something so logical to have that it shouldn't have taken an accident to figure out they'd be a good idea.
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MD-90
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RE: Stunning Footage - 1971 Pan Am 747 Accident @ SFO

Tue Jun 11, 2013 6:14 am

What I found interesting is how many vehicles immediately swarm the aircraft yet I didn't see any obvious firefighting vehicles putting water/chemicals on the landing gear, which had already been on fire once.
 
warden145
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RE: Stunning Footage - 1971 Pan Am 747 Accident @ SFO

Tue Jun 11, 2013 7:10 am

THANK YOU for posting this video...just saved it to my hard drive. Very interesting...

Quoting AeroWesty (Reply 40):
That seemed like something so logical to have that it shouldn't have taken an accident to figure out they'd be a good idea.

In my interest to learn everything I could about aviation when I was a kid, I studied a number of accidents in depth, as well as reading this book cover-to-cover: http://www.amazon.com/Aviation-Disas...sr=8-1&keywords=Aviation+Disasters ...and, I was surprised even then how many regulations we would consider logical were brought about because of a fatal accident.
ETOPS = Engine Turns Off, Passengers Swim
 
737tdi
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RE: Stunning Footage - 1971 Pan Am 747 Accident @ SFO

Tue Jun 11, 2013 8:23 am

Quoting warden145 (Reply 42):
I was surprised even then how many regulations we would consider logical were brought about because of a fatal accident

What one considers common sense is very relative. Common sense to me may not be common sense to you. I say this with no disrespect. Lefty loosey/righty tighty is common sense to a mechanic but may not be to your neighbor. I have been a aircraft mechanic for over 30 years and a backyard mechanic maybe 5 years before that and I still do not fault a person for not knowing. It is how you grew up, were involved in. There are a lot of you who would disdain me for my lack of computer knowledge and would say its common sense. Common sense is still something you learn. I truly hate the phrase. The only thing you are born with is to eat, drink and breathe. Everything else is learned.
 
warden145
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RE: Stunning Footage - 1971 Pan Am 747 Accident @ SFO

Tue Jun 11, 2013 9:00 am

Quoting 737tdi (Reply 43):
What one considers common sense is very relative. Common sense to me may not be common sense to you. I say this with no disrespect. Lefty loosey/righty tighty is common sense to a mechanic but may not be to your neighbor. I have been a aircraft mechanic for over 30 years and a backyard mechanic maybe 5 years before that and I still do not fault a person for not knowing. It is how you grew up, were involved in. There are a lot of you who would disdain me for my lack of computer knowledge and would say its common sense. Common sense is still something you learn. I truly hate the phrase. The only thing you are born with is to eat, drink and breathe. Everything else is learned.

   Very well put...you are absolutely correct. Unfortunately, this is something that too few people realize...I wonder how much more understanding the world would be if more people understood this?
ETOPS = Engine Turns Off, Passengers Swim
 
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United_fan
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RE: Stunning Footage - 1971 Pan Am 747 Accident @ SFO

Tue Jun 11, 2013 1:03 pm

That was N747PA,which was recently scrapped in Korea .
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Aeri28
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RE: Stunning Footage - 1971 Pan Am 747 Accident @ SFO

Tue Jun 11, 2013 2:01 pm

I have to add my awe in watching this stunning video. Incredible. thanks for posting it. I would have never seen it on the other thread. This video deserves it's very own thread. Glad you did it.

I have to admit the first part before the real footage almsot made me stop watching lol. I am so glad I watched the aircraft part and the bump landing and the evac. I could imagine how modifications had to have been made to evac slides due to wind. Who would have ever imagined the potential safety issues of wind vs. evac slides.

again, thanks.
 
vikkyvik
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RE: Stunning Footage - 1971 Pan Am 747 Accident @ SFO

Tue Jun 11, 2013 2:39 pm

Quoting AeroWesty (Reply 40):
That seemed like something so logical to have that it shouldn't have taken an accident to figure out they'd be a good idea.

It does seem that way. But I recall reading an FAA report or study or something, and part of it discussed adding distance-remaining markers on the side of the runway. If I remember correctly, they were hesitant about it because they felt it might cause too much of a distraction for the pilots, with them constantly looking outside to see how much runway they had left.
I'm watching Jeopardy. The category is worst Madonna songs. "This one from 1987 is terrible".
 
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United_fan
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RE: Stunning Footage - 1971 Pan Am 747 Accident @ SFO

Tue Jun 11, 2013 2:42 pm

I think I remember reading a story about a f/a that was on that flight,and vowwed to never fly in that plane again.
Champagne For My Real Friends,and Real Pain For My Sham Friends
 
delta2ual
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RE: Stunning Footage - 1971 Pan Am 747 Accident @ SFO

Tue Jun 11, 2013 4:17 pm

Quoting catiii (Reply 16):
I believe, and I could stand to be corrected, that one of the changes that came out of this incident was a requirement making the slides longer so that, if the airplane's CG did go aft putting it on its tail, the 1 door and upper deck slides would still touch the ground safely. Anyone know if that is accurate?

They showed this video to us in flight attendant training years ago. In addition to slide length, they somehow "weighted" the slides so they wouldn't blow in the wind as it did in the video. It just shows that many accidents/incidents lead to safety improvements.
From the world's largest airline-to the world's largest airline. Delta2ual