Plane Crash in French Pacific Kills 17

Full story: The Associated Press

A small airplane plunged into the sea moments after taking off from the French Polynesian resort island of Moorea, apparently killing all 20 people aboard in the territory's worst-ever plane crash, officials ...

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PEN

United States

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#1
Aug 10, 2007
 
That trip is so short to the Island of Tahiti that they don't normally climb higher then 500 feet. If it is an engine failure there is no time to react!
Sad.. It is such a beautiful trip to wonderful islands and beautiful people.

Since: Dec 06

NorCal

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#3
Aug 10, 2007
 
How quickly people forget.

The worst ever airplane crash in French Polynesias history happened decades ago, here is the information.
Date: 07/22/1973
Location: Papeete, Tahiti
Airline: Pan American World Airways
Aircraft: Boeing 707-300B
Registration: N417PA
Fatalities/No. Aboard: 78:78
Details: The aircraft crashed 30 seconds after takeoff from Faaa Airport into the ocean. Cause unknown. It is possible an instrument failure diverted the crews attention during a turn. The aircraft was named Clipper Winged Racer.
billt6

United States

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#4
Aug 10, 2007
 
I hate to hear of airplane crashes or any accidental loss of life. My regards to those affected by this.
Linda Perez

United States

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#5
Aug 10, 2007
 
when its your time. Well you know.
Linda Perez

United States

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#6
Aug 10, 2007
 
Sad. I will Pray for those people.
Jacquelyn Jernigan

United States

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#7
Aug 10, 2007
 
I've travelled to Tahiti and her islands since 1992 and have flown Air Moorea many times to the Land and People I have grown to love. The flight to and from Moorea crosses the beautiful Sea of the Moon! It is an awesome sight to approach the islands as they emerge from the morning mist. It's just a short 10 minute, truly unforgettable trip. Tahiti and her islands are now in mourning for the victims and their families. I join in their grief!
PEN

United States

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#8
Aug 11, 2007
 
Ridge wrote:
How quickly people forget.
The worst ever airplane crash in French Polynesias history happened decades ago, here is the information.
Date: 07/22/1973
Location: Papeete, Tahiti
Airline: Pan American World Airways
Aircraft: Boeing 707-300B
Registration: N417PA
Fatalities/No. Aboard: 78:78
Details: The aircraft crashed 30 seconds after takeoff from Faaa Airport into the ocean. Cause unknown. It is possible an instrument failure diverted the crews attention during a turn. The aircraft was named Clipper Winged Racer.
Yes you are right. Another example of the media not doing it's home work.
fishpilot

Denver, CO

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#9
May 14, 2008
 
Had to be something in addition to engine failure regardless of how low. At 500 feet with one engine you should have plenty of time to take control and react, unless the pilot reacted incorrectly,inputing the wrong control and power corrections, causing a spin/roll into the water. Either this or there was a structural failure of some-sort compounding the issue. I'm flying Air Moorea next month and had no idea about the accident until i did a google search on the company. Yikes.
Jenbolona

San Jose, CA

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#10
Jun 17, 2008
 
My Grandmother was on that plane.. its such a sad story, my father and my grandfather spent countless days searching for her body among the wreckage. If any one has any information about this story please post it
Rocky747

Pymble, Australia

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#11
Jun 19, 2008
 
Date: 07/22/1973
Location: Papeete, Tahiti
Airline: Pan American World Airways
Aircraft: Boeing 707-300B
Registration: N417PA
Fatalities/No. Aboard: 78:78
I was told years ago that the Pan Am crew stayed at the same hotel we (Qantas) stayed in Papeete the "Tahara" and on the morning of the flight the Pan Am Captain had breakfast and left a USD50.00 tip, this being unusual as tipping in French Polynesia is not recommended, and the amount would be the equivalent of a months wages for a local Polynesian in 1973!

Also I have heard that the Captain stated that he "would not need the money anymore" when questioned by the waiter as to why he left such a large tip! That night he piloted the 707 into one of the deepest channels of water in the World!
Kyle

Rochester, NY

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#13
Jun 24, 2008
 
My uncle was the navigator on that flight... I have never heard the story that Rocky747 tells.
intruder

Papeete, French Polynesia

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#14
Sep 20, 2008
 
Pan am accident : "is possible an instrument failure diverted the crews attention during a turn" ?

-Pilot data: Captain EVARTS aged 59, totalized 25275 total hours, 8384 in type, instruments rated

how could he made such an error ???
barbara millar

Ottawa, Canada

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#15
Jan 11, 2009
 
PEN wrote:
<quoted text>
Yes you are right. Another example of the media not doing it's home work.
Actually you are wrong. There WAS one survivor, my cousin, a Canadian. He's alive and well now in Canada. B. Millar in Ottawa
Cecilia

Oakland, CA

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#16
Jan 24, 2009
 

Judged:

1

Hi Barbara,
We remember that there was a Canadian survivor. A few years later, we read in a Polynesian newspaper that he had died from a motorcycle accident... Another false information! We're glad to know that he's alive and well in Canada.
intruder

Papeete, French Polynesia

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#17
Feb 14, 2009
 
barbara millar wrote:
<quoted text>
Actually you are wrong. There WAS one survivor, my cousin, a Canadian. He's alive and well now in Canada. B. Millar in Ottawa
Unbelevable !! it's worth an article in the tahitian newspapers !!
Mike

Papeete, French Polynesia

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#18
Jun 1, 2009
 
Over the years I have spoken with a gentleman who led the head ivestigation for Boeing in Tahiti of Pan Am 816 and also a Pan Am Captain approx 10 years after the accident.

The story that was circulating at the Tahiti airport was that the airplane had a crack in the windshield. That of course had nothing to do with it at 300ft.

The fact is that I heard from both sources is that the Captain of flt 816 was drinking the night before and he basically in airline terms, "got behind the power curve on take off and just rotated the airplane too soon."

Computers were unknown in those days and it could have been bad weights and balance figures.

The flight was full of Tahitian students on their first airplane flight. Ironically, the only survivor of the crash, a Canadian, was killed in a car accident a few years ago. All agreed that the French aviation officials in Tahiti were most unhelpful in the investigation by US officials.
ralph

Dresden, Germany

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#19
Jun 1, 2009
 
barbara millar wrote:
<quoted text>
Actually you are wrong. There WAS one survivor, my cousin, a Canadian. He's alive and well now in Canada. B. Millar in Ottawa
He is a very lucky person . he should go buy a lottery ticket
Ken Honolulu Hawaii

Honolulu, HI

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#20
Jul 23, 2009
 
I was booked on that Pan Am flight, that had an evening departure. I was in a waterfront restaurant with my host enjoying the Bastille Festival entertainment, on the other side of the bay from Faaa Airport. When it was time to leave for the airport, I decided I was having too much fun to end my visit so I told Charles I would rebook tomorrow and lets have more Hinano.
We heard the plane start up and go down the runway. Charles said, "there goes your flight". Then in an instant there was the loudest crash, and the sounds of metal on rock I ever heard, as the plane cartwheeled over the coral reef at the end of the runway. Everyone in town heard it. All the music and dancing stopped. It was silent for several seconds, then there were sirens.
The following morning I talked with someone who had talked with someone at the airport, and the story he told me was that when the plane started up someone on the ground crew radioed the pilot that there was an odd noise coming from one of the engines. The pilot replied that it was the same noise he heard when he was cleared for take off from Aukland (the flight originated in Aukland with stops in Tahiti and Honolulu before ending in San Francisco) and was not a concern. The plane took off. At the end of the runway, with inadequate elevation, the plane banked and the tip of the left wing caught a coral head and the plane went into a cartwheel and disintegrated. The Canadian, quite miraculousely, was able to get out and walk away, so I was told.
Poudles

Versailles, France

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#21
Aug 4, 2009
 
My young brother and I were also booked on that flight, leaving from from Auckland. For certain reasons I decided to change our tickets for the same flight, but 3 weeks later. The morning after the flight we should have taken, I was lying in bed wondering where we would be if we had not changed our tickets - until the 7am news interrupted with news of the crash. I have often wondered who took our seats...
intruder

Papeete, French Polynesia

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#22
Sep 7, 2009
 
According to an retired AIR TAHITI employee, that was on duty this night, knowing the minor crack in the windshield, the captain call PAM AM headquarters & got the clearance, via telex, to take off.
But He was advised to fly lower than usual, that required the aircraft to fill up more kerosene and probably drives to bad weights and balance figures.

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