The worst disaster in the history of aviation

by nph | April 11th, 2012

April 11, 2012

The 35th anniversary of the deadliest crash in aviation history occurred on March 27, reports AccuWeather.com.

In 1977, two Boeing 747s collided. Both were on their way to the Canary Islands. Pan Am Flight 1736 was on its way from Los Angeles via New York, and KLM Flight 4805 had taken off from Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam.

After waiting on the tarmac at Los Rodeos airport, both planes were told to begin departure preparations. The KLM plane had finished refueling and was cleared to perform a runway backtaxi, followed by the Pan Am.

By this time, however, dense fog and low clouds had descended upon the airport. The crew of the KLM plane could not see that the Pan Am plane was still on the runway, and the KLM flight began its takeoff.

The KLM plane smashed into the Pan Am jet, igniting and engulfing most of both planes in the flames

In the end, 583 people died, including everyone onboard the KLM flight. Only 61 people survived on the Pan Am jet.

After this tragic disaster, communications were improved, and cockpit crews were encouraged to voice different opinions without feeling pressured by pilots.

What was the main cause of this disaster:  weather, communication, or pilot error?

Read more.

If you are someone you know has had his or her safety compromised on a commercial or private airline, the aviation accident attorneys at Nurenberg, Paris, Heller & McCarthy may be able to help.