A Heritage of Convair 880 and 990 Aircraft Incidents

Even though the Convair 880’s and 990’s accident heritage can be viewed as extensive, particularly in ratio to the variety that entered assistance, several facets must be viewed as. In the 15-year interval involving 1960, the type’s year of service entry, to 1974, there had been 7 lethal mishaps. 4 integrated the CV-990A, whose output whole was only a third of the overall program’s. But the very first incident did not take place until eventually the primary CV-880 experienced plied the skies, in divergent international locations and climactic problems, for 7 a long time.

Fatalities for every aircraft also have to be viewed as-from a lower of just one to a higher of 155. 3 accidents took location during the takeoff section and two for the duration of the cruise section, but they were the final result of intentionally planted explosive devices and not of airframe or powerplant deficiency or design and style flaw. A lot of, owing only to destiny, occurred in clusters, only days aside.

“The 880 attained a great protection file in passenger company, but endured many coaching mishaps and many accidents transpired following the airplanes were being converted to freighter configurations,” according to Jon Proctor’s point of view in Convair 880 and 990 (Environment Transportation Press, 1996, p. 82). “At least 15 hull losses ended up recorded, including various which ended up repairable, but prepared off owing to economic considerations.”

This chapter examines genuine passenger-carrying mishaps.

The to start with of these occurred on November 5, 1967 when aircraft VR-HFX, a CV-880M operated by Cathay Pacific, embarked on a multi-sector flight from Hong Kong’s Kai Tak International Airport to Calcutta with intermediate stops in Saigon and Bangkok. Piloted by Captain J. R. E. Howell, an Australian, and serviced by ten other crew customers, the jetliner, with 116 passengers on board, imitated its takeoff run in great temperature, but aborted the try when it professional a robust vibration and veered to the proper at 122 knots. Inspite of reverse thrust and toe brake purposes, insufficient distance remained in which to cease.

Sliding off the runway and careening in excess of a seawall, it plunged into Hong Kong Harbor, shedding its nose in the system. It finally arrived to relaxation 100 yards from the runway’s stop and in shallow water. No fire or explosion adopted.

The captain went into the cabin to help with the evacuation. While he encountered confusion, there was minor stress and escape was orderly. Helicopters and boats converged on the drinking water-immersed Convair.

Of the 127 souls on board, 20 needed hospitalization, 13 sustained small accidents, and one, a South Vietnamese female, perished when she could not be extricated from the cabin. The other individuals, ironically, did not even sustain soaked toes.

The vibration and veer to the proper were traced to the shedding starboard nose wheel tire, the perpetrator for the aborted takeoff.

Only 16 days right after the Cathay Pacific incident, a considerably far more lethal one happened-this time throughout the landing phase.

On November 21, 1967, TWA Flight 128, a “Star Stream 880” registered N821TW, departed its Los Angeles origin two and a 50 percent hrs powering schedule due to the fact door seal troubles on the at first meant aircraft prompted its substitute by just one coming from Boston. Certain, itself, for that extremely town, with intermediate stops in Cincinnati, and Pittsburgh, it disengaged alone from California soil with seven crew associates and 72 passengers.

The flight itself was regime. The landing was not.

30 minutes before its 21:06 believed arrival time, it commenced its descent to Cincinnati, which, through the automated terminal information and facts assistance (ATIS), was reporting gentle snow, a 1,000-foot ceiling, and a 1.5-mile visibility.

The sleek, swept-wing jetliner, whose passenger home windows delivered the only gentle in the black soup by which it descended, approached the Greater Cincinnati Airport’s north-south runway. But design to lengthen it from 7,200 to 9,000 feet rendered its glideslope, technique lights, and middle marker inoperative.

Approaching from the northwest, Flight 128 handed around the Ohio River, which was at a decrease elevation than the airport by itself for the reason that it experienced been created 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 beneath its glideslope, it would hardly ever achieve the threshold.

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

Seventeen survivors have been taken to St. Elizabeth’s Medical center in Covington, Kentucky, and a different 3 ended up taken to Booth Medical center, all of whom have been in critical problem. Subsequent fatalities of some of them left only a dozen survivors amongst the 82 aboard.

The accident, the initial Convair 880 1 operated by a US carrier, was the worst in the Increased Cincinnati Airport’s heritage and the third in a collection of comparable mishaps. The very first two concerned strategies by a cargo airplane on November 14, 1961 and an American Airways Boeing 727-100 four years afterwards, on November 8.

For the reason that all experienced entailed runway undershoots, an investigation was initiated, but the FAA unsuccessful to uncover any method process glitches or deficiencies to the north-south runway, stating that the airport “adequately fulfills our requirements.”

The similarity, at the very least in the two airliner incidents, was inadequate or completely nonexistent instrument monitoring throughout the important ultimate solution stage. In the American situation, it was the failure of the crew to check its altimeters throughout a visible method, whilst in the TWA a single the initially officer did not present any altitude or airspeed callouts, resulting in the aircraft’s inability to obvious approach obstructions and its consequent ground influence two miles from and 15 ft down below the runway.

The 3rd lethal incident-this time to a CV-990A operated by Garuda Indonesia Airways-took spot six months later, on Could 28, 1968. Plane 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 soon immediately after takeoff from India, it dove to the floor in a vertical orientation, reaching its under no circumstances-exceed speed all through its earthward plunge, and impacted 20 miles away. All 29 on board and 1 on the floor perished. Whilst no definitive induce was located, sabotage was strongly suspected.

Visibility-or the deficiency of it-was the cause of another CV-990A accident two decades later on, on January 5, 1970. Motor failure prompted the return of aircraft EC-BNM, operated by Spantax, shortly following tits departure from Stockholm’s Arlanda Global Airport on its charter flight to Las Palmas. Though it re-departed devoid of passengers with the intention of flying to Zurich on three engines for repairs, major fog proved the result in of its floor plunge and effect with the surrounding forest, using the lives of 5 of its ten crew associates with it.

As experienced transpired with the Garuda CV-990A, bomb explosions introduced down two a lot more aircraft.

In the 1st, on February 21, 1970, aircraft HB-ICD operated by Swissair as Flight SR 330, departed Zurich’s Kloten International Airport with 9 crew members and 38 travellers, sure for Israel. But soon immediately after takeoff, an explosion ripped open the aft cargo hold.

As smoke propagated by means of the cabin, the captain created his mayday simply call. Granted immediate clearance to return, the Convair 990A Coronado begin to circle, forced to make an ILS approach mainly because of a reduced ceiling and restricted visibility. Yet destruction to the flight surfaces produced it tricky to command, leaving the captain to use every single strategy he could muster to preserve 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 Well known Entrance for the Liberation of Palestine, getting put a bomb in a checked suitcase, afterwards claimed duty for the explosion, which was directed at an Israeli official on the flight.

The 2nd consecutive explosion-disabling incident happened two decades later on, on June 15, 1972. In this scenario, a Cathay Pacific CV-880M, registered VR-HFZ and running as Flight 700Z, was traveling between Bangkok and Hong Kong when a time bomb, brought aboard in a piece of cabin luggage, exploded at flight level two-nine-zero, ripping the airframe into 3 sections and leaving them to torpedo to the ground, crashing 33 miles southeast of Pleiku, in the sparsely populated South Vietnamese Central Highlands, alone 200 miles northeast of Saigon, at 14:00 neighborhood time.

So polarized was the wreckage resulting from the developed-up momentum and annihilating influence with the floor, that fire did not even erupt. United States military helicopters were the 1st to arrive at the crash web page. All 10 crew associates and 71 passengers, useless to say, perished.

It was considered that the explanation for the sabotage was a long-standing a person-specifically, selection of insurance policies income. It was also believed that the product was meant to have detonated at a time when the plane would have been about the South China Sea, leaving no traces as to its bring about.

The worst Convair 880 and 990 accident took spot 6 months later, on December 3, 1972, when an illustration 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 associates and 148 travellers.

The aircraft, less than the command of Captain Daniel Nunez, rotated into blinding fog and climbed to 300 toes, at which level it knowledgeable an uncontained motor failure. Gravity-induced earthward, it bored into the floor 1 thousand feet outside of the runway, taking all life with it.

While the induce was cited as loss of manage by the very first officer, who was conducting the takeoff, it was found that it experienced rotated at a VR pace 20 knots decreased than that recommended for the aircraft’s gross weight, leaving it unable to create ample elevate to establish a optimistic amount-of-climb.

The last accident in this 15-year period was the final result of a runway incursion. Even though taxiing to the gate in Chicago at the termination of its Tampa sector as Delta Flight 954, aircraft N8807E crossed the active runway and was clipped by a North Central DC-9-30, which prematurely rotated to endeavor to climb in excess of it. Even though 15 injuries and a one fatality resulted from the DC-9’s plunge back again to the runway, only 1 of the CV-880’s passenger was injured for the duration of the ensuing evacuation. Owning experienced the major of its fuselage sliced off and its tail clipped, even so, the Convair was ruined beyond mend.

Write-up Resources:

Lewis, W. David, and Newton, Wesley Phillips. Delta: The Historical past of an Airline. Athens, Georgia: The University of Ga Push, 1979.

McClement, Fred. It Isn’t going to Matter The place You Sit. New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, Inc., 1969.

Proctor, Jon. Convair 880 and 990. Miami: Earth Transport Press, Inc., 1996.

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