A terrorist incident at Gran Canaria Airport had caused many flights to be diverted to Los Rodeos, including the two aircraft involved in the accident. The airport quickly became congested with parked airplanes blocking the only taxiway and forcing departing aircraft to taxi on the runway instead. Patches of thick fog were drifting across the airfield, so that the aircraft and control tower were unable to see one another.
The collision occurred when the KLM airliner initiated its takeoff run while the Pan Am airliner, shrouded in fog, was still on the runway and about to turn off onto the taxiway. The impact and resulting fire killed everyone on board KLM 4805 and most of the occupants of Pan Am 1736, with only 61 survivors in the front section of the aircraft.
The subsequent investigation by Spanish authorities concluded that the primary cause of the accident was the KLM captain’s decision to take off in the mistaken belief that a takeoff clearance from air traffic control(ATC) had been issued. Dutch investigators placed a greater emphasis on mutual misunderstanding in radio communications between the KLM crew and ATC, but ultimately KLM admitted that their crew was responsible for the accident and the airline agreed to financially compensate the relatives of all of the victims.
The disaster had a lasting influence on the industry, highlighting in particular the vital importance of using standardized phraseology in radio communications. Cockpit procedures were also reviewed, contributing to the establishment of crew resource managementas a fundamental part of airline pilots’ training.
Pictures where taken on Training Server and Special Thanks to @United_1154 for helping me out!
The Two Jumbos Refuelling
KLM 4805 Backtaxi’s The Runway
Pan Am 1736 Backtaxi’s The Runway After KLM 4805 Exits The Runway
KLM 4805 Lines Up And Later Is Given Takeoff Clearence.
Pan Am 1736 misses The Instructed Exit And Continues To Backtaxi
Disaster Strikes. Pan Am 1736 sees the KLM Taking Off And Exits The Runway Slowly
At first, the majority of the passengers have died, and the rest came out with serious injuries.
But months later, the remaining survivors died due to them being sick because of the wreckage or life-threatening injuries, making this the deadliest crash in aviation history.