Though the Convair 880’s and 990’s accident historical past might be thought-about in depth, particularly in ratio to the quantity that entered service, a number of elements needs to be thought-about. Within the 15-year interval between 1960, the sort’s 12 months of service entry, to 1974, there have been seven deadly mishaps. 4 included the CV-990A, whose manufacturing whole was solely a 3rd of the complete program’s. However the first incident didn’t happen till the unique CV-880 had plied the skies, in divergent nations and climactic situations, for seven years.
Fatalities per plane additionally have to be considered-from a low of 1 to a excessive of 155. Three accidents passed off throughout the takeoff part and two throughout the cruise part, however they had been the results of deliberately planted explosive gadgets and never of airframe or powerplant deficiency or design flaw. Many, due solely to destiny, occurred in clusters, solely days aside.
“The 880 attained an important security report in passenger service, however suffered quite a few coaching mishaps and a number of other accidents occurred after the airplanes had been transformed to freighter configurations,” in keeping with Jon Proctor’s perspective in Convair 880 and 990 (World Transport Press, 1996, p. 82). “Not less than 15 hull losses had been recorded, together with a number of which had been repairable, however written off because of financial concerns.”
This chapter examines precise passenger-carrying accidents.
The primary of those occurred on November 5, 1967 when plane VR-HFX, a CV-880M operated by Cathay Pacific, launched into 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 ten different crew members, the jetliner, with 116 passengers on board, imitated its takeoff run in good climate, however aborted the try when it skilled a powerful vibration and veered to the precise at 122 knots. Regardless of reverse thrust and toe brake purposes, inadequate distance remained wherein to cease.
Sliding off the runway and careening over a seawall, it plunged into Hong Kong Harbor, shedding its nostril within the course of. It in the end got here to relaxation 100 yards from the runway’s finish and in shallow water. No fireplace or explosion adopted.
The captain went into the cabin to assist with the evacuation. Though he encountered confusion, there was little panic and escape was orderly. Helicopters and boats converged on the water-immersed Convair.
Of the 127 souls on board, 20 required hospitalization, 13 sustained minor accidents, and one, a South Vietnamese girl, perished when she couldn’t be extricated from the cabin. The others, satirically, didn’t even maintain moist toes.
The vibration and veer to the precise had been traced to the shedding starboard nostril wheel tire, the wrongdoer for the aborted takeoff.
Solely 16 days after the Cathay Pacific incident, a much more deadly one occurred-this time throughout the touchdown part.
On November 21, 1967, TWA Flight 128, a “Star Stream 880” registered N821TW, departed its Los Angeles origin two and a half hours not on time as a result of door seal issues on the initially supposed plane prompted its substitute by one coming from Boston. Certain, itself, for that very metropolis, with intermediate stops in Cincinnati, and Pittsburgh, it disengaged itself from California soil with seven crew members and 72 passengers.
The flight itself was routine. The touchdown was not.
Thirty minutes earlier than its 21:06 estimated arrival time, it commenced its descent to Cincinnati, which, by way of the automated terminal info service (ATIS), was reporting mild snow, a 1,000-foot ceiling, and a 1.5-mile visibility.
The modern, swept-wing jetliner, whose passenger home windows supplied the one mild within the black soup by way of which it descended, approached the Better Cincinnati Airport’s north-south runway. However building to elongate it from 7,200 to 9,000 toes rendered its glideslope, method lights, and center marker inoperative.
Approaching from the northwest, Flight 128 handed over the Ohio River, which was at a decrease elevation than the airport itself as a result of it had been constructed on a hill on the waterway’s different facet. Aligned with the runway, the plane was slated to the touch down in solely a second’s time. However, 800 toes beneath its glideslope, it will by no means attain the brink.
As a substitute, it plowed right into a Hebron, Kentucky, apple orchard owned by B. S. Wagner, clipping bushes with its wings till the progressive impacts decreased its momentum and ripped open its gasoline tanks. At 20:58, two miles from the runway, the purple glow from the conflagration illuminated the whirling snow, marking the crash website.
Seventeen survivors had been taken to St. Elizabeth’s Hospital in Covington, Kentucky, and one other three had been taken to Sales space Hospital, all of whom had been in severe situation. Subsequent deaths of a few of them left solely a dozen survivors among the many 82 aboard.
The accident, the primary Convair 880 one operated by a US service, was the worst within the Better Cincinnati Airport’s historical past and the third in a sequence of comparable mishaps. The primary two concerned approaches by a cargo aircraft on November 14, 1961 and an American Airways Boeing 727-100 4 years later, on November 8.
As a result of all had entailed runway undershoots, an investigation was initiated, however the FAA didn’t uncover any method process errors or deficiencies to the north-south runway, stating that the airport “adequately meets our requirements.”
The similarity, not less than within the two airliner incidents, was insufficient or altogether nonexistent instrument monitoring throughout the essential remaining method part. Within the American case, it was the failure of the crew to observe its altimeters throughout a visible method, whereas within the TWA one the primary officer didn’t present any altitude or airspeed callouts, ensuing within the plane’s lack of ability to clear method obstructions and its consequent floor influence two miles from and 15 toes beneath the runway.
The third deadly accident-this time to a CV-990A operated by Garuda Indonesia Airways-took place six months later, on Might 28, 1968. Plane PK-GJA, departing Jakarta the earlier night at 18:00, linked the Far East with Amsterdam in Europe on its multi-sector flight that intermittently took it to Singapore, Bangkok, Bombay, Karachi, Cairo, and Rome. However shortly after takeoff from India, it dove to the bottom in a vertical orientation, reaching its never-exceed pace throughout its earthward plunge, and impacted 20 miles away. All 29 on board and one on the bottom perished. Though no definitive trigger was discovered, sabotage was strongly suspected.
Visibility-or the dearth of it-was the reason for one other CV-990A accident two years later, on January 5, 1970. Engine failure prompted the return of plane EC-BNM, operated by Spantax, shortly after tits departure from Stockholm’s Arlanda Worldwide Airport on its constitution flight to Las Palmas. Though it re-departed with out passengers with the intention of flying to Zurich on three engines for repairs, heavy fog proved the reason for its floor plunge and influence with the encompassing forest, taking the lives of 5 of its ten crew members with it.
As had occurred with the Garuda CV-990A, bomb explosions introduced down two extra plane.
Within the first, on February 21, 1970, plane HB-ICD operated by Swissair as Flight SR 330, departed Zurich’s Kloten Worldwide Airport with 9 crew members and 38 passengers, sure for Israel. However shortly after takeoff, an explosion ripped open the aft cargo maintain.
As smoke propagated by way of the cabin, the captain made his mayday name. Granted fast clearance to return, the Convair 990A Coronado start to circle, pressured to make an ILS method due to a low ceiling and restricted visibility. But injury to the flight surfaces made it troublesome to manage, leaving the captain to make use of each methodology he might muster to maintain the crippled craft airborne, all to no avail.
Plowing into the village of Wuerenlingen within the Swiss canton of Aargau 25 miles from Zurich, it claimed all 47 lives.
The Common Entrance for the Liberation of Palestine, having positioned a bomb in a checked suitcase, later claimed accountability for the explosion, which was directed at an Israeli official on the flight.
The second consecutive explosion-disabling incident occurred two years later, on June 15, 1972. On this case, a Cathay Pacific CV-880M, registered VR-HFZ and working as Flight 700Z, was flying between Bangkok and Hong Kong when a time bomb, introduced aboard in a bit of cabin baggage, exploded at flight stage two-nine-zero, ripping the airframe into three sections and leaving them to torpedo to the bottom, crashing 33 miles southeast of Pleiku, within the sparsely populated South Vietnamese Central Highlands, itself 200 miles northeast of Saigon, at 14:00 native time.
So polarized was the wreckage ensuing from the built-up momentum and annihilating influence with the bottom, that fireplace didn’t even erupt. United States military helicopters had been the primary to succeed in the crash website. All ten crew members and 71 passengers, evidently, perished.
It was believed that the explanation for the sabotage was a long-standing one-namely, assortment of insurance coverage cash. It was additionally believed that the system was presupposed to have detonated at a time when the plane would have been over the South China Sea, leaving no traces as to its trigger.
The worst Convair 880 and 990 accident passed off six months later, on December 3, 1972, when an instance 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 seven crew members and 148 passengers.
The plane, beneath the command of Captain Daniel Nunez, rotated into blinding fog and climbed to 300 toes, at which level it skilled an uncontained engine failure. Gravity-induced earthward, it bored into the bottom one thousand toes past the runway, taking all lives with it.
Though the trigger was cited as lack of management by the primary officer, who was conducting the takeoff, it was found that it had rotated at a VR pace 20 knots decrease than that beneficial for the plane’s gross weight, leaving it unable to generate ample elevate to determine a optimistic rate-of-climb.
The final accident on this 15-year interval was the results of a runway incursion. Whereas taxiing to the gate in Chicago on the termination of its Tampa sector as Delta Flight 954, plane N8807E crossed the energetic runway and was clipped by a North Central DC-9-30, which prematurely rotated to try to climb over it. Whereas 15 accidents and a single fatality resulted from the DC-9’s plunge again to the runway, solely one of many CV-880’s passenger was injured throughout the ensuing evacuation. Having had the highest of its fuselage sliced off and its tail clipped, nevertheless, the Convair was broken past restore.
Lewis, W. David, and Newton, Wesley Phillips. Delta: The Historical past of an Airline. Athens, Georgia: The College of Georgia Press, 1979.
McClement, Fred. It Does not Matter The place You Sit. New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, Inc., 1969.
Proctor, Jon. Convair 880 and 990. Miami: World Transport Press, Inc., 1996.