Saturday, 22 July 2017

On this day in History

On Sunday 22nd July 1973, (44 years ago today) at 10:06pm local time a PanAm flight (PA816) from Auckland (AKL) to San Francisco (SFO) via Papeete (PPT) and Los Angeles (LAX) crashed into the ocean on take off from Tahiti airport..
The Boeing 707 named "Clipper Winged Racer" took off from runway 04 at Tahiti's Fa'a'ā International Airport for it's second leg of the flight. The airplane climbed to a height of 300 feet and initiated a left turn. 3 km (1.9 miles) NE of Papeete-Faaa Airport it began to descend with an excessive bank turn and struck the sea. The wreckage sank into the 2,300 foot (700 metres) deep waters. Miraculously out of the 69 passengers and 10 crew 1 person survived the crash. He was Neil Campbell, a Canadian citizen.

PROBABLE CAUSE:  All though the reason for the crash was never known, as both the CVR and FDR were never recovered. It is considered that an instrument failure may have diverted the crew's attention during the turn. It was dark outside and the turn was made towards the sea. 

Aircraft Information

Aircraft: Boeing 707-321B
Operator: Pan American World Airways (Pan Am)
Registration: N417PA
Serial Number: 18959
Engines: 4 Pratt & Whitney JT3D-3B
First Flew: 25th Feb 1966
Age: 7 yrs old (at time of crash)
Test Registration:

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