The biggest crash in the world

Aircraft are the safest vehicles in the world. Despite this, the aircraft also falling. The survival rate in these accidents is almost always equal to zero. That is why every fall of an aircraft always leads the whole world in terror to the number killed. The plane crashes due to weather conditions, human factor or technical failure. However, rarely, but sometimes that becomes the reason is simple coincidence. The biggest crash in the world fall into this category.

It happened in 1977, at the airport of Tenerife in the Canary Islands. Two Boeing 747s collided right on the runway. Both liner – Dutch KLM and Pan American – caught fire in which killed 583 people.

clash of Boeing

On the island was not to be any of these vessels. They were heading for the nearby island of Gran Canaria, and by fate, it was the day terrorists mined the waiting room of the airport. The attack was not affected, however, the administration has decided to temporarily close the terminal and two Boeing was redirected to the airport of Los rodeos.

This airport is used mainly for domestic flights and only has one lane. On Sunday, March 27 there were a lot of people and planes. Despite this, both Boeing successfully landed and waited for the opening of the airport in Gran Canaria.

The company’s Board KLM was time to return home. To save time, the crew decided to make a refueling stop in Tenerife. Afraid of missing the time limit allowed for the pilots. Then I had to wait the next day to fly. While refueling their plane has stood in the way of GDP, so no one could leave Tenerife, although Gran Canaria airport has already opened.

The Pan American crew planned to overtake Boeing KLM, there is enough space, but decided to wait for them to refuel. After managers sent the Dutch side of the waiting place take-off the end of the runway.

The tragedy could not happen, if not the weather interfered. At the airport the fog descended and visibility was rapidly decreasing. Los rodeos was not equipped observation radar that would track the position of aircraft on the ground and managers focused only on the radio information about the location of the aircraft.

Boeing Americans were sent after the Dutch, with instructions to turn down a side track and thereby to release the strip for the entry of the Dutch Boeing. Turn on the specified path was too steep, in poor visibility it was hard to turn the plane and the American crew decided to drive to the next track with a convenient twist

Due to the fact that the Manager, who led the two aircraft, was a strong Spanish accent, the crews had to constantly ask questions of the team. Live replica overlap each other, which created difficulties of understanding.

Until such time as the American Board passed a turn, but has not reached the next one, the Dutch were ready to take off and the pilot requested permission to proceed with the maneuver.

17:05:53 control tower radioed:

«KLM4805, you are allowed to drive P, recruit and maintain a tier 90. After takeoff, turn right, follow the course of 040 to capture the VOR radial 335 Las Palmas».

The crew of the Boeing of KLM has taken this team as the actual permission to take off. The second pilot repeated the instruction dispatcher, indistinct adding at the end:

«…we on the rise» (eng. we’re now at take-off or eng. now we’re uh…taking off).

The Manager got the answer as confirmation that the crew is ready for takeoff, and confirmed the crew’s error on resolution, saying «A. K.» Immediately adding: «get ready for takeoff I will call you».


At the same time, the crew of «Pan American» tells the Manager that had yet to descend to the runway. The message Manager and the American crew would be sufficient to Boeing KLM did not start the takeoff, but the messages were superimposed on each other and the crew wouldn’t hear them.

Meanwhile, the airport controller instructed the American crew to tell him when the runway will be free. The KLM flight engineer, on hearing this sentence, expressed concerns that Boeing Pan American has not yet left the band. But, busy with the takeoff, the crew continued the maneuver. The pilot of aircraft KLM would be very experienced and his authority was so high that the words of the flight engineer, he is not taken seriously.

The crew of «Pan American» too late saw the approaching KLM Board. The commander of the American flight immediately gave full throttle and tried to get away from the runway. But he has raced Boeing KLM. His commander tried to quickly take off, but as with full tank of fuel, the speed of the flying plane is significantly reduced, did not gain the desired height.

clash of planes

At the moment of collision Dutch Boeing was in the air, the nose and the front gets caught on the ship, however, did not manage to get the main landing gear and the four engines embedded in the American aircraft.

After impact, the middle part of the Boeing «Pan American» was heavily damaged, through fissures saved a lot of people. KLM Dutch ship, without wings and with a badly damaged nose, collapsed on the runway near the Boeing Americans, and slid about three hundred meters. After that, both aircraft caught fire.

the aircraft caught fire

All the passengers aboard KLM, which was 234, and 14 crew members died. Of the 396 people aboard the Pan American Boeing, rescued 61 people, among them three crew members. 9 crew members died. The nose of the aircraft was damaged less, which allowed them to escape.

This tragedy has forced the International civil aviation organization to develop a set of standard phrases. On the island of Tenerife shortly after the accident was established the memorial. It represents goes up and ends abruptly spiral staircase. It is a symbol of dramatically lives of people who were on Board that ill-fated day.

a memorial to those who died

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