FACTOID # 21: 15% of Army recruits from South Dakota are Native American, which is roughly the same percentage for female Army recruits in the state.
 
 Home   Encyclopedia   Statistics   States A-Z   Flags   Maps   FAQ   About 
   
 
WHAT'S NEW
 

SEARCH ALL

FACTS & STATISTICS    Advanced view

Search encyclopedia, statistics and forums:

 

 

(* = Graphable)

 

 


Encyclopedia > Eastern Airlines Flight 401

Eastern Airlines Flight 401 crashed into the Florida Everglades on the night of December 29, 1972, causing 101 fatalities. It was the first crash of a wide-body aircraft. It is best known, though, for reported paranormal activities stemming from the salvage of aircraft parts. An Anhinga perched on the boardwalk railing The Florida Everglades is a subtropical marshland located in the southern portion of the U.S. state of Florida, specifically in parts of Monroe, Collier, Palm Beach, Miami-Dade, and Broward counties. ... December 29 is the 363rd day of the year (364th in leap years) in the Gregorian Calendar, with 2 days remaining. ... 1972 (MCMLXXII) was a leap year starting on Saturday (the link is to a full 1972 calendar). ... Wide-body Virgin Atlantic Airbus A340-300 A wide-body aircraft is a large airliner with a fuselage diameter of about 5 to 6 metres and twin aisles. ... Anomalous phenomena are phenomena which are observed and for which there are no suitable explanations in the context of a specific body of scientific knowledge, e. ...

Contents


The Crash

The plane, registered N310EA, was a four-month-old Lockheed L-1011 and was carrying 163 passengers and 13 crewmembers. Flight 401 left New York's JFK on Friday, December 29th, 1972 at 9:20 pm, en route to Miami International Airport. At the controls were Captain Robert Loft, 55, a veteran Eastern Airlines pilot ranked 50th in senority at Eastern, and first officer Bert Stockstill. The flight engineer was Don Repo. Orbital Sciences Stargazer Lockheed L-1011 aircraft which was modified in Cambridge, UK, by Marshall Aerospace The Lockheed L-1011 TriStar was the third widebody passenger jet airliner to reach the marketplace, following the Boeing 747 and the Douglas DC-10. ... For the Chinese airline, see China Eastern Airlines. ...


At 11:32 PM, Eastern Airlines flight 401 began its approach into Miami International Airport. When co-pilot Stockstill had looked at the landing gear indicator, the green light that identifies that the nose gear is properly locked in the 'down' position did not illuminate. This failure has two possible explanations: either the gear was not down, or the light was not working. Either way, this is considered to be a small issue for pilots, as the gear can be lowered manually. The pilots recycled the landing gear and still didn't get the confirmation light. Miami International Airport (IATA: MIA, ICAO: KMIA), is a major airport located in unincorporated Miami-Dade County, Florida between the cities of Hialeah, Doral, Fountainbleau, and Miami Springs. ... Main and nosewheel undercarriage of a Qatar Airways Airbus A330 The undercarriage or landing gear is equipment which supports an aircraft when it is not flying. ...


"Well," Stockstill said in a calm voice. "Want to tell 'em we'll take it around and circle around and fart around?"


Loft, who was working the radio, told the tower that they would abort their landing and asked for instructions to circle the airport for a bit. The tower instructed the L-1011 airplane to pull out of its descent, climb to two thousand feet (610 m), and then make a U-turn and flight west over the darkness of the Everglades. It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with U-Turn. ...


The cockpit crew removed the light assembly and the flight engineer, Don Repo, was dispatched into the avionics bay beneath the flight deck to visually check if the gear was down through a small viewing window. Fifty seconds after reaching their assigned altitude and when the plane was halfway through its U-turn, the captain, Robert Loft, instructed Stockstill to put the L-1011 on autopilot. For the next eighty seconds the plane maintained level flight. Then it dropped one hundred feet (30 m), and then again flew level for two more minutes, after which it began a descent so gradual it could not be perceived by the crew. In the next seventy seconds, the plane lost only 250 feet (76 m), but this was enough to trigger the altitude warning C-chord chime located under the engineer's workstation. The engineer, Don Repo, had gone below, and there was no indication by the pilot's voices that they heard the chime. In another fifty seconds, the plane was at half its assigned altitude. At the moment when Stockstill's radio altimeter beeped the plane was passing through one hundred and one feet (31 m), the plane was dropping at 50 ft/s (15 m/s). The cockpit crew heard the warning, but it was too late. Aircraft altimeter as used in North America An altimeter is an active instrument used to measure the altitude of an object above a fixed level. ...


For reasons unknown, the autopilot had been switched from Command Mode, to CWS (Control Wheel Steering Mode). In the latter, any small inputs to the flight controls will instruct the autopilot how to alter the airplane's course. In this case, small forward pressure on the steering column would force the plane into a descent. Investigators believe the autopilot accidentally switched modes when the captain leaned against the steering column while turning to speak to the flight engineer, who was sitting behind and to the right of him. Like tapping the brakes in a car that is in cruise control, pressure on the steering column switches the autopilot out of command mode. Cruise control (sometimes known as speed control or Autocruise) is a system to automatically control the speed of an automobile. ...


The NTSB report cited the cause of the crash as pilot error, specifically: "the failure of the flight crew to monitor the flight instruments during the final four minutes of flight, and to detect an unexpected descent soon enough to prevent impact with the ground. Preoccupation with a malfunction of the nose landing gear position indicating system distracted the crew's attention from the instruments and allowed the descent to go unnoticed." The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is a U.S. government organization responsible for investigation of accidents involving aviation, highway, marine, pipelines and railroads in the United States. ... Pilot error is a term used to describe the cause of a crash of an airworthy aircraft where the pilot is considered to be principally or partially at fault. ...


94 passengers and 5 crewmembers died during the crash and two more died of injuries later. The incident was due to burned-out light bulbs with a replacement value of twelve dollars. The landing gear was found to be in the down and locked position.


The Ghost of Flight 401

An interesting side show to this incident developed over the following months and years as employees of Eastern Airlines began reporting sightings of the dead crew members onboard another L-1011 (N318EA). The story, later made into a best-selling novel by John G Fuller, was that parts of Flight 401 were salvaged after the crash investigation and refitted into the other L-1011. "Sightings" of the spirits of Don Repo and Bob Loft spread throughout Eastern Airlines to the point where Eastern's management warned employees that they could face dismissal if caught spreading ghost stories. Eastern Airlines CEO Frank Borman called it all a bunch of "crap" and considered suing the producers of the 1978 made-for-TV movie "The Ghost of Flight 401" for libel. Frank Borman (right) poses with Jim Lovell (left) and Bill Anders (center) for an Apollo 8 publicity photo Frank Borman (born March 14, 1928) was a NASA astronaut, best remembered as one of the three crewmembers of Apollo 8, the first mission to fly around the Moon. ... In English and American law, and systems based on them, libel and slander are two forms of defamation (or defamation of character), which is the tort or delict of publishing (meaning to a third party) a false statement that negatively affects someones reputation. ...


The apparitions of the crew members were sighted inside a Foster Refrigerator infrared oven that had been in the galley of Flight 401, was later salvaged and put into another airplane. After the ghostly sightings the oven was sent back to Foster Refigerator in Hudson, New York, and sat for years almost forgotten in a secret place in the Foster warehouse.


The crash inspired two made for TV movies. One titled "Crash" (http://us.imdb.com/title/tt0077377/) which dramatized the crash, rescue efforts and NTSB investigation, and another, The Ghost of Flight 401 (http://us.imdb.com/title/tt0077610/) which was based on the John G Fuller book of the same name. Eastern Airlines Flight 401 crashed into the Florida Everglades on the night of December 29, 1972, causing 101 fatalities. ...


See also

Citing the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board, an aviation accident is defined as an occurrence associated with the operation of an aircraft which takes place between the time any person boards the aircraft with the intention of flight and all such persons have disembarked, and in which any person...

External links

  • NTSB Summary
  • Flight 401 Memorial
  • The Black Box Story of Eastern Flight 401

  Results from FactBites:
 
Eastern Airlines Flight 401 - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (1003 words)
Eastern Airlines Flight 401 crashed into the Florida Everglades on the night of December 29, 1972, causing 101 fatalities.
The NTSB report cited the cause of the crash as pilot error, specifically: "the failure of the flight crew to monitor the flight instruments during the final four minutes of flight, and to detect an unexpected descent soon enough to prevent impact with the ground.
Eastern Airlines CEO Frank Borman called it all a bunch of "crap" and considered suing the producers of the 1978 made-for-TV movie "The Ghost of Flight 401" for libel.
Eastern Air Lines - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (1297 words)
Eastern Airlines Flight 401 was preparing to land in Miami, Florida, in 1972, when the flight crew became distracted by a non-functioning gear light.
In Eastern's flight 401 case, it was rumored that the ghost of the pilot who flew that night was later seen on some Eastern planes that carried parts of the doomed plane.
During this era, Eastern's fleet was split between their "silver-colored hockey stick" livery (the lack of paint reduced weight by 100 pounds) and their "white-colored hockey stick" livery (on its Airbus-manufactured planes, the metallurgy of which required paint to cover the aircraft's composite skin panels).
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

COMMENTARY     


Share your thoughts, questions and commentary here
Your name
Your comments

Want to know more?
Search encyclopedia, statistics and forums:

 


Press Releases |  Feeds | Contact
The Wikipedia article included on this page is licensed under the GFDL.
Images may be subject to relevant owners' copyright.
All other elements are (c) copyright NationMaster.com 2003-5. All Rights Reserved.
Usage implies agreement with terms, 1022, m