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CanukinUSA
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747 Accident at Tenerife (44 Years Ago)

Sat Mar 27, 2021 8:06 pm

44 Years ago today: On 27 March 1977 a KLM Boeing 747 and a PanAm Boeing 747 collided on the Tenerife, Spain runway in fog; killing all 248 KLM occupants and 335 out of 396 PanAm occupants [world's worst air accident]
For details go to:
https://aviation-safety.net/database/re ... 19770327-0
 
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spinotter
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Re: 747 Accident at Tenerife (44 Years Ago)

Sat Mar 27, 2021 11:42 pm

CanukinUSA wrote:
44 Years ago today: On 27 March 1977 a KLM Boeing 747 and a PanAm Boeing 747 collided on the Tenerife, Spain runway in fog; killing all 248 KLM occupants and 335 out of 396 PanAm occupants [world's worst air accident]
For details go to:
https://aviation-safety.net/database/re ... 19770327-0


So many years ago. I was in Damascus buying a ticket on British Airways back to Tehran where I was living at the time. The ticket agent told me about the accident, but it took me a while to understand the magnitude of the tragedy.
 
TTailedTiger
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Re: 747 Accident at Tenerife (44 Years Ago)

Sun Mar 28, 2021 2:49 am

The relatively few survivors were thanks to the quick actions of the Pan Am crew. The KLM FO tried to stop it but that captain was just such an arrogant guy and would not listen.
 
flyingdoc787
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Re: 747 Accident at Tenerife (44 Years Ago)

Sun Mar 28, 2021 2:59 am

Are any of the survivors still alive today?
 
Zidane
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Re: 747 Accident at Tenerife (44 Years Ago)

Sun Mar 28, 2021 4:15 am

FO Bragg died some four years ago, the story he told was hair raising.
 
kaitak
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Re: 747 Accident at Tenerife (44 Years Ago)

Sun Mar 28, 2021 7:26 am

flyingdoc787 wrote:
Are any of the survivors still alive today?


I think some of the PA cabin crew are still alive; most of the passengers were quite elderly - retirees flying out to join a cruise.

It was only quite recently that I found out that the PA 747 was the one substituted for another, which had gone tech, and then it operated the world's first scheduled 747 flight.
 
B777LRF
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Re: 747 Accident at Tenerife (44 Years Ago)

Sun Mar 28, 2021 7:50 am

Interesting twist on this story: When the brass in KLM found out about they accident, they tried to get hold of Captain Van Zanten to lead their part of the investigation ...
Signature. You just read one.
 
sevenair
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Re: 747 Accident at Tenerife (44 Years Ago)

Sun Mar 28, 2021 8:34 am

Very sad indeed. I can't help but reflect on TFS departures, many of which take you directly over TFN.

A tragic example of CRM disasters and the toxic masculinity that still risks lives to this day.
 
CPHS
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Re: 747 Accident at Tenerife (44 Years Ago)

Sun Mar 28, 2021 8:59 am

I recall my father spoke with the elderly man in charge of the local recycling station. He told he and his wife sat in Tenerife airport waiting for their flight back home. They could hear the explosions from the impact of the two 747's. They could see a huge orange glow through the fog and sensed something had gone terribly wrong.
Unfortunately his wife died suddently and he passed away soon after. I have since wondered if they both had PTSD, to frail to cope with a tragedy without proportions?
 
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TheFlyingDisk
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Re: 747 Accident at Tenerife (44 Years Ago)

Sun Mar 28, 2021 9:22 am

The sad part about the accident is that there were more survivors in the Pan Am wreck in the beginning, but many were just paralyzed by the shock that they didn't move an inch to escape. And it could have been worse - the two 747s weren't the only widebody jets at the airport at the time. A Sabena 747 & a BA L-1011 was parked at the first taxiway.
I FLY KLM+ALASKA+QATAR+MALAYSIA+AIRASIA+MALINDO
 
RvA
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Re: 747 Accident at Tenerife (44 Years Ago)

Sun Mar 28, 2021 12:49 pm

sevenair wrote:
Very sad indeed. I can't help but reflect on TFS departures, many of which take you directly over TFN.

A tragic example of CRM disasters and the toxic masculinity that still risks lives to this day.


Can you explain that second part of your post?
 
sevenair
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Re: 747 Accident at Tenerife (44 Years Ago)

Sun Mar 28, 2021 1:35 pm

List saying that in 2021 we are still seeing massive CRM breakdowns throughout the globe. The recent PIA disaster would be the worst recent example. Training has improved but it is still happening. There are Stanley Keys and van Zantens operating in the skies as we speak and sadly we will see reoccirances of the issues that caused their respective disasters. Automation and protections are just delaying the inevitable.
 
bigb
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Re: 747 Accident at Tenerife (44 Years Ago)

Sun Mar 28, 2021 1:37 pm

sevenair wrote:
Very sad indeed. I can't help but reflect on TFS departures, many of which take you directly over TFN.

A tragic example of CRM disasters and the toxic masculinity that still risks lives to this day.


Come again? CRM has come a long way since this accident, the United Fuel Accident, and United Flight 232 (which highlighted great CRM) to today.
 
sevenair
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Re: 747 Accident at Tenerife (44 Years Ago)

Sun Mar 28, 2021 1:44 pm

bigb wrote:
sevenair wrote:
Very sad indeed. I can't help but reflect on TFS departures, many of which take you directly over TFN.

A tragic example of CRM disasters and the toxic masculinity that still risks lives to this day.


Come again? CRM has come a long way since this accident, the United Fuel Accident, and United Flight 232 (which highlighted great CRM) to today.


It has come a long way. True. It also has a long way to go.
 
klwright69
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Re: 747 Accident at Tenerife (44 Years Ago)

Sun Mar 28, 2021 2:02 pm

There were also 2 men in the jumpseat of the PA flight. They survived also.
One of the survivors Erma Shlecht died a few years back. She was in her 90's.
There were 55 people on the PA flight from an old folks home in LA. Only 10 survived of them.

But we have to remember the worst crash of all time.
 
PSAatSAN4Ever
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Re: 747 Accident at Tenerife (44 Years Ago)

Sun Mar 28, 2021 2:30 pm

As a young child (not quite eleven years old), I do remember that this was the first accident to really be discussed in depth on TV news.

Not just that there had been a horrific plane crash, but that the accident had so many underlying causes that all had to occur in a very specific order that it was hard to comprehend how complicated the event was.

Eighteen months later in 1978, the same thing occurred with PSA 182, except this time there were two horrifying yet mesmerizing photos. Then AA 191. Then Air Florida 90.

Accidents happened prior to this, yes, but the analysis rarely was ever presented in detail. Tenerife was the first where the average person learned of the complexity of an aviation accident. So many "ifs"...
 
GalaxyFlyer
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Re: 747 Accident at Tenerife (44 Years Ago)

Sun Mar 28, 2021 3:31 pm

sevenair wrote:
bigb wrote:
sevenair wrote:
Very sad indeed. I can't help but reflect on TFS departures, many of which take you directly over TFN.

A tragic example of CRM disasters and the toxic masculinity that still risks lives to this day.


Come again? CRM has come a long way since this accident, the United Fuel Accident, and United Flight 232 (which highlighted great CRM) to today.


It has come a long way. True. It also has a long way to go.


You’re gonna have to invent a new human then. CRM can only go so far, humans make errors, that ain’t changing.
 
Speedy752
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Re: 747 Accident at Tenerife (44 Years Ago)

Sun Mar 28, 2021 3:36 pm

I’ve seen the documentaries and the air disaster shows on this, was the KLM pilot really as arrogant as they proclaimed? Blocking the planes for fuel, ignoring his FO completely etc? Apparently now Tenerife is a more popular airport than it was, I’ve known of a few friends who used it, can’t not think of the tragedy when I hear of the airport.
 
sevenair
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Re: 747 Accident at Tenerife (44 Years Ago)

Sun Mar 28, 2021 4:34 pm

Speedy752 wrote:
I’ve seen the documentaries and the air disaster shows on this, was the KLM pilot really as arrogant as they proclaimed? Blocking the planes for fuel, ignoring his FO completely etc? Apparently now Tenerife is a more popular airport than it was, I’ve known of a few friends who used it, can’t not think of the tragedy when I hear of the airport.


Incredible isn't it? Personally I'm stunned at how little people know. Off topic I know but it amazes me how few people who have heard of disasters such as Estonia where we in Europe lost 852 of our fellow citizens so it doesn't really surprise me that people haven't heard of this disaster. Unfortunately many people are now aware of Estonia thanks to a highly publicised conspiracy series. Still, I find it odd that living in the UK we have numerous overnight ferries just like Estonia yet few people have heard of it especially when it wasn't that long ago relatively.
 
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NYPECO
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Re: 747 Accident at Tenerife (44 Years Ago)

Sun Mar 28, 2021 5:10 pm

Speedy752 wrote:
I’ve seen the documentaries and the air disaster shows on this, was the KLM pilot really as arrogant as they proclaimed? Blocking the planes for fuel, ignoring his FO completely etc? Apparently now Tenerife is a more popular airport than it was, I’ve known of a few friends who used it, can’t not think of the tragedy when I hear of the airport.


The KLM aircraft started refueling while the airport was still closed in order to save time, the crew not knowing it would reopen a few minutes later. Arrogance played a role, but the main issue was the KLM captain being in a hurry to leave because the crew were approaching their maximum duty hour limits.
 
FGITD
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Re: 747 Accident at Tenerife (44 Years Ago)

Sun Mar 28, 2021 5:17 pm

Speedy752 wrote:
I’ve seen the documentaries and the air disaster shows on this, was the KLM pilot really as arrogant as they proclaimed? Blocking the planes for fuel, ignoring his FO completely etc? Apparently now Tenerife is a more popular airport than it was, I’ve known of a few friends who used it, can’t not think of the tragedy when I hear of the airport.


It’s not quite so clear, as it’s a perfect example of the Swiss cheese model.

Things like the KL 747 blocking other aircraft while fueling isn’t arrogance or intentional. It’s a KLM Captain making a decision that benefits KLM.

A whole host of other problems came into play. Non-standard communications played a huge role. The captain of KL being impatient, the weather, ATC giving Pan Am instructions to take a turn off that by most accounts was impossible. In my opinion, the true last failure was that when PA called they were still on the runway, interference blocked anyone from hearing it. And the list goes on and on.
 
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CrewBunk
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Re: 747 Accident at Tenerife (44 Years Ago)

Sun Mar 28, 2021 5:49 pm

This accident was a turning point in air accident investigation, but not in the way most people think.

The cause of the crash was simply; the KLM aircraft took off without a takeoff clearance. Plain and simple. Normally, the investigation would have stopped right there. Pilot error. End of story ... let’s go home.

But for the first time of any magnitude, it was taken further. Why would a pilot make a mistake that he learned on his first day of Private Pilot training? All of the secondary causal factors were now considered.

Human Factors (CRM) now became a buzzword and it identified a huge gap in air safety. Sad that it took such a huge accident to bring it forward. But not only is it taught during recurrent training, but it is tested as well. This accident showed it so well, it was almost textbook.

Little solace, but flying today IS safer as a result of this accident.
If you respond with a two page answer, obviously pre-prepared, I’m not going to bother reading it. Odds are, no one else is either!
 
berty320
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Re: 747 Accident at Tenerife (44 Years Ago)

Sun Mar 28, 2021 5:53 pm

This happened on my 11th birthday. I remember watching the news with my parents and the horror stays with me. I always remember those that died on my birthday. Having worked in aviation since I was 18, I've learned to understand CRM and witnessed the changes in flight deck dynamics. It is a much better place.
 
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ClassicLover
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Re: 747 Accident at Tenerife (44 Years Ago)

Sun Mar 28, 2021 6:19 pm

People might want to read the Final Dutch Report here - https://www.faasafety.gov/files/gslac/courses/content/232/1081/finaldutchreport.pdf - it's a 48 page PDF.

It is the Spanish report translated (page 21 and 22 of the PDF - marked as 41 and 42 on the document pages - are interesting) and then after that, pretty much the Dutch rebuttal, from PDF page 37/document page 57.

Interesting points are that the report says the Captain started to take-off while his FO was still reading back the ATC clearance, as well as a whole host of other things. The drawing of the aftermath and where the wreckage ended up is interesting too.

After reading the Spanish report and then the Dutch rebuttal, it makes for a complex story. Make your own conclusions based on the evidence here. I think the use of the word "arrogant" is thrown around a bit too much when it comes to the Captain of the flight.
I do enjoy a spot of flying, especially when it's not in economy!
 
MrBretz
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Re: 747 Accident at Tenerife (44 Years Ago)

Sun Mar 28, 2021 6:20 pm

Many years ago, some friends of mine had an older lady friend who lived in SoCal. I had met her a couple times. Once, was just before she took a trip that put her on the PanAm plane. She was so excited about the trip. I recall seeing TV of the accident. Sadly, I can’t recall her name even after scanning the names of the passengers that perished. It is all so sad.
 
THS214
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Re: 747 Accident at Tenerife (44 Years Ago)

Sun Mar 28, 2021 7:01 pm

I was 6 years old when that accident happened. I knew that it was a major accident but didn't understand the full magnitude of it. Our family went to Tenerife on a holiday week after the accident. Our flight landed at Las Palmas because Tenerife was still closed (or at least that we were told). Then a ferry ride to Tenerife.

After a week on a holiday we headed to the airport and then a major adventure started. It was chaos there and many things were not working properly. One thing that people should know is that the fog was actually a cloud there. Still remember it like yesterday when such a cloud came in. You were able to see how it came an it took two minutes from clear sky to dense fog. It was so dense that airplanes parked further were not in sight.

After hours of waiting we boarded our flight. Can't remember anything why we waited three hours inside a hot plane. Weather wasn't bad. Then a passenger had a heart attack and shortly after that we were transported back to the terminal. Few more hours of waiting and we were transported to a hotel.

Next morning we were taken back to the airport. After hours of waiting something happened. Adults were talking together and as I was interested of planes I was looking at the apron. Suddenly I saw our plane boarding and told my parents. After that it was like 30-50 people heading to the gate. There hasn't been any announcement through PA. Shortly after that a Finnish guide made an announcement through PA in Finnish that this is the final call. It was a very fast boarding and once we were in we started taxi. It was a DC-8 and I had a window seat. My father was next to me and when we taxied he pointed out a wreckage and said that it was what was left of one of the planes. That carcass of metal was maybe 10*3*3 meters and black. Nothing more was left in that carcass.

When something so big happens in your life you remember it like yesterday, even if you were six years old when it happened. Never witnessed such a chaos in my life later.
 
bigb
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Re: 747 Accident at Tenerife (44 Years Ago)

Sun Mar 28, 2021 8:12 pm

sevenair wrote:
bigb wrote:
sevenair wrote:
Very sad indeed. I can't help but reflect on TFS departures, many of which take you directly over TFN.

A tragic example of CRM disasters and the toxic masculinity that still risks lives to this day.


Come again? CRM has come a long way since this accident, the United Fuel Accident, and United Flight 232 (which highlighted great CRM) to today.


It has come a long way. True. It also has a long way to go.


Then the systems that were put into place to minimize threats and and trap errors is working pretty well wouldn’t you say except for the moments where there was a fault in the system that allowed the breakdown of CRM and perfect alignment of the Swiss cheese holes. You are never going to eliminate all the threats that is encountered in day to day operations and you aren’t going to trap every error that humans make.
 
TTailedTiger
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Re: 747 Accident at Tenerife (44 Years Ago)

Sun Mar 28, 2021 8:56 pm

FGITD wrote:
Speedy752 wrote:
I’ve seen the documentaries and the air disaster shows on this, was the KLM pilot really as arrogant as they proclaimed? Blocking the planes for fuel, ignoring his FO completely etc? Apparently now Tenerife is a more popular airport than it was, I’ve known of a few friends who used it, can’t not think of the tragedy when I hear of the airport.


It’s not quite so clear, as it’s a perfect example of the Swiss cheese model.

Things like the KL 747 blocking other aircraft while fueling isn’t arrogance or intentional. It’s a KLM Captain making a decision that benefits KLM.

A whole host of other problems came into play. Non-standard communications played a huge role. The captain of KL being impatient, the weather, ATC giving Pan Am instructions to take a turn off that by most accounts was impossible. In my opinion, the true last failure was that when PA called they were still on the runway, interference blocked anyone from hearing it. And the list goes on and on.


Even if it is a crystal clear day and there isn't another plane on the ground or within 100 nm of the airport, it is still illegal for me to takeoff without permission. End of story. The KLM was at fault.
 
GalaxyFlyer
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Re: 747 Accident at Tenerife (44 Years Ago)

Sun Mar 28, 2021 9:18 pm

TTailedTiger wrote:
FGITD wrote:
Speedy752 wrote:
I’ve seen the documentaries and the air disaster shows on this, was the KLM pilot really as arrogant as they proclaimed? Blocking the planes for fuel, ignoring his FO completely etc? Apparently now Tenerife is a more popular airport than it was, I’ve known of a few friends who used it, can’t not think of the tragedy when I hear of the airport.


It’s not quite so clear, as it’s a perfect example of the Swiss cheese model.

Things like the KL 747 blocking other aircraft while fueling isn’t arrogance or intentional. It’s a KLM Captain making a decision that benefits KLM.

A whole host of other problems came into play. Non-standard communications played a huge role. The captain of KL being impatient, the weather, ATC giving Pan Am instructions to take a turn off that by most accounts was impossible. In my opinion, the true last failure was that when PA called they were still on the runway, interference blocked anyone from hearing it. And the list goes on and on.


Even if it is a crystal clear day and there isn't another plane on the ground or within 100 nm of the airport, it is still illegal for me to takeoff without permission. End of story. The KLM was at fault.


Permission from who? At an uncontrolled airport? It’s not “permission”; it’s a clearance. Permission implies approval from an authority, clearance means the airspace doesn’t have a traffic conflict to the best of knowledge. Yes, at a controlled airport, you must have a clearance, but there are many other airports and circumstances. VFR flight means the pilot clears the flight.
 
FGITD
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Re: 747 Accident at Tenerife (44 Years Ago)

Sun Mar 28, 2021 9:43 pm

GalaxyFlyer wrote:
TTailedTiger wrote:
FGITD wrote:

It’s not quite so clear, as it’s a perfect example of the Swiss cheese model.

Things like the KL 747 blocking other aircraft while fueling isn’t arrogance or intentional. It’s a KLM Captain making a decision that benefits KLM.

A whole host of other problems came into play. Non-standard communications played a huge role. The captain of KL being impatient, the weather, ATC giving Pan Am instructions to take a turn off that by most accounts was impossible. In my opinion, the true last failure was that when PA called they were still on the runway, interference blocked anyone from hearing it. And the list goes on and on.


Even if it is a crystal clear day and there isn't another plane on the ground or within 100 nm of the airport, it is still illegal for me to takeoff without permission. End of story. The KLM was at fault.


Permission from who? At an uncontrolled airport? It’s not “permission”; it’s a clearance. Permission implies approval from an authority, clearance means the airspace doesn’t have a traffic conflict to the best of knowledge. Yes, at a controlled airport, you must have a clearance, but there are many other airports and circumstances. VFR flight means the pilot clears the flight.


Tenerife did Have a controller on duty.

I don't think all the blame can be put on KL for that however, because the terminology in use wasn't standardized so miscommunication occurred.

KL requested clearance to takeoff and the tower responded by saying "you are cleared to the papa beacon, climb and maintain...."

If you're lined up and ready, ask for clearance and receive it, what else are you waiting for at that point?
 
GalaxyFlyer
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Re: 747 Accident at Tenerife (44 Years Ago)

Sun Mar 28, 2021 9:48 pm

The airways clearance isn’t the take-off clearance, two very different items.
 
FGITD
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Re: 747 Accident at Tenerife (44 Years Ago)

Sun Mar 28, 2021 9:55 pm

GalaxyFlyer wrote:
The airways clearance isn’t the take-off clearance, two very different items.


Very true, but given that none of the communication had followed any standard pattern (including the callsign of Pan Am changing several times) I don't it's a big step to see why it might be misinterpreted. They even announced they were taking off, and the ATC responded with "okay"

Don't get me wrong, if there's one individual who shoulders most of the blame, it's the KL captain. I just don't believe it's a fair assessment that he's often depicted as a devil-may-care, arrogant pilot who nearly intentionally caused the crash.
 
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ClassicLover
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Re: 747 Accident at Tenerife (44 Years Ago)

Sun Mar 28, 2021 10:33 pm

FGITD wrote:
GalaxyFlyer wrote:
The airways clearance isn’t the take-off clearance, two very different items.


Very true, but given that none of the communication had followed any standard pattern (including the callsign of Pan Am changing several times) I don't it's a big step to see why it might be misinterpreted. They even announced they were taking off, and the ATC responded with "okay"

Don't get me wrong, if there's one individual who shoulders most of the blame, it's the KL captain. I just don't believe it's a fair assessment that he's often depicted as a devil-may-care, arrogant pilot who nearly intentionally caused the crash.


Just to be clear, ATC responded with...

"Okay..." (pause of approximately two seconds) "... stand by for take-off, I will call you"

However, at the same time ATC transmitted the second half, Pan American transmitted, "No, eh, and we are still taxiing down the runway".

The simultaneous transmissions from PA and ATC caused a heterodyne/squeal in the KLM cockpit, so the two transmissions were not able to be heard clearly.

Agree with you on the point of the assessment of the KLM Captain. The Dutch report uses the KLM Flight Engineers' query to illustrate all in the cockpit thought Pan Am was clear of the runway. It literally says,

On the question of the flight engineer: "Is hij er niet af dan?" (Did he not clear the runway then?"), repeated with: "Is hij er niet af, die Pan American?" (Did he not clear the runway, that Pan American?), both pilots reply with: "Jawel" (Yes, he did).

This again shows that they were absolutely convinced that the runway was clear and take-off clearance had been given. The fact that the flight engineer puts this question shows that he, too, had the same conviction. The way in which he puts this question shows that this last received message was not consistent with the mental picture of the situation he had so far. If from this last message the flight engineer would have been convinced the runway was not clear, he would, to all reasonability, have taken action to abort the take-off, such as a.o. an exclamation to that effect.
(PDF page 43, page 63 in the document)

So yeah, I think the vilification of the Captain is a little overdone. Again, the link - https://www.faasafety.gov/files/gslac/courses/content/232/1081/finaldutchreport.pdf
I do enjoy a spot of flying, especially when it's not in economy!
 
GalaxyFlyer
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Re: 747 Accident at Tenerife (44 Years Ago)

Sun Mar 28, 2021 10:46 pm

Much agreed, ClassicLover. None of the two crews and the controllers came to work intending to kill 500+ people and, in the case of KLM, themselves that day. There was a string of errors, misperceptions, human pressure (KLM captain’s near obsession with duty time limits, for one) that put the two planes together. Too much about placing blame on who caused it.
 
HJM
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Re: 747 Accident at Tenerife (44 Years Ago)

Sun Mar 28, 2021 11:01 pm

My perception is that Captain Van Zanten was sure take-off clearance had been given while the FO and FE were not completely sure but did not object forcefully enough.
 
THS214
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Re: 747 Accident at Tenerife (44 Years Ago)

Sun Mar 28, 2021 11:35 pm

TTailedTiger wrote:
FGITD wrote:
Speedy752 wrote:
I’ve seen the documentaries and the air disaster shows on this, was the KLM pilot really as arrogant as they proclaimed? Blocking the planes for fuel, ignoring his FO completely etc? Apparently now Tenerife is a more popular airport than it was, I’ve known of a few friends who used it, can’t not think of the tragedy when I hear of the airport.


It’s not quite so clear, as it’s a perfect example of the Swiss cheese model.

Things like the KL 747 blocking other aircraft while fueling isn’t arrogance or intentional. It’s a KLM Captain making a decision that benefits KLM.

A whole host of other problems came into play. Non-standard communications played a huge role. The captain of KL being impatient, the weather, ATC giving Pan Am instructions to take a turn off that by most accounts was impossible. In my opinion, the true last failure was that when PA called they were still on the runway, interference blocked anyone from hearing it. And the list goes on and on.


Even if it is a crystal clear day and there isn't another plane on the ground or within 100 nm of the airport, it is still illegal for me to takeoff without permission. End of story. The KLM was at fault.


You must understand the time when it happened. Now the difference of words departure and takeoff are clear for pilots, not then. They got departure clearance (while waiting for takeoff at the end of the runway) that the captain misunderstood as a takeoff clearance. Mistake from tower that they didn't specify that it was not a clearance for takeoff (especially when the plane was at the end of the runway ready for takeoff and another plane taxiing on the runway). Also mistake from the KLM cockpit that they didn't understand that it was only clearance to fly AFTER takeoff not a takeoff clearance. A lot has learned since. "End of story. The KLM was at fault." A bold statement considering the time of the accident.

That Pan Am plane missed a turn they were assigned to take and went further on the runway. If they would have taken that turn there would have not been an accident. Is that also end of the story. Pan Am at fault? That turn was tight but manageable. From the crew point of view, it was perfectly understandable that they didn't take it. It was too tight for them. Yet the didn't report passing third taxiway and not taking it! That would have prevented the accident.

A lot of mistakes and a lot of holes in the cheese! KLM, Pan Am and tower made serious mistakes that ended to that disaster. And that was only because they had to land at Tenerife, because a bomb thread!
 
TTailedTiger
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Re: 747 Accident at Tenerife (44 Years Ago)

Sun Mar 28, 2021 11:41 pm

THS214 wrote:
TTailedTiger wrote:
FGITD wrote:

It’s not quite so clear, as it’s a perfect example of the Swiss cheese model.

Things like the KL 747 blocking other aircraft while fueling isn’t arrogance or intentional. It’s a KLM Captain making a decision that benefits KLM.

A whole host of other problems came into play. Non-standard communications played a huge role. The captain of KL being impatient, the weather, ATC giving Pan Am instructions to take a turn off that by most accounts was impossible. In my opinion, the true last failure was that when PA called they were still on the runway, interference blocked anyone from hearing it. And the list goes on and on.


Even if it is a crystal clear day and there isn't another plane on the ground or within 100 nm of the airport, it is still illegal for me to takeoff without permission. End of story. The KLM was at fault.


You must understand the time when it happened. Now the difference of words departure and takeoff are clear for pilots, not then. They got departure clearance (while waiting for takeoff at the end of the runway) that the captain misunderstood as a takeoff clearance. Mistake from tower that they didn't specify that it was not a clearance for takeoff (especially when the plane was at the end of the runway ready for takeoff and another plane taxiing on the runway). Also mistake from the KLM cockpit that they didn't understand that it was only clearance to fly AFTER takeoff not a takeoff clearance. A lot has learned since. "End of story. The KLM was at fault." A bold statement considering the time of the accident.

That Pan Am plane missed a turn they were assigned to take and went further on the runway. If they would have taken that turn there would have not been an accident. Is that also end of the story. Pan Am at fault? That turn was tight but manageable. From the crew point of view, it was perfectly understandable that they didn't take it. It was too tight for them. Yet the didn't report passing third taxiway and not taking it! That would have prevented the accident.

A lot of mistakes and a lot of holes in the cheese! KLM, Pan Am and tower made serious mistakes that ended to that disaster. And that was only because they had to land at Tenerife, because a bomb thread!


The temperament history of that KLM captain is well documented. Unfortunately back then there was nothing done about his type. Now if enough FO's complain about a captain it will be dealt with. There are two seats in the flight deck for a reason.
 
THS214
Posts: 403
Joined: Thu Jul 27, 2017 4:01 pm

Re: 747 Accident at Tenerife (44 Years Ago)

Mon Mar 29, 2021 12:05 am

TTailedTiger wrote:
THS214 wrote:
TTailedTiger wrote:

Even if it is a crystal clear day and there isn't another plane on the ground or within 100 nm of the airport, it is still illegal for me to takeoff without permission. End of story. The KLM was at fault.


You must understand the time when it happened. Now the difference of words departure and takeoff are clear for pilots, not then. They got departure clearance (while waiting for takeoff at the end of the runway) that the captain misunderstood as a takeoff clearance. Mistake from tower that they didn't specify that it was not a clearance for takeoff (especially when the plane was at the end of the runway ready for takeoff and another plane taxiing on the runway). Also mistake from the KLM cockpit that they didn't understand that it was only clearance to fly AFTER takeoff not a takeoff clearance. A lot has learned since. "End of story. The KLM was at fault." A bold statement considering the time of the accident.

That Pan Am plane missed a turn they were assigned to take and went further on the runway. If they would have taken that turn there would have not been an accident. Is that also end of the story. Pan Am at fault? That turn was tight but manageable. From the crew point of view, it was perfectly understandable that they didn't take it. It was too tight for them. Yet the didn't report passing third taxiway and not taking it! That would have prevented the accident.

A lot of mistakes and a lot of holes in the cheese! KLM, Pan Am and tower made serious mistakes that ended to that disaster. And that was only because they had to land at Tenerife, because a bomb thread!


The temperament history of that KLM captain is well documented. Unfortunately back then there was nothing done about his type. Now if enough FO's complain about a captain it will be dealt with. There are two seats in the flight deck for a reason.


We know that but it was one reason for the accident and an understandable mistake. He simply understand clearance as takeoff (perfectly understandable back then). I asked you about Pam An mistake and you didn't answer. Why?

44 years ago things were totally different in aviation.

About Pan Am pilots back then... Sky gods? Not saying that it was Pan Am pilots fall but you seen to have a fixed opinion.
 
TTailedTiger
Posts: 2953
Joined: Sun Aug 26, 2018 5:19 am

Re: 747 Accident at Tenerife (44 Years Ago)

Mon Mar 29, 2021 12:11 am

THS214 wrote:
TTailedTiger wrote:
THS214 wrote:

You must understand the time when it happened. Now the difference of words departure and takeoff are clear for pilots, not then. They got departure clearance (while waiting for takeoff at the end of the runway) that the captain misunderstood as a takeoff clearance. Mistake from tower that they didn't specify that it was not a clearance for takeoff (especially when the plane was at the end of the runway ready for takeoff and another plane taxiing on the runway). Also mistake from the KLM cockpit that they didn't understand that it was only clearance to fly AFTER takeoff not a takeoff clearance. A lot has learned since. "End of story. The KLM was at fault." A bold statement considering the time of the accident.

That Pan Am plane missed a turn they were assigned to take and went further on the runway. If they would have taken that turn there would have not been an accident. Is that also end of the story. Pan Am at fault? That turn was tight but manageable. From the crew point of view, it was perfectly understandable that they didn't take it. It was too tight for them. Yet the didn't report passing third taxiway and not taking it! That would have prevented the accident.

A lot of mistakes and a lot of holes in the cheese! KLM, Pan Am and tower made serious mistakes that ended to that disaster. And that was only because they had to land at Tenerife, because a bomb thread!


The temperament history of that KLM captain is well documented. Unfortunately back then there was nothing done about his type. Now if enough FO's complain about a captain it will be dealt with. There are two seats in the flight deck for a reason.


We know that but it was one reason for the accident and an understandable mistake. He simply understand clearance as takeoff (perfectly understandable back then). I asked you about Pam An mistake and you didn't answer. Why?

44 years ago things were totally different in aviation.

About Pan Am pilots back then... Sky gods? Not saying that it was Pan Am pilots fall but you seen to have a fixed opinion.


I've read nothing but praise for the Pan Am crew. They treated each other respectfully and worked as a crew. All the KLM captain did was bark orders and blame others for his mistakes.
 
GalaxyFlyer
Posts: 7564
Joined: Fri Jan 01, 2016 4:44 am

Re: 747 Accident at Tenerife (44 Years Ago)

Mon Mar 29, 2021 12:47 am

TTailedTiger wrote:
THS214 wrote:
TTailedTiger wrote:

The temperament history of that KLM captain is well documented. Unfortunately back then there was nothing done about his type. Now if enough FO's complain about a captain it will be dealt with. There are two seats in the flight deck for a reason.


We know that but it was one reason for the accident and an understandable mistake. He simply understand clearance as takeoff (perfectly understandable back then). I asked you about Pam An mistake and you didn't answer. Why?

44 years ago things were totally different in aviation.

About Pan Am pilots back then... Sky gods? Not saying that it was Pan Am pilots fall but you seen to have a fixed opinion.


I've read nothing but praise for the Pan Am crew. They treated each other respectfully and worked as a crew. All the KLM captain did was bark orders and blame others for his mistakes.


How do you know that about either crew? Pretty bold assertions. Even in today’s CRM environment, it is agreed there can only be one captain, it’s still not a democracy where the crew votes on an action.
 
TTailedTiger
Posts: 2953
Joined: Sun Aug 26, 2018 5:19 am

Re: 747 Accident at Tenerife (44 Years Ago)

Mon Mar 29, 2021 12:54 am

GalaxyFlyer wrote:
TTailedTiger wrote:
THS214 wrote:

We know that but it was one reason for the accident and an understandable mistake. He simply understand clearance as takeoff (perfectly understandable back then). I asked you about Pam An mistake and you didn't answer. Why?

44 years ago things were totally different in aviation.

About Pan Am pilots back then... Sky gods? Not saying that it was Pan Am pilots fall but you seen to have a fixed opinion.


I've read nothing but praise for the Pan Am crew. They treated each other respectfully and worked as a crew. All the KLM captain did was bark orders and blame others for his mistakes.


How do you know that about either crew? Pretty bold assertions. Even in today’s CRM environment, it is agreed there can only be one captain, it’s still not a democracy where the crew votes on an action.


Plenty of literature on the crash. The Pan Am crew lived to tell their tale.

My mistake. I was under the impression that now days the FO didn't have to sit back and allow the captain to kill everyone.
 
User avatar
NCAD95
Posts: 238
Joined: Fri Aug 10, 2018 12:11 am

Re: 747 Accident at Tenerife (44 Years Ago)

Mon Mar 29, 2021 12:56 am

bigb wrote:
sevenair wrote:
Very sad indeed. I can't help but reflect on TFS departures, many of which take you directly over TFN.

A tragic example of CRM disasters and the toxic masculinity that still risks lives to this day.


Come again? CRM has come a long way since this accident, the United Fuel Accident, and United Flight 232 (which highlighted great CRM) to today.


Yes in the western world but in underdeveloped countries it's a BIG issue.
 
User avatar
NCAD95
Posts: 238
Joined: Fri Aug 10, 2018 12:11 am

Re: 747 Accident at Tenerife (44 Years Ago)

Mon Mar 29, 2021 1:00 am

TTailedTiger wrote:
THS214 wrote:
TTailedTiger wrote:

Even if it is a crystal clear day and there isn't another plane on the ground or within 100 nm of the airport, it is still illegal for me to takeoff without permission. End of story. The KLM was at fault.


You must understand the time when it happened. Now the difference of words departure and takeoff are clear for pilots, not then. They got departure clearance (while waiting for takeoff at the end of the runway) that the captain misunderstood as a takeoff clearance. Mistake from tower that they didn't specify that it was not a clearance for takeoff (especially when the plane was at the end of the runway ready for takeoff and another plane taxiing on the runway). Also mistake from the KLM cockpit that they didn't understand that it was only clearance to fly AFTER takeoff not a takeoff clearance. A lot has learned since. "End of story. The KLM was at fault." A bold statement considering the time of the accident.

That Pan Am plane missed a turn they were assigned to take and went further on the runway. If they would have taken that turn there would have not been an accident. Is that also end of the story. Pan Am at fault? That turn was tight but manageable. From the crew point of view, it was perfectly understandable that they didn't take it. It was too tight for them. Yet the didn't report passing third taxiway and not taking it! That would have prevented the accident.

A lot of mistakes and a lot of holes in the cheese! KLM, Pan Am and tower made serious mistakes that ended to that disaster. And that was only because they had to land at Tenerife, because a bomb thread!


The temperament history of that KLM captain is well documented. Unfortunately back then there was nothing done about his type. Now if enough FO's complain about a captain it will be dealt with. There are two seats in the flight deck for a reason.


Just like Stanley Key the captain of Beline 548
 
FGITD
Posts: 1528
Joined: Wed Jun 15, 2016 1:44 pm

Re: 747 Accident at Tenerife (44 Years Ago)

Mon Mar 29, 2021 2:24 am

TTailedTiger wrote:
GalaxyFlyer wrote:
TTailedTiger wrote:

I've read nothing but praise for the Pan Am crew. They treated each other respectfully and worked as a crew. All the KLM captain did was bark orders and blame others for his mistakes.


How do you know that about either crew? Pretty bold assertions. Even in today’s CRM environment, it is agreed there can only be one captain, it’s still not a democracy where the crew votes on an action.


Plenty of literature on the crash. The Pan Am crew lived to tell their tale.

My mistake. I was under the impression that now days the FO didn't have to sit back and allow the captain to kill everyone.


As they say, history is written by the victors, or in this case the survivors.

The KL captain was literally the face of the company. Most likely a little arrogant, but I’ve never met a pilot that doesn’t think he’s the best.

And GalaxyFlyer is of course correct. CRM exists and is a great asset to a safer cockpit. But when push comes to shove, it’s the captain’s ship. It’s very possible for an FO to have correctly challenged a captain and still end up in an accident. In the case of Tenerife, the captain was most likely thinking about the report he’d be submitting explaining why a 747 full of pax was stranded on some island overnight because they didn’t push to leave.

For all the masterclass demonstration of CRM in the Pan Am cockpit, they did still miss their assigned taxi turnoff and generally speaking had no idea where they were on the runway.

But this is exactly why the investigators and reports don’t assign blame, rather they usually leave that to the courts. Take out almost any one of these individual failures, and you have a non-noteworthy occurrence of a few 747s visiting Tenerife one afternoon.
 
TTailedTiger
Posts: 2953
Joined: Sun Aug 26, 2018 5:19 am

Re: 747 Accident at Tenerife (44 Years Ago)

Mon Mar 29, 2021 2:31 am

FGITD wrote:
TTailedTiger wrote:
GalaxyFlyer wrote:

How do you know that about either crew? Pretty bold assertions. Even in today’s CRM environment, it is agreed there can only be one captain, it’s still not a democracy where the crew votes on an action.


Plenty of literature on the crash. The Pan Am crew lived to tell their tale.

My mistake. I was under the impression that now days the FO didn't have to sit back and allow the captain to kill everyone.


As they say, history is written by the victors, or in this case the survivors.

The KL captain was literally the face of the company. Most likely a little arrogant, but I’ve never met a pilot that doesn’t think he’s the best.

And GalaxyFlyer is of course correct. CRM exists and is a great asset to a safer cockpit. But when push comes to shove, it’s the captain’s ship. It’s very possible for an FO to have correctly challenged a captain and still end up in an accident. In the case of Tenerife, the captain was most likely thinking about the report he’d be submitting explaining why a 747 full of pax was stranded on some island overnight because they didn’t push to leave.

For all the masterclass demonstration of CRM in the Pan Am cockpit, they did still miss their assigned taxi turnoff and generally speaking had no idea where they were on the runway.

But this is exactly why the investigators and reports don’t assign blame, rather they usually leave that to the courts. Take out almost any one of these individual failures, and you have a non-noteworthy occurrence of a few 747s visiting Tenerife one afternoon.


What you are claiming is wrong. At least in the US. A captain cannot override an FO that calls for a go around. If only Alitalia had that policy.... An FO who believes the captain has put the aircraft in immediate danger has the obligation to literally right the ship.
 
Unclekoru
Posts: 334
Joined: Fri Oct 16, 2009 3:00 am

Re: 747 Accident at Tenerife (44 Years Ago)

Mon Mar 29, 2021 3:30 am

GalaxyFlyer wrote:
Much agreed, ClassicLover. None of the two crews and the controllers came to work intending to kill 500+ people and, in the case of KLM, themselves that day. There was a string of errors, misperceptions, human pressure (KLM captain’s near obsession with duty time limits, for one) that put the two planes together. Too much about placing blame on who caused it.


Nicely put. Until you've been in this sort of situation (the diversion and pressures associated with a low vis departure in a chaotic environment) it's hard to get your head around what likely played out. There are some pretty strong opinions on this site at times, often from those with little industry knowledge or experience. Understandable I guess, but still disappointing to read.

TTailedTiger wrote:
FGITD wrote:
TTailedTiger wrote:

Plenty of literature on the crash. The Pan Am crew lived to tell their tale.

My mistake. I was under the impression that now days the FO didn't have to sit back and allow the captain to kill everyone.


As they say, history is written by the victors, or in this case the survivors.

The KL captain was literally the face of the company. Most likely a little arrogant, but I’ve never met a pilot that doesn’t think he’s the best.

And GalaxyFlyer is of course correct. CRM exists and is a great asset to a safer cockpit. But when push comes to shove, it’s the captain’s ship. It’s very possible for an FO to have correctly challenged a captain and still end up in an accident. In the case of Tenerife, the captain was most likely thinking about the report he’d be submitting explaining why a 747 full of pax was stranded on some island overnight because they didn’t push to leave.

For all the masterclass demonstration of CRM in the Pan Am cockpit, they did still miss their assigned taxi turnoff and generally speaking had no idea where they were on the runway.

But this is exactly why the investigators and reports don’t assign blame, rather they usually leave that to the courts. Take out almost any one of these individual failures, and you have a non-noteworthy occurrence of a few 747s visiting Tenerife one afternoon.


What you are claiming is wrong. At least in the US. A captain cannot override an FO that calls for a go around. If only Alitalia had that policy.... An FO who believes the captain has put the aircraft in immediate danger has the obligation to literally right the ship.


The Captain can override the F/O at my airline (non US "legacy" airline). He/she is the person ultimately in charge. But if you do, there are consequences, so you'd better be making the right call. I'd assume it's similiar in the US.

sevenair wrote:
Very sad indeed. I can't help but reflect on TFS departures, many of which take you directly over TFN.

A tragic example of CRM disasters and the toxic masculinity that still risks lives to this day.


Not a helpful, or accurate, statement. I'd suggest you google "toxic masculinity" for a better understanding of the term before slandering someone you seem to know very little about.
It sounds like english, but I can't understand a word you're saying
 
TTailedTiger
Posts: 2953
Joined: Sun Aug 26, 2018 5:19 am

Re: 747 Accident at Tenerife (44 Years Ago)

Mon Mar 29, 2021 3:43 am

Unclekoru wrote:
GalaxyFlyer wrote:
Much agreed, ClassicLover. None of the two crews and the controllers came to work intending to kill 500+ people and, in the case of KLM, themselves that day. There was a string of errors, misperceptions, human pressure (KLM captain’s near obsession with duty time limits, for one) that put the two planes together. Too much about placing blame on who caused it.


Nicely put. Until you've been in this sort of situation (the diversion and pressures associated with a low vis departure in a chaotic environment) it's hard to get your head around what likely played out. There are some pretty strong opinions on this site at times, often from those with little industry knowledge or experience. Understandable I guess, but still disappointing to read.

TTailedTiger wrote:
FGITD wrote:

As they say, history is written by the victors, or in this case the survivors.

The KL captain was literally the face of the company. Most likely a little arrogant, but I’ve never met a pilot that doesn’t think he’s the best.

And GalaxyFlyer is of course correct. CRM exists and is a great asset to a safer cockpit. But when push comes to shove, it’s the captain’s ship. It’s very possible for an FO to have correctly challenged a captain and still end up in an accident. In the case of Tenerife, the captain was most likely thinking about the report he’d be submitting explaining why a 747 full of pax was stranded on some island overnight because they didn’t push to leave.

For all the masterclass demonstration of CRM in the Pan Am cockpit, they did still miss their assigned taxi turnoff and generally speaking had no idea where they were on the runway.

But this is exactly why the investigators and reports don’t assign blame, rather they usually leave that to the courts. Take out almost any one of these individual failures, and you have a non-noteworthy occurrence of a few 747s visiting Tenerife one afternoon.


What you are claiming is wrong. At least in the US. A captain cannot override an FO that calls for a go around. If only Alitalia had that policy.... An FO who believes the captain has put the aircraft in immediate danger has the obligation to literally right the ship.


The Captain can override the F/O at my airline (non US "legacy" airline). He/she is the person ultimately in charge. But if you do, there are consequences, so you'd better be making the right call. I'd assume it's similiar in the US.

sevenair wrote:
Very sad indeed. I can't help but reflect on TFS departures, many of which take you directly over TFN.

A tragic example of CRM disasters and the toxic masculinity that still risks lives to this day.


Not a helpful, or accurate, statement. I'd suggest you google "toxic masculinity" for a better understanding of the term before slandering someone you seem to know very little about.


If what you are claiming is true then that would absolve FO's of any responsibility. I've read enough NTSB reports to know the FO still gets blame even if he wasn't the pilot flying.

By your tone I assume you are ready for single pilot ops? If the FO's opinion holds no weight then there really isn't a use for them being there.
 
User avatar
NameOmitted
Posts: 997
Joined: Sun Oct 23, 2016 7:59 pm

Re: 747 Accident at Tenerife (44 Years Ago)

Mon Mar 29, 2021 4:21 am

What does CSM stand for?
 
FGITD
Posts: 1528
Joined: Wed Jun 15, 2016 1:44 pm

Re: 747 Accident at Tenerife (44 Years Ago)

Mon Mar 29, 2021 4:29 am

TTailedTiger wrote:
Unclekoru wrote:
GalaxyFlyer wrote:
Much agreed, ClassicLover. None of the two crews and the controllers came to work intending to kill 500+ people and, in the case of KLM, themselves that day. There was a string of errors, misperceptions, human pressure (KLM captain’s near obsession with duty time limits, for one) that put the two planes together. Too much about placing blame on who caused it.


Nicely put. Until you've been in this sort of situation (the diversion and pressures associated with a low vis departure in a chaotic environment) it's hard to get your head around what likely played out. There are some pretty strong opinions on this site at times, often from those with little industry knowledge or experience. Understandable I guess, but still disappointing to read.

TTailedTiger wrote:

What you are claiming is wrong. At least in the US. A captain cannot override an FO that calls for a go around. If only Alitalia had that policy.... An FO who believes the captain has put the aircraft in immediate danger has the obligation to literally right the ship.


The Captain can override the F/O at my airline (non US "legacy" airline). He/she is the person ultimately in charge. But if you do, there are consequences, so you'd better be making the right call. I'd assume it's similiar in the US.

sevenair wrote:
Very sad indeed. I can't help but reflect on TFS departures, many of which take you directly over TFN.

A tragic example of CRM disasters and the toxic masculinity that still risks lives to this day.


Not a helpful, or accurate, statement. I'd suggest you google "toxic masculinity" for a better understanding of the term before slandering someone you seem to know very little about.


If what you are claiming is true then that would absolve FO's of any responsibility. I've read enough NTSB reports to know the FO still gets blame even if he wasn't the pilot flying.

By your tone I assume you are ready for single pilot ops? If the FO's opinion holds no weight then there really isn't a use for them being there.


That’s a slightly dramatic interpretation. No one is saying we want single pilot ops or that the FO’s opinion counts for nothing. Just that the FO should take whatever steps necessary to operate safely, but also be damn well prepared to explain why they took control over the captain. CRM is working together, not wrestling for control.

But again...you’re pretty much blaming the KL crew for not using CRM skills, in a discussion about the accident that was quite literally the birth of CRM. Retrospective criticism using knowledge gained from the accident serves no purpose.

Fact is that on that day in Tenerife, had the FO reached over and stopped acceleration we probably wouldn’t be having this discussion. Simple as that. But in that time period, had the FO done that, it would have most likely been his last flight as a KL pilot.
 
FGITD
Posts: 1528
Joined: Wed Jun 15, 2016 1:44 pm

Re: 747 Accident at Tenerife (44 Years Ago)

Mon Mar 29, 2021 4:31 am

NameOmitted wrote:
What does CSM stand for?


CRM is cockpit or crew resource management.

Basically the idea that everyone on the flight deck should be able to give their thoughts and input without being deemed as challenging the captains authority. Working together.

I highly recommend reading about UA232 for an example of near flawless use of the method

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