Friday, 12 July 2013

Accidents and incidents

Accidents Control Tower view of IAD in 1961. On May 29, 1972, the pilot of a Kite Rider (a variety of hang glider) was killed in a crash. This was during day 3 of a 9 day Air Show held at Dulles in conjunction with Transpo '72 (officially called the U.S. International Transportation Exposition, a $10 million event sponsored by the U.S. Department of Transportation, and attended by over one million visitors from around the world). This was to be the first of three air deaths during the ill-fated Air Show. On June 3, 1972, a second death occurred at the Transpo '72 Air Show, during a sport plane pylon race. At 2:40 pm, during the second lap and near a turn about pylon 3, a trailing aircraft's (LOWERS R-1 N66AN) wing and propeller hit the right wing tip of a leading aircraft (CASSUTT BARTH N7017). The right wing immediately sheared off the fuselage, and the damaged aircraft crashed almost instantly, killing the 29 year old pilot, Hugh C. Alexander of Louisville, GA USA. He was a professional Air Racer with over 10,200 hours. On June 4, 1972, during the last day of the 9 day Transpo '72 Air Show, the US Air Force Thunderbirds experienced their first fatal crash at an air show. Major Joe Howard flying Thunderbird 3 was killed at Dulles when his F-4E-32-MC Phantom II, 66-0321, experienced a loss of power during a vertical maneuver. The pilot broke out of formation just after he completed a wedge roll and was ascending at around 2,500 feet AGL. The aircraft staggered and descended in a flat attitude with little forward speed. Although Major Howard ejected as the aircraft fell back to earth from about 1,500 feet (460 m) tail first, and descended under a good canopy, winds blew him into the fireball ascending from the blazing crash site. The parachute melted and the pilot plummeted 200 feet, sustaining fatal injuries. On December 1, 1974, a flight diverted to Dulles, TWA Flight 514, crashed onto the western slope of Mount Weather. All 85 passengers and 7 crew members were killed on impact. On June 18, 1994, a Learjet 25 operated by Mexican carrier TAESA crashed in trees while approaching the airport from the south. Twelve people died. The passengers were planning to attend the 1994 FIFA World Cup soccer games being staged in Washington, D.C. Incidents On June 14, 1979, the number 5 and 6 tires on an Air France Concorde blew out during a take-off from Washington Dulles Airport. Shrapnel thrown from the tires and rims damaged number 2 engine, punctured three fuel tanks, severed several hydraulic lines and electrical wires, in addition to tearing a large hole on the top of the wing, over the wheel well area. On July 21, 1979, another blown tire incident involving an Air France Concorde occurred during take-off from Washington Dulles Airport. After that second incident the “French director general of civil aviation issued an air worthiness directive and Air France issued a Technical Information Update, each calling for revised procedures. These included required inspection of each wheel/tire for condition, pressure and temperature prior to each take-off. In addition, crews were advised that landing gear should not be raised when a wheel/tire problem is suspected.” In 2001, American Airlines Flight 77, a Boeing 757, left gate D26 at Dulles en route to Los Angeles International Airport, but it was hijacked and deliberately crashed into the Pentagon as part of the September 11 attacks.

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