Tenerife Airport Disaster

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Tenerife Airport Disaster Student’s Name Institution Affiliation Background of the study PanAm 747 was on air for eight hours, traveling from Los Angeles to Las Palmas. On board were 380 passengers and 16 members of the crew. The captain of PanAm 747 was getting impatient, as he had waited to get clearance to land at Las Palmas. Two hours earlier, there was an explosion, and Las Palmas airport was closed for repair. Flight 747 Captain was advised to divert to Tenerife, which is 70 km to the west of Las Palmas. The captain complied since he had no alternative (1001Crash.com, 2016). By 1415 hours GMT, PanAm 1736 was approaching on runway 30. The captain noticed that so many aircraft saturated Tenerife airport (Ranter, 2016). According to 1001Crash.com (2016), PanAm 747 was to park behind KLM 747 whose captain has stayed for 45 minutes in the airport. KLM captain had 234 passengers on board and 14 members of the crew. KLM captain was nervous because the Dutch regulations on exceeding flying hours were strict. At 1430 hours GMT the Tenerife control tower announced that Las Palmas airport had reopened and all grounded aircraft would soon be freed to move. The controller explained to the PanAm captain to take-off by taxing behind KLM 747. The weather was not favorable; a thick fog in the airport reduced visibility to 300 feet. There was heavy traffic in the airport created by the grounded aircraft. KLM 747 was cleared at 1651h to start its engine in preparation for take-off. PanAm 747 made requests to start its engine at 1652h (1001Crash.com, 2016). Jacob Van Zanten, the KLM pilot, began rolling down through the runway without precise instructions from the

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