July 14, 2024

Just Moments

Travel Groove

A Heritage of Convair 880 and 990 Plane Mishaps

A Heritage of Convair 880 and 990 Plane Mishaps

Though the Convair 880’s and 990’s accident history can be considered comprehensive, particularly in ratio to the number that entered company, a number of facets need to be thought of. In the 15-yr time period in between 1960, the type’s year of service entry, to 1974, there ended up seven deadly mishaps. 4 integrated the CV-990A, whose production total was only a 3rd of the complete program’s. But the to start with incident did not arise until the unique CV-880 experienced plied the skies, in divergent nations around the world and climactic conditions, for seven many years.

Fatalities per plane also need to be regarded as-from a minimal of one to a large of 155. 3 incidents took location through the takeoff stage and two through the cruise section, but they were being the consequence of intentionally planted explosive equipment and not of airframe or powerplant deficiency or design and style flaw. Quite a few, thanks only to fate, occurred in clusters, only times aside.

“The 880 attained a terrific basic safety history in passenger service, but experienced several coaching mishaps and numerous accidents occurred soon after the airplanes had been converted to freighter configurations,” in accordance to Jon Proctor’s point of view in Convair 880 and 990 (Planet Transport Press, 1996, p. 82). “At the very least 15 hull losses were recorded, such as a number of which have been repairable, but created off due to economic issues.”

This chapter examines real passenger-carrying accidents.

The very first of these occurred on November 5, 1967 when plane VR-HFX, a CV-880M operated by Cathay Pacific, embarked on a multi-sector flight from Hong Kong’s Kai Tak Worldwide Airport to Calcutta with intermediate stops in Saigon and Bangkok. Piloted by Captain J. R. E. Howell, an Australian, and serviced by 10 other crew customers, the jetliner, with 116 travellers on board, imitated its takeoff operate in superior temperature, but aborted the try when it experienced a strong vibration and veered to the right at 122 knots. Even with reverse thrust and toe brake purposes, insufficient length remained in which to quit.

Sliding off the runway and careening around a seawall, it plunged into Hong Kong Harbor, shedding its nose in the approach. It ultimately arrived to relaxation 100 yards from the runway’s conclude and in shallow water. No hearth or explosion adopted.

The captain went into the cabin to enable with the evacuation. Despite the fact that he encountered confusion, there was little worry and escape was orderly. Helicopters and boats converged on the drinking water-immersed Convair.

Of the 127 souls on board, 20 demanded hospitalization, 13 sustained minor accidents, and one particular, a South Vietnamese lady, perished when she could not be extricated from the cabin. The other folks, ironically, did not even maintain wet feet.

The vibration and veer to the appropriate had been traced to the shedding starboard nose wheel tire, the perpetrator for the aborted takeoff.

Only 16 days after the Cathay Pacific incident, a considerably more lethal just one transpired-this time all through the landing stage.

On November 21, 1967, TWA Flight 128, a “Star Stream 880” registered N821TW, departed its Los Angeles origin two and a 50 % hrs powering plan for the reason that door seal challenges on the originally supposed aircraft prompted its alternative by one particular coming from Boston. Certain, by itself, for that quite city, with intermediate stops in Cincinnati, and Pittsburgh, it disengaged by itself from California soil with seven crew associates and 72 travellers.

The flight alone was schedule. The landing was not.

Thirty minutes in advance of its 21:06 believed arrival time, it commenced its descent to Cincinnati, which, by way of the automatic terminal info service (ATIS), was reporting mild snow, a 1,000-foot ceiling, and a 1.5-mile visibility.

The smooth, swept-wing jetliner, whose passenger windows offered the only gentle in the black soup by way of which it descended, approached the Larger Cincinnati Airport’s north-south runway. But development to lengthen it from 7,200 to 9,000 ft rendered its glideslope, method lights, and middle marker inoperative.

Approaching from the northwest, Flight 128 handed around the Ohio River, which was at a lessen elevation than the airport alone for the reason that it experienced been produced on a hill on the waterway’s other facet. Aligned with the runway, the plane was slated to contact down in only a moment’s time. But, 800 feet under its glideslope, it would under no circumstances arrive at the threshold.

Rather, it plowed into a Hebron, Kentucky, apple orchard owned by B. S. Wagner, clipping trees with its wings until eventually the progressive impacts minimized its momentum and ripped open up its fuel tanks. At 20:58, two miles from the runway, the pink glow from the conflagration illuminated the whirling snow, marking the crash web site.

Seventeen survivors were being taken to St. Elizabeth’s Healthcare facility in Covington, Kentucky, and a different 3 had been taken to Booth Healthcare facility, all of whom ended up in serious problem. Subsequent fatalities of some of them remaining only a dozen survivors among the 82 aboard.

The incident, the first Convair 880 one operated by a US provider, was the worst in the Greater Cincinnati Airport’s background and the 3rd in a sequence of identical mishaps. The to start with two associated approaches by a cargo aircraft on November 14, 1961 and an American Airlines Boeing 727-100 four a long time afterwards, on November 8.

Mainly because all experienced entailed runway undershoots, an investigation was initiated, but the FAA unsuccessful to uncover any technique course of action errors or deficiencies to the north-south runway, stating that the airport “adequately fulfills our criteria.”

The similarity, at least in the two airliner incidents, was insufficient or altogether nonexistent instrument checking for the duration of the essential last solution phase. In the American scenario, it was the failure of the crew to monitor its altimeters in the course of a visible method, when in the TWA just one the very first officer did not supply any altitude or airspeed callouts, ensuing in the aircraft’s incapability to apparent tactic obstructions and its consequent floor influence two miles from and 15 toes down below the runway.

The 3rd deadly accident-this time to a CV-990A operated by Garuda Indonesia Airways-took area six months afterwards, on May well 28, 1968. Aircraft PK-GJA, departing Jakarta the past evening at 18:00, connected the Considerably East with Amsterdam in Europe on its multi-sector flight that intermittently took it to Singapore, Bangkok, Bombay, Karachi, Cairo, and Rome. But shortly immediately after takeoff from India, it dove to the floor in a vertical orientation, reaching its never ever-exceed pace for the duration of its earthward plunge, and impacted 20 miles away. All 29 on board and a person on the ground perished. Even though no definitive lead to was discovered, sabotage was strongly suspected.

Visibility-or the lack of it-was the bring about of one more CV-990A incident two years later, on January 5, 1970. Motor failure prompted the return of plane EC-BNM, operated by Spantax, soon soon after tits departure from Stockholm’s Arlanda International Airport on its constitution flight to Las Palmas. While it re-departed with no travellers with the intention of traveling to Zurich on a few engines for repairs, major fog proved the induce of its ground plunge and influence with the encompassing forest, taking the life of five of its ten crew customers with it.

As had transpired with the Garuda CV-990A, bomb explosions brought down two more aircraft.

In the 1st, on February 21, 1970, plane HB-ICD operated by Swissair as Flight SR 330, departed Zurich’s Kloten Intercontinental Airport with nine crew customers and 38 passengers, bound for Israel. But shortly right after takeoff, an explosion ripped open up the aft cargo keep.

As smoke propagated by the cabin, the captain produced his mayday simply call. Granted quick clearance to return, the Convair 990A Coronado commence to circle, forced to make an ILS solution for the reason that of a low ceiling and restricted visibility. Yet damage to the flight surfaces produced it complicated to regulate, leaving the captain to use every system he could muster to retain the crippled craft airborne, all to no avail.

Plowing into the village of Wuerenlingen in the Swiss canton of Aargau 25 miles from Zurich, it claimed all 47 life.

The Preferred Front for the Liberation of Palestine, owning put a bomb in a checked suitcase, afterwards claimed accountability for the explosion, which was directed at an Israeli formal on the flight.

The 2nd consecutive explosion-disabling incident occurred two years later, on June 15, 1972. In this situation, a Cathay Pacific CV-880M, registered VR-HFZ and functioning as Flight 700Z, was flying between Bangkok and Hong Kong when a time bomb, brought aboard in a piece of cabin luggage, exploded at flight amount two-9-zero, ripping the airframe into a few sections and leaving them to torpedo to the floor, crashing 33 miles southeast of Pleiku, in the sparsely populated South Vietnamese Central Highlands, by itself 200 miles northeast of Saigon, at 14:00 local time.

So polarized was the wreckage ensuing from the constructed-up momentum and annihilating influence with the floor, that fireplace did not even erupt. United States army helicopters were the initial to reach the crash internet site. All 10 crew users and 71 passengers, useless to say, perished.

It was considered that the cause for the sabotage was a prolonged-standing one particular-specifically, selection of insurance plan dollars. It was also thought that the gadget was supposed to have detonated at a time when the plane would have been about the South China Sea, leaving no traces as to its result in.

The worst Convair 880 and 990 incident took location 6 months afterwards, on December 3, 1972, when an example of the 990A, registered EC-BZR and operated by Spantax, executed its takeoff roll from Los Rodeos Airport in Santa Cruz de Tenerife on the Canary Islands, sure for Munich with 7 crew users and 148 travellers.

The aircraft, underneath the command of Captain Daniel Nunez, rotated into blinding fog and climbed to 300 ft, at which issue it experienced an uncontained engine failure. Gravity-induced earthward, it bored into the floor just one thousand toes beyond the runway, getting all life with it.

Though the result in was cited as loss of manage by the 1st officer, who was conducting the takeoff, it was discovered that it had rotated at a VR speed 20 knots decreased than that advisable for the aircraft’s gross weight, leaving it unable to deliver adequate carry to set up a good charge-of-climb.

The very last accident in this 15-year period of time was the result of a runway incursion. When taxiing to the gate in Chicago at the termination of its Tampa sector as Delta Flight 954, aircraft N8807E crossed the energetic runway and was clipped by a North Central DC-9-30, which prematurely rotated to endeavor to climb around it. When 15 accidents and a one fatality resulted from the DC-9’s plunge back to the runway, only just one of the CV-880’s passenger was hurt all through the ensuing evacuation. Obtaining had the top rated of its fuselage sliced off and its tail clipped, nevertheless, the Convair was ruined further than maintenance.

Article Resources:

Lewis, W. David, and Newton, Wesley Phillips. Delta: The History of an Airline. Athens, Ga: The College of Ga Push, 1979.

McClement, Fred. It Will not Make any difference The place You Sit. New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, Inc., 1969.

Proctor, Jon. Convair 880 and 990. Miami: Globe Transportation Press, Inc., 1996.