A History of Convair 880 and 990 Aircraft Accidents

Even though the Convair 880’s and 990’s incident record can be deemed comprehensive, specifically in ratio to the amount that entered support, a number of aspects need to be viewed as. In the 15-year period of time involving 1960, the type’s year of support entry, to 1974, there had been 7 fatal mishaps. Four integrated the CV-990A, whose generation complete was only a 3rd of the overall program’s. But the first incident did not happen until finally the first CV-880 had plied the skies, in divergent countries and climactic disorders, for 7 yrs.

Fatalities for every plane also will have to be regarded-from a lower of just one to a higher of 155. 3 mishaps took place all through the takeoff period and two during the cruise period, but they were being the final result of intentionally planted explosive equipment and not of airframe or powerplant deficiency or structure flaw. Numerous, because of only to destiny, happened in clusters, only times apart.

“The 880 attained a fantastic safety document in passenger assistance, but experienced various instruction mishaps and several incidents happened following the airplanes had been transformed to freighter configurations,” in accordance to Jon Proctor’s point of view in Convair 880 and 990 (Planet Transport Push, 1996, p. 82). “At the very least 15 hull losses were being recorded, like several which have been repairable, but published off because of to economic factors.”

This chapter examines real passenger-carrying accidents.

The to start with of these happened on November 5, 1967 when plane VR-HFX, a CV-880M operated by Cathay Pacific, embarked on a multi-sector flight from Hong Kong’s Kai Tak Global Airport to Calcutta with intermediate stops in Saigon and Bangkok. Piloted by Captain J. R. E. Howell, an Australian, and serviced by 10 other crew users, the jetliner, with 116 passengers on board, imitated its takeoff operate in great climate, but aborted the try when it skilled a robust vibration and veered to the right at 122 knots. Irrespective of reverse thrust and toe brake purposes, insufficient distance remained in which to quit.

Sliding off the runway and careening about a seawall, it plunged into Hong Kong Harbor, shedding its nose in the method. It in the long run arrived to rest 100 yards from the runway’s stop and in shallow water. No hearth or explosion adopted.

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

Of the 127 souls on board, 20 needed hospitalization, 13 sustained insignificant injuries, and just one, a South Vietnamese female, perished when she could not be extricated from the cabin. The other people, ironically, did not even sustain moist toes.

The vibration and veer to the right ended up traced to the shedding starboard nose wheel tire, the offender for the aborted takeoff.

Only 16 days just after the Cathay Pacific incident, a significantly a lot more lethal one particular transpired-this time through 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 % hrs driving plan due to the fact door seal complications on the initially meant aircraft prompted its alternative by one coming from Boston. Bound, by itself, for that pretty metropolis, with intermediate stops in Cincinnati, and Pittsburgh, it disengaged by itself from California soil with seven crew customers and 72 passengers.

The flight itself was schedule. The landing was not.

Thirty minutes before its 21:06 approximated arrival time, it commenced its descent to Cincinnati, which, as a result of the computerized terminal details provider (ATIS), was reporting gentle snow, a 1,000-foot ceiling, and a 1.5-mile visibility.

The smooth, swept-wing jetliner, whose passenger windows offered the only gentle in the black soup by means of which it descended, approached the Higher Cincinnati Airport’s north-south runway. But construction to lengthen it from 7,200 to 9,000 ft rendered its glideslope, method lights, and center marker inoperative.

Approaching from the northwest, Flight 128 handed over the Ohio River, which was at a lessen elevation than the airport itself simply because it had been constructed on a hill on the waterway’s other aspect. Aligned with the runway, the plane was slated to contact down in only a moment’s time. But, 800 ft down below its glideslope, it would in no way arrive at the threshold.

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

Seventeen survivors ended up taken to St. Elizabeth’s Healthcare facility in Covington, Kentucky, and yet another 3 were taken to Booth Clinic, all of whom were in critical affliction. Subsequent deaths of some of them still left only a dozen survivors between the 82 aboard.

The incident, the to start with Convair 880 just one operated by a US carrier, was the worst in the Larger Cincinnati Airport’s heritage and the third in a series of identical mishaps. The initial two associated ways by a cargo airplane on November 14, 1961 and an American Airlines Boeing 727-100 4 years later, on November 8.

Due to the fact all experienced entailed runway undershoots, an investigation was initiated, but the FAA unsuccessful to uncover any approach technique mistakes or deficiencies to the north-south runway, stating that the airport “adequately satisfies our criteria.”

The similarity, at minimum in the two airliner incidents, was insufficient or altogether nonexistent instrument monitoring in the course of the vital closing approach stage. In the American scenario, it was the failure of the crew to check its altimeters during a visual solution, although in the TWA one particular the initially officer did not deliver any altitude or airspeed callouts, ensuing in the aircraft’s inability to crystal clear approach obstructions and its consequent ground influence two miles from and 15 ft under the runway.

The third lethal accident-this time to a CV-990A operated by Garuda Indonesia Airways-took position 6 months later on, on May 28, 1968. Plane PK-GJA, departing Jakarta the former evening 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. But soon following takeoff from India, it dove to the ground in a vertical orientation, reaching its hardly ever-exceed pace throughout its earthward plunge, and impacted 20 miles absent. All 29 on board and one particular on the ground perished. Whilst no definitive result in was uncovered, sabotage was strongly suspected.

Visibility-or the deficiency of it-was the cause of a further CV-990A incident two a long time later on, on January 5, 1970. Engine failure prompted the return of aircraft EC-BNM, operated by Spantax, soon just after tits departure from Stockholm’s Arlanda International Airport on its charter flight to Las Palmas. Even though it re-departed without the need of travellers with the intention of traveling to Zurich on three engines for repairs, hefty fog proved the result in of its floor plunge and influence with the surrounding forest, getting the life of 5 of its 10 crew users with it.

As had occurred with the Garuda CV-990A, bomb explosions introduced down two extra plane.

In the very first, on February 21, 1970, plane HB-ICD operated by Swissair as Flight SR 330, departed Zurich’s Kloten Global Airport with nine crew associates and 38 travellers, certain for Israel. But soon right after takeoff, an explosion ripped open the aft cargo hold.

As smoke propagated as a result of the cabin, the captain built his mayday connect with. Granted fast clearance to return, the Convair 990A Coronado start to circle, pressured to make an ILS tactic due to the fact of a low ceiling and limited visibility. Nonetheless problems to the flight surfaces made it challenging to management, leaving the captain to use each method he could muster to hold 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 lives.

The Well known Entrance for the Liberation of Palestine, obtaining put a bomb in a checked suitcase, afterwards claimed obligation for the explosion, which was directed at an Israeli formal on the flight.

The second consecutive explosion-disabling incident happened two several years later, on June 15, 1972. In this circumstance, a Cathay Pacific CV-880M, registered VR-HFZ and functioning as Flight 700Z, was traveling involving Bangkok and Hong Kong when a time bomb, brought aboard in a piece of cabin baggage, exploded at flight level two-9-zero, ripping the airframe into a few 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 nearby time.

So polarized was the wreckage ensuing from the created-up momentum and annihilating impression with the floor, that hearth did not even erupt. United States military helicopters were the 1st to access the crash web site. All 10 crew customers and 71 passengers, pointless to say, perished.

It was believed that the reason for the sabotage was a extended-standing just one-specifically, collection of insurance coverage funds. It was also considered that the product was intended to have detonated at a time when the aircraft would have been over the South China Sea, leaving no traces as to its cause.

The worst Convair 880 and 990 incident took area 6 months later, on December 3, 1972, when an example 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, certain for Munich with 7 crew members and 148 travellers.

The plane, beneath the command of Captain Daniel Nunez, rotated into blinding fog and climbed to 300 feet, at which place it expert an uncontained engine failure. Gravity-induced earthward, it bored into the ground a person thousand feet over and above the runway, having all life with it.

Even though the lead to was cited as loss of control by the to start with officer, who was conducting the takeoff, it was found out that it had rotated at a VR pace 20 knots lessen than that advisable for the aircraft’s gross body weight, leaving it unable to deliver ample elevate to establish a good amount-of-climb.

The very last incident in this 15-12 months period of time was the final result of a runway incursion. Whilst taxiing to the gate in Chicago at the termination of its Tampa sector as Delta Flight 954, aircraft N8807E crossed the lively runway and was clipped by a North Central DC-9-30, which prematurely rotated to endeavor to climb in excess of it. When 15 accidents and a one fatality resulted from the DC-9’s plunge again to the runway, only 1 of the CV-880’s passenger was hurt during the ensuing evacuation. Owning experienced the major of its fuselage sliced off and its tail clipped, even so, the Convair was destroyed past maintenance.

Post Sources:

Lewis, W. David, and Newton, Wesley Phillips. Delta: The Background of an Airline. Athens, Georgia: The College of Georgia Press, 1979.

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

Proctor, Jon. Convair 880 and 990. Miami: Globe Transport Push, Inc., 1996.