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Pan American World Airlines

Pan American World Airlines

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Pan American Airways
Pan American Airways

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PAN AMERICAN WORLD AIRLINES FLIGHT 759 JULY 9, 1982 NEW ORLEANS INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT

Introduction The afternoon of July 9th, 1982 appeared to be just another typical summer day for the Gulf Coast city of New Orleans. Thunderstorms scattered across the region was typical for that time of year and no sense of danger was evident by the inhabitants around or the employees at the New Orleans International Airport that day. Flights were departing on schedule and the weather, although raining with an overcast ceiling of 4100 feet and 5 miles of visibility, the conditions did not raise any concern. The crew of Pan American World Airways Flight 759 settled into their Boeing 727-235 at the Pan American gate and began preparations for departure. The captain, a 45 year old Airline Transport Pilot with 17 years of airline experience and 10 years of experience in the B727, with over 11,000 hours of flight time, of which 10,595 hours were in the B727, was responsible for the day’s flight. His first officer, Donald Pierce, was a 32 year old commercial pilot with six years of experience in the airlines and was qualified in the B727 for five years. Pierce, the pilot flying that day, had flown 6,100 hours, of which 3,900 hours were in a B727. Flight 759’s flight engineer, Leo Noone was 60 years old with 14 years’ experience in the B727. Noone had flown 19,900 hours, 10,500 of which were in the B727. The crew prepared for what appeared to be a routine flight to Las Vegas’s McCarran International Airport. 137 passengers boarded the aircraft, which had arrived earlier that day from Miami, Florida, on a regularly scheduled route to San Diego, California. Many of the passengers were excited about their planned weekend of gambling in Las Vegas. Three of its passengers, Erin Ernest, Maylene Deleon, and Mariela Rodriquez were returning home to Las Vegas from Miami where they had participated in a high school graduation cruise. They were all excited about going home and beginning college in the fall. The stopover in New Orleans was routine with no mechanical problems or other issues that the crew had to contend with on this leg of the flight. After receiving clearance to taxi, the aircraft was pushed back and the crew taxied Clipper Defiance N4737 down the taxiway to the threshold of runway 10. The copilot, concerned about the gusty wind conditions made a couple ‘wind-check’ requests from the ground controller. The winds were 040 degrees at 8 knots at the start of taxi and by the time he had requested another wind-check a couple of minutes later the winds were 070 deg. at 17 kts, with peak gust at 23 kts. The captain advised the copilot, who was conducting the takeoff, to let his speed build up on the takeoff roll and to turn off the air conditioning packs in order to obtain maximum thrust. After the final checklists were read before takeoff, the copilot requested and received clearance from the air traffic controller to depart runway 10.

The name Clipper Defiance has a history with Pan Am. now at an altitude of 50 feet above ground level. which was placed in to service in 1946.The pilot taxied onto the designated runway and applied throttle to the aircrafts three engines. Purser Dennis M. The gear was placed in the up position after takeoff and the aircraft continued accelerating.253 hours on the airframe prior to the accident. Flight Engineer Leo B. As the engines spooled up the aircraft began accelerating down the runway. Copilot Donald G. rotation speed (Vr). Steward James P. The aircraft had accumulated 39. The aircraft’s Ground Proximity Warning System (GPWS) alarm began to sound as the aircraft continued sinking towards the ground. 1979. It was delivered to National Airlines on January 31. The captain cautioned the copilot of his descent and commanded him to ‘come back’ on the control yoke. In the process it destroyed or damaged 15 homes in a residential neighborhood east of the airport. and 8 residents on the ground.’ by Pan American training personnel. Fijut (37). Flight 759’s crew that day was Captain Kenneth L. The aircraft was built in 1967 with construction number 19457/518. 1968 and was christened with the name 37 Susan/Erica. Stewardess Vivian L. The airliner struck the trees and rolled to the left. He initiated a slight bank to the left.C. At approximately 100-150 feet above the ground level (AGL) the aircraft began to settle back towards the earth. The aircraft remained in service with National Airlines until the merger with Pan Am. The captain gave the copilot the callouts for reaching 80 knots indicated airspeed (KIAS). At approximately 7. All of the aircraft’s passengers were killed. having been used first on a Pan Am DC-4 (N6104C). The crews experience was notable as the captain was considered an ‘above average pilot. N4737 in 1970. McCullers (45). Stewardess Lucille V. electrical power and executed an emergency landing at Houston International Airport in Texas. The aircraft continued to descend. Unfortunately. In his career he had experienced an inflight emergency before where he had a complete loss of A. when it was renamed Clipper Defiance in 1970. Donnelly (30). 1964. Brown (35). Ford (34). all 8 crew members. contacting the ground with an explosion on impact. which was used to carry the rock band. The pilot continued to pitch the aircraft with full power. to the United States for the first time in February 7. Clipper Defiance lifted off the ground and pitched to a normal climb attitude as it began its initial climb segment. When the aircraft was no longer used in Pan Am service the name was given to Pan Am’s National Airline acquired B727. Noone (60). the Beatles. 1968 (14 years and 6 months prior to the accident). with its first flight being conducted on January 24th. In all 153 people lost their lives. After the DC-4 was retired the name was given to one of Pan Am’s new Boeing 707 jets (N704PA).000 feet down the runway. Louisiana. The ensuing fireball of the fuel laden aircraft then plowed its way through the Roosevelt subdivision of Kenner. had arrested its descent rate. and the takeoff safety speed (V2). Analysis The Boeing 727-235 with Federal Aviation Administration registration N4737. Pierce (32). He was described as having excellent judgment and the ability to exercise command. on January 1. The aircraft. . a line of trees approximately 2.700 feet from the end of the runway blocked the aircrafts path. was owned by Pan American Airlines.

The captain was Kenneth McCullers.. it is now recommended that on recognizing a possible encounter with severe windshear/microburst. construction number 19457/518. Reston. built in 1967. and remained part of the National fleet until the merger with Pan Am where it was renamed as Clipper Defiance. Louisiana at 4:07:57 PM central .The weather warning capability at the New Orleans International Airport… The shear wind detected and reported. However. On July 9. in Kenner. the pilot should increase the thrust to its maximum and rotate that aircraft to an initial attltude. 1968. All 145 people on board. The aircraft. with en route stops in New Orleans and Las Vegas. called the target pitch angle. which depends on the type of airplane. if unavoidable. and Control of Airplanes by Bandu N. The recommended target pitch angle for transport aircraft is about 15 degrees. was delivered to National Airlines on January 31. operated by a Boeing 727-235. were killed. The pilot is advised to hold these settings until he or she is out of the low-level windshear or microburst region. and as of 2013 remains the fifth-deadliest air disaster to occur in United States territory. Flight 759 began its takeoff from Runway 10 at the New Orleans International Airport (now Louis Armstrong New Orleans International). 1982.. The aircraft name was 37 Susan/Erica and was registered as N4737. On afternoon of the accident. Pamadi pg 151 ISBN 1-56347-583-9 American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics. Inc. along with a crew of seven. the aircraft was carrying 137 passengers and one non-revenue passenger in the cockpit jumpseat. a Boeing 727–200. Stability. N4737 Clipper Defiance.” Performance. as well as 8 more on the ground. Pilot responses and what Pan Am manual suggest… The crew’s training at Pan American for encountering and handling a microburst… The NTSB’s analysis of the crews ability to counter the microburst (pg 61 NTSB report)… “The best defense against the windshear or microburst is complete avoidance. The crash had the highest number of aviation fatalities in 1982. was a regularly scheduled passenger flight from Miami to San Diego. Virginia 2004 Changes made and recommendations of the NTSB… How Flight 759 has changed aviation and its weather reporting standards… Pan Am Flight 759. the plane that made this route was forced down by a microburst and crashed into the New Orleans suburb of Kenner.

At the time of Flight 759's takeoff. about 4. The winds were gusty and swirling. veered the plane left toward the nearby West Metairie Canal in a desperate attempt to redirect the plane away from a residential neighborhood. “They gave up fixing it. McCullers and copilot Donald G. explosion. causing the plane to cartwheel and skid and then explode with more than eight thousand gallons of unspent jet fuel aboard. a spokesman for the NTSB. knowing that a crash landing was imminent. hitting trees and houses before crashing in the residential area of Kenner. Flight 759 cut a deadly swath through Kenner.[1] Six houses were destroyed. Pierce. a baby was discovered in a crib covered with debris that protected her from the flames.S. five houses were damaged substantially. the aircraft struck a line of trees at an altitude of about 50 feet (15 m). Flight 759 lifted off the runway. Buried deep within the crash report was news of a broken wind-shear detector on the western edge of the east-west runway (the runway that 759 departed from). It was f ixed.’ said Brad Dunbar. hunters had damaged it with gunfire shortly after it was installed. there were thunderstorms over the east end of the airport. Another 4 people on the ground sustained injuries. which imposed a downdraft and a decreasing headwind. the effects of which the pilot would have had difficulty recognizing and reacting to in time for the aircraft's descent to be stopped before its impact with trees. The aircraft continued descending for another 2. Louisiana. along with the similar crash of Delta Air Lines Flight 191 three years later led to the development of the airborne wind shear detection and alert system and the mandate by the U. The aircraft was destroyed during the impact. Sick. La. and subsequent ground fire. a safety officer for the Professional Air Traffic Controller . climbed to an altitude of between 95 and 150 feet (29 and 46 m).daylight time. Federal Aviation Administration have on-board windshear detection systems installed by 1993. Royd Anderson wrote and produced a documentary on the crash in 2012.000 feet from the end of the runway. In one of the destroyed houses. Ray P. About 2. A total of 153 people were killed (all 145 passengers and crew on board and 8 on the ground).[4] A memorial to the crash victims is located at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Catholic Church in Kenner. the plane clipped trees and snapped a powerline.376 feet (724 m) from the end of runway. but hunters shot it out again..[3] this. The left wing plowed into the ground.[2] The National Transportation Safety Board determined that the probable cause of the accident was the aircraft's encounter with a microburst-induced wind shear during the liftoff.610 feet (1405 m) from the end of the runway. destroying six homes and damaging five others in a four-block area less than 5.234 feet (681 m). Captain Kenneth L. and then began to descend. Contributing to the accident was the limited capability of then-current wind shear detection technology. In the process.

stewardess. Miami. it was out of service for approximately one year and eight months prior to the crash. Uruguay. first officer. BOURGEOIS (no first initial available). J. Miami area. ALEJANDRO. Miami area. F. AGUILAR. Miami area. C. Fla. Fla. I. LUCILLE V. H. DENNIS M. Jamaica. 34. Passengers' hometowns were not immediately available. Montevideo. ALLAN. Uruguay. BOURGEOIS (no first initial available). San Antonio. BARQUE. Pan American Airlines and the FAA. FIJUT. Fla. VIVIAN L. Montevideo. LEO B. BROWN. S. ALVAREZ. BECKER. Mexico City. Miami Lakes. NOONE. Fla. B. 35. N. A. JAMES P. ALLAN. G. San Antonio. Lauderdale. . Wendell Gsutier.. BARLOW. facing lawsuits in excess of $3 billion. Miramar. West Hollywood. BRYAN. D. J. Randolph AFB. Paris. Hollywood. 1980. Kingston.Following is a list of victims of the crash of Pan American World Airways Flight 759 in Kenner. a lawyer representing several families. Barqusiteno. Uruguay. 32. New York (UPI) -. Paris. McCULLERS. BONNICK. Mexico City. flight engineer. BARLOW. Ft. Fla. 30. called the move “astounding. BOURGEOIS (no first initial available).” CRASH VICTIM NAMES. reported it in unsatisfactory condition to the FAA on Oct 29. A. purser. Texas. La. Fla. accepted the blame for the crash in a hearing on May 13. Paris. 45. Montevideo. Paris. Randolph AFB. BARQUE. ALVARADO. Venezuela. DONNELLY. Connecticut. France. 60. captain. Miami area. DONALD G. G. HOMES LISTED. AGUIAR. France. Texas. as released by the airline. France. 37. BRUN. France. D. Sebastian. BOURGEOIS (no first initial available). steward. BRUN.Organization at New Orleans International Airport. PIERCE. KENNETH L. stewardess. in New Orleans and offered victims’ families an undisclosed settlement. 1983. Fla. FORD. F.

. Fort Lauderdale. DOLLOR. EDMONDS. Miami. L. Grayston. Louis DUPRE. DEVAUX (no first initial available). D. H. CASEY (no first initial available). La. J. W. Switzerland. DEARVILLE. A. FU. Fort Lauderdale. M. FU. DARRA. Hong Kong. DARTEZ. Willie Mae DUPRE. Houma. C. DeJESUS. FRANK. EDMONDS (no first initial available). DARRA (no first initial available). K. Grayston. Switzerland. Erin ERNEST a 17 year old resident of Las Vegas was returning from a HS graduation cruise EYMARD (no first initial available). La. Montevideo. EYMARD (no first initial available). CASEY (no first initial available). CUNNINGS (no first initial available). Fla. CUNNINGS (no first initial available). M.BULAJIC (no first initial available). FITZGERALD (no first initial available). K. A. Uruguay. Hong Kong. Fla. Houma. S. La. Maylene DELEON a resident of Las Vegas was returning from a HS graduation cruise J. Lausarne. FITZGERALD (no first initial available). W. J. New Orelans. DeJESUS. New Orleans. DELORME. DELORME. CORREGE. FRANK. N. GEWLD. Switzerland. M. T. FU. BLUAJIC (no first initial available). Switzerland. DELORME. Lausarne. DOTSON. New Orleans. S. La. Lausarne. Lausarne. New Orleans. DIXON. FORBES. E. Hong Kong. Los Angeles. DELORME.

La. C. Hammond. Houma. GOERS. H. New Orleans. KONDO. San Diego. Munson. Mass. HARTFORD (no first initial available). Miami. L.T. L. Houma. Adelaide. IVERSTINE. L. G. New Orleans. HALEY. W. LEDET. E. Marreo. Mississippi. J. Houma. La. JACOBS. GEWLD. GOUDEAU. W. P. GEWLD. HOLLINS. New Orleans. New Orleans. M. Australia. GREENWOOD. New Orleans. H. GONZALEZ (no first initial available). HILL. LEDET. J. JOHNSON. KRAHMAN. HARTFORD (no first initial available). HARBICH (no first initial available). . New Orleans area. La. La. B. La. LI. JEFFERS. Brazil. Australia. Fla. J. KELLY (no first initial available). HARTFORD (no first initial available). GEWLD. HANSEN (no first initial available). La. K. GUIDROZE. GOERS. Houma. GREENWOOD. JACOBS. J. Calif. La Mesa. KRAHMAN (infant). Y. HARBICH (no first initial available). M. Adelaide. LEWIS (no first initial available). E. Hammond. La. New Orleans. N. E. Brazil. GONZALEZ (no first initial available). Pembroke Pines. KALM. J. Las Vegas. GOUDEAU. HOOD (no first initial available). GREENWOOD. K. IVERSTINE. Calif.

SCHAFFER. Escondido. Fla. R. James MORTON on second honeymoon Barbara MORTON on second honeymoon C. Texas. New Orleans. A. L. R. S. .. N. Porto Alegre. Brazil. S. MOREIRA (no first initial available). Mariela RODRIGUEZ. SCHIEFELDEIN (no first initial available). SCHIEFELDEIN (no first initial available). NEIHEUS. MILLAFDOR (no first initial available). PURCELL. POWELL. J. resident of Las Vegas was returning from a HS (Bishop Gorman High) graduation cruise M. Calif. R. STEPHENS. Mexico City. K. MILLAFDOR (no first initial available). THOM. PEKER (no first initial available). New Orleans. SHAPIRO. LIVIDAS). Dallas. D. New Orleans. ROBINSON. Calif. New Orleans. PEKER (no first initial available). PAMPIN. ZERWELL (previously given as P. New Orleans. B. NAEGELE. Brazil. PELLEBON. Escondido. NARGOET (no first initial available). Miami Beach.LINARES (no first initial available). MOREIRA (no first initial available). JR. S. A. A. PEKER (no first initial available). NAEGELE. F. San Juan. F. SAVOLE (no first initial available). MARKS (no first initial available). MARKS. Puerto Rico. ROBINSON. ROMERO. E. D. MATHEWS. Niceville. STEPHENS. PHILLIPS. NAEGELE (no first initial available). PAMPIN. Porto Alegre.

N.time one eight five five Zulu. LA (MSY/KMSY). Montevideo. Montevideo. Uruguay. VANOLI.. United States airport: of America Flightnumber: 759 Narrative: Pan Am Flight 759 was a scheduled flight from Miami (MIA) to Las Vegas (LAS). Uruguay. VANOLI. the flightcrew had received ATIS message Foxtrot which read in part "... with an en route stop at New Or1eans (MSY). United States of Departure airport: America Destination Las Vegas-McCarran International Airport. weather. A. two .TRIVELLON (no first initial available). Before leaving the gate. NV (LAS/KLAS). Uruguay. Uruguay. LA (United States of America) Initial climb (ICL) Domestic Scheduled Passenger New Orleans International Airport. Chronicle Telegram Elyria Ohio 1982-07-10 Status: Date: Time: Final Friday 9 July 1982 16:09 Type: Operator: Registration: C/n / msn: First flight: Total airframe hrs: Engines: Crew: Passengers: Total: Ground casualties: Airplane damage: Airplane fate: Location: Phase: Nature: Boeing 727-235 Pan American World Airways N4737 19457/518 1968-01-24 (14 years 6 months) 39253 3 Pratt & Whitney JT8D-7B Fatalities: 7 / Occupants: 7 Fatalities: 138 / Occupants: 138 Fatalities: 145 / Occupants: 145 Fatalities: 8 Destroyed Written off (damaged beyond repair) New Orleans. At 15:58:48 Boeing 727 "Clipper Defiance" taxied from its gate at the New Orleans International Airport. TRIVELLON (no first initial available). Montevideo. Montevideo.

appears to be a frontal passing overhead right now. reached an altitude of about 100 feet to 150 feet above the ground (AGL). Flight PA759. "Wind now zero seven zero degrees at one seven.92...” . Eight persons on the ground were killed. peak gusts two three. At l6:06:22. 1982." The captain then advised the first officer to ". which would enable them to increase the EPR's on engines Nos. Winds were 040 degrees at 8 knots.000 feet down runway 10.127 of whom were seasoned gamblers heading out of New Orleans on the regular weekend scheduled flight for Las Vegas . winds are calm altimeter three zero zero one." Events: Sources: » NTSB-AAR-83/02 ARTICLE Captain Kenneth L. was described later as “freaky. According to witnesses. PROBABLE CAUSE: "The airplane's encounter during the lift-off and initial climb phase of flight with a micro-burst induced windshear which imposed a downdraft and a decreasing headwind. The airplane crashed into a residential area and was destroyed during the impact." and said that they would turn off the air conditioning packs for the takeoff. two five thousand thin broken. the first officer requested another wind check. while Flight 759 was taxiing to runway 10. and subsequent ground fire. the airplane lifted off about 7. It was approaching four o'clock in the afternoon of July 9. Behind him in the cabin... the Boeing 727 began its takeoff. At 15:59:03. and then began to descend towards trees. Louisiana. explosion. The flightcrew completed the takeoff and departure briefings and turned onto the active runway for takeoff." The flightcrew requested runway 10 for the takeoff and ground control cleared the flight to taxi to runway 10. temperature niner zero. Kenner. The local rontroller cleared the flight for takeoff. the effects of which the pilot would have had difficulty recognizing and reacting to in time for the airplane's descent to be arrested before its impact with trees. advising another airplane of low level wind shear alerts in the northeast quadrants of the airport. and we have low level wind shear alerts all quadrants. Contributing to the accident was the limited capability of current ground based low level windshear detection technology to provide definitive guidance for controllers and pilots for use in avoiding low level wind shear encounters. the crew heard a transmission from ground control. and completed his pre-flight checks. visibility six miles in haze. his 137 passengers . and the first officer acknowledged the clearance.. wind two four zero at two. McCullers was in “good spirits” as he settled himself in to the left hand seat of Pan American's Boeing 727-235 (N4737). and the weather at New Orleans International Airport. Flight 759 informed the tower that it was ready for takeoff... 1 and 3 to 1.let your airspeed build up on takeoff.were perhaps not so sure. At 16:03:33. climbed in a wings-level attitude. At 16:02:34.. Ground control replied.thousand five hundred scattered. About 16:07:57. we're right in the middle of everything. the first officer requested a wind check.

saw flight 759 lift off about 7. Flight 759's first officer asked the tower for another wind check. appears to be a front passing over right now. At 16:03:37 ground control replied “winds now zero seven zero degrees at one seven peak gusts two three. At 16:02:34. Occasional flashes of lightning cracked from the thunderclouds that towered 35. including a dramatic in-flight loss of all electrical power on New Years Day 1979.” said one Pan Am pilot.” Captain McCullers remarked that the take-off was liable to be “heavy. and we have low level windshear alerts in all quadrants. while McCullers eased his aircraft toward takeoff position. it clipped trees while veering to the left.000 feet into the air. he and his flight crew heard ground control advise another approaching aircraft of low level windshear in the north-east quadrants of the airport. While Flight 759 stood on the tarmac during the three minute wait for take-off clearance. McCullers and crew held the Boeing on the ground until 158 knots indicated airspeed was reached. McCullers was a veteran of several emergencies.co-pilot.” but his observation to the First Officer.” But it reached a height of only 100-150 feet before beginning to descend in a steep nose up attitude.92. Air crews found him 'comfortable to fly with. and another Pan Am crewman travelling as a passenger in the jump seat . Immediately. there was never any doubt to who was in command. we're right in the middle of everything.. a “normal rotation. Flight 759 began its takeoff roll toward the east of the airport. About three dozen witnesses. with gusty.' “There was no question of his flying ability and judgement. sounded almost casual. lift off and initial climb segment. to quote one airline pilot. after which he had been commended for bringing a heavily laden passenger jet to a safe landing in Houston. The target EPRs were 1. who was handling the aircraft. so hard that it was causing the windshield wipers to drag. At approximately 16:09. and crashed into the .000 gallons of fuel. several of them qualified pilots.90 on engines 1 and 3.000ft down runway 10 in. variable and rain laden winds swirling directly at its nose. and 1. struck a powerline.Lashing summer rain beat against the windows and fuselage of the 105-ton aircraft.let your airspeed build up on take-off” and said that they would turn off the air-conditioning packs. seven knots above the aircraft's V2 takeoff safety speed of 151kt. and provide relevant wind directions and speeds. and ground winds gusted to over 20mph. McCullers ran through “abort” instructions with his first officer.peered through the windscreen cautiously onto runway 10. despite an ambient air temperature hovering around the 90° mark. he told his co-pilot to “. At 16:07:57. Then as a safety measure. Four cabin crew members calmed the nervous passengers while Captain McCullers and his three companions on the flight deck . which would enable them to increase the EPR on engines 1 and 3 to 1. freshly loaded to capacity with 8. engineer.92 on engine 2.

a heavy rain began to fall. Scattered clouds lay below thunderstorms and rain showers throughout the area. the aircraft disappeared behind trees and exploded into a huge fireball. which was now 040 at 8kts. the controller saying ". Just after the doors were closed on the aircraft. 759 was cleared for takeoff. fireballing and destroying six houses.. All 145 on board were killed. Fully loaded.we're right in the middle of everything. Before reaching the departure end of the runway... The NTSB found that windshear on the runway and environent during the critical liftoff period was responsible. The aircraft had impacted in a residential area. Still in a nose-up attitude of about 10 degrees. damaging a further five. the aircraft then began to sink. As 759 was starting it's roll. Pierce asked again for the current wind. He also announced a low-level windshear alert with winds at the northeast end of the field from the north at 10kts and from the southeast at 3kts in the northwest end of the field.000ft down the runway.appears the front is passing overhead right now. the controller advised an inbound aircraft that the previous aircraft had encountered a 10kt windshear on final. The crash was the second worst accident in the history of American aviation at the time. there were four cabin attendants onboard the Boeing 727. All 144 aboard the aircraft and 8 on the ground were killed. As 759 taxied out to runway 10.the middle-class suburb of Kenner. and lamented the fact that no accurate windshear forecasting technology was available for ground controllers or pilots at the time. Now at the departure end of the runway. the current ATIS was reporting the wind calm. 1982 when Pan Am flight 759 was preparing to depart New Orleans enroute to Las Vegas. . flight 759 finally lifted off nearly 7. ARTICLE It was a typical summer afternoon on the Gulf coast on July 9. Pierce gave another call as 759 waited to take the runway. the controller announced that the winds had become 060 at 15kts.. learning the wind was now 070 at 17." Just after an incoming aircraft had touched down. and killing eight people on the ground. First Officer Donald Pierce. Along with 136 passengers. and Flight Engineer Leo Noone. with gusts to 25kts. After climbing to about 100ft. On the flight deck was Captain Kenneth McCullers. destroying houses and cars for nearly three city blocks.

.. the McCullers told Pierce to "Let your airspeed build up on takeoff" and suggested they turn off the air conditioning packs for takeoff. each of which were some 4nm in diameter. No evidence of engine malfunction could be found. Recovery of the FDR showed that everything was functioning normally throughout the short flight. the Centre Weather meteorologist called the tower to advise them of intense thunderstorms with lightning. Twelve seconds after rotation. severe turbulence. but with noise filtering. However. and wind gusts southwest of the airport. The aircraft that departed prior to 759 on runway 10 reported a storm cell directly over the airport. McCullers said "Come on back. The aircraft drifted towards the runway edge and the Captain elected to rotate the aircraft early to avoid going off the runway. some of the recording was decipherable.. A business jet waiting for takeoff at runway 19 just prior to the accident reported seeing two cells of severe intensity just east of the airport. McCullers also suggested that they turn slightly to the left on takeoff to avoid the worst of the weather. the GPWS sounded and the aircraft impacted the ground at 149kts. Only four people saw lightning at the time and said it was not in the vicinity of the crash. The Captain of the aircraft reported that they encountered heavy rain and windshear during the takeoff roll. He advised the tower that they were moving northeast and to "keep an eye on them. Also. Another aircraft which departed runway 19 prior to 759 also reported several storm cells all around the airport.. Collection of radar images at the time of the accident showed level 3 or greater storm cells to the east of and over the departure end of runway 10.. Rainfall gauges near the departure end indicated a rate of over two inches/hour but could have reached upwards of nearly six inches/hour. . About an hour before the accident.come on back!" Another twelve seconds later. the engine gauges revealed that the engines had all been set to a high EPR at the time of the crash. the next aircraft to depart 19 reported neither turbulence nor windshear. McCullers calling out the airspeed...you're sinking Don. Reports varied about the intensity of the rain. Only one person reported hearing thunder.. Reports of the wind direction and velocity also varied. The crew reported that these cells had been the reason why they had not elected to depart runway 10. However.The damage to the aircraft was so extensive that little could be revealed about the aircraft's condition at the time of the accident. allowing them to get a higher EPR from the engines... More than 100 people witnessed 759's short flight and provided valuable insight as to the cause." This warning however was only to alert the controllers of possible delays on departure and arrival and the tower was not required to pass this information on to flight crews. The aircraft began it's takeoff roll with Pierce flying. investigators were able to determine that the flaps and slats were extended properly. but all seemed to agree that it was at least moderate. The CVR was badly distorted. but many described it as gusty and variable. After learning of the lowlevel windshear alert. the largest lying to the east-northeast which had a gradient which "was very steep".

the actions of McCullers and Pierce were as prompt as could be expected. encountering downdrafts of around 600feet/minute. given the limited visual cues available due to the heavy rain. Witnesses on the ground reported wind strength of even greater magnitude than was recorded by the sensors. . it was estimated that 759 initially encountered a 14kt headwind which changed to a 5kt tailwind near the departure end. Based on the meteorological data. indicating the shear could have been as great as 40kts. there was another windshear alert. Investigators also concluded that. This 19kt difference occurred in less than 1nm. penetrating the centre of it just after rotation where it then encountered a decreasing shear of 48kts as it flew into the backside. investigators concluded that 759 encountered a microburst. Evidence at the crash site indicated that they had actually stopped the descent and entered a slight climb just prior to hitting trees.Two seconds after the accident. Based on the sensor data.

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