PWA crash: 40th anniversary

PWA crash: 40th anniversary

Postby occasional thoughts » Feb 11th, 2018, 9:00 am

Sadly, today, Feb. 11, 2018, marks the 40th anniversary of the PWA crash at Cranbrook. Just watched a YouTube presentation on the crash, I didn't know or had forgotten that the Boeing 737 actually survived without hitting the snowplow but then went out of control due to a thrust reverser kicking in as it tried to take off. Worst airline crash in B.C. of my life.
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Re: PWA crash: 40th anniversary

Postby TreeGuy » Feb 11th, 2018, 9:20 am

I just found and watch this video about the crash. I don’t remember it, I would have only been a week away from turning 5 years old.

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Re: PWA crash: 40th anniversary

Postby Cactusflower » Feb 11th, 2018, 10:38 am

TreeGuy wrote:I just found and watch this video about the crash. I don’t remember it, I would have only been a week away from turning 5 years old.



Thanks for the video, I remember it well. I have fond memories of PWA, though. and I still miss them. They handled B.C.'s extreme conditions much better than today's airlines. The Cranbrook disaster was not PWA's fault.
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Re: PWA crash: 40th anniversary

Postby TreeGuy » Feb 11th, 2018, 11:03 am

And on this anniversary another plane crash.

https://www.castanet.net/edition/news-story-218655-5-.htm#218655

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Re: PWA crash: 40th anniversary

Postby Cactusflower » Feb 11th, 2018, 11:08 am

Cactusflower wrote:
TreeGuy wrote:I just found and watch this video about the crash. I don’t remember it, I would have only been a week away from turning 5 years old.



Thanks for the video, I remember it well. I have fond memories of PWA, though. and I still miss them. They handled B.C.'s extreme conditions much better than today's airlines. The Cranbrook disaster was not PWA's fault.


43 people died that day due to unforeseen circumstances. It was a miracle anyone survived.
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Re: PWA crash: 40th anniversary

Postby occasional thoughts » Feb 11th, 2018, 11:21 am

I believe Flight 314's routing was Calgary-Cranbrook-Castlegar, a typical routing in those days of high regulation and lower passenger loads, leading to multiple stops. Another one in the 1980s was Vancouver-Penticton-Castlegar.

And if I remember correctly, the typical southern Interior routing for PWA was Calgary-Cranbrook-Kelowna-Vancouver and had that been the routing of the doomed flight, a lot of people and families in the Okanagan would have been marking this anniversary today.

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Re: PWA crash: 40th anniversary

Postby Cactusflower » Feb 11th, 2018, 11:32 am

occasional thoughts wrote:I believe Flight 314's routing was Calgary-Cranbrook-Castlegar, a typical routing in those days of high regulation and lower passenger loads, leading to multiple stops. Another one in the 1980s was Vancouver-Penticton-Castlegar.

And if I remember correctly, the typical southern Interior routing for PWA was Calgary-Cranbrook-Kelowna-Vancouver and had that been the routing of the doomed flight, a lot of people and families in the Okanagan would have been marking this anniversary today.


Yes, that was quite the 'milk run'. I recall leaving Vancouver on a PWA fkght to Castlegar with a couple of boxes of frozen prawns that I was going to exchange for a nice Elk roast. The weather was bad, as usual in winter, so the plane landed in Penticton and they put us on a bus to Castlegar. Fortunately, the prawns stayed frozen in the cargo compartment.

There was a nickname for Castlegar that people used to joke about, due to the narrow valley that the airport was situated in, but I can't remember what it was.
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Re: PWA crash: 40th anniversary

Postby occasional thoughts » Feb 11th, 2018, 11:39 am

Thank goodness for your prawns.

Many years ago I had a friend who flew a lot throughout B.C. and we shared stories. One day she was on a slight that was to land in Penticton I think and the pilot put the plane into a sharp drop to get to landing elevation, obviously a bit sharper than usual, and someone said out loud, "He thinks he's landing in Castlegar." The plane load of passengers broke up with laughter.

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Re: PWA crash: 40th anniversary

Postby Cactusflower » Feb 11th, 2018, 7:58 pm

^^Those were the days, my friend...... :smt045 . People actually had a sense of humour back then.
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Re: PWA crash: 40th anniversary

Postby Dizzy1 » Feb 11th, 2018, 9:35 pm

Cactusflower wrote:The Cranbrook disaster was not PWA's fault.

All accidents are a chain reaction of events that lead to a crash or incident. This was no exception. The thrust reverser design and procedures, vehicles on the runway, the weather, ATC not advising YXC on a revised ETA and the flight crew for not relaying a revised to either ATC or YXC radio facilities. If one were to take out anyone one of those factors, the accident would not have happened. It was concluded that the crew was partially at fault for the accident.

Interestingly, that airframe in particular (MSH 20142) had previous problems with the same thrust reverser and had a module replaced a few flights before the ill-fated flight, according to the aircraft's Journey Log.

As far as PW goes ... the very first 737 I ever flew on was with PW. Fantastic airline and still one of the nicest looking liveries I can think of ...

Image

... I still have a PW 737-200 model and poster overflying Mt Rainer in my airline memorabilia collection.
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Re: PWA crash: 40th anniversary

Postby GordonH » Feb 11th, 2018, 9:51 pm

I remember a nasty saying coming out after this crash
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Re: PWA crash: 40th anniversary

Postby Dizzy1 » Feb 11th, 2018, 10:02 pm

For anyone who's interested, here's a history of PW's fleet - some of course staying on with CP and eventually AC Zip after the mergers. Other's going to other carriers across the world ...

http://www.airfleets.net/flottecie/Paci ... estern.htm
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Re: PWA crash: 40th anniversary

Postby Urban Cowboy » Feb 12th, 2018, 2:30 am

Cactusflower wrote:The Cranbrook disaster was not PWA's fault.


Dizzy1 wrote:All accidents are a chain reaction of events that lead to a crash or incident. This was no exception. The thrust reverser design and procedures, vehicles on the runway, the weather, ATC not advising YXC on a revised ETA and the flight crew for not relaying a revised to either ATC or YXC radio facilities. If one were to take out anyone one of those factors, the accident would not have happened. It was concluded that the crew was partially at fault for the accident.

Interestingly, that airframe in particular (MSH 20142) had previous problems with the same thrust reverser and had a module replaced a few flights before the ill-fated flight, according to the aircraft's Journey Log.

As far as PW goes ... the very first 737 I ever flew on was with PW. Fantastic airline and still one of the nicest looking liveries I can think of ...


I watched that whole video clip, and the biggest thing that stood out to me, was the pilots not doing a circle around the beacon, which apparently was the norm, at least that's how it was presented, that decision being what put them ahead of schedule, and in the path of the snow plow.

Yes the thrust reverser was a problem as well, but it would have been a non issue, had the pilots not been forced to take evasive action when they saw the plow, a circumstance their earlier choice created.

I know you're an aviation expert Dizzy1, so can you explain why that circle is flown around the beacon, and if it's an optional thing, why would any pilots do it if it takes ten minutes longer? I don't understand that aspect of what I saw.
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Re: PWA crash: 40th anniversary

Postby Dizzy1 » Feb 12th, 2018, 9:03 pm

Old Techie wrote:I watched that whole video clip, and the biggest thing that stood out to me, was the pilots not doing a circle around the beacon, which apparently was the norm, at least that's how it was presented, that decision being what put them ahead of schedule, and in the path of the snow plow.

Yes the thrust reverser was a problem as well, but it would have been a non issue, had the pilots not been forced to take evasive action when they saw the plow, a circumstance their earlier choice created.

I know you're an aviation expert Dizzy1, so can you explain why that circle is flown around the beacon, and if it's an optional thing, why would any pilots do it if it takes ten minutes longer? I don't understand that aspect of what I saw.

It would have been the standard published approach for the NDB (non-direcitional beacon) approach at the time. Kelowna had one as well before they got the ILS some 20 years ago.

Here's a video demonstrating such approach if you're interested ...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JtO7aA5JGdU&t=197s

... but it is perfectly acceptable and common not to fly a standard published approach (which is what the crew elected to do) however, the mistake that was made is the failure of communication to whomever that they will be on final approach sooner than anticipated.
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Re: PWA crash: 40th anniversary

Postby GenesisGT » Feb 12th, 2018, 9:53 pm

The video has a few items which are explained in a questionable way, like calling it an ETA which one would believe is the ETA for touchdown on the runway, when ETA between ATC and Aeradio was the estimated time of arrival over the approach aid to be used, ATC does not "phone" Aeradio these communications are done over dedicated landlines between facilities, the video does not mention that ATC contact changed from the Calgary tower to Calgary Terminal (or could have been Calgary Sector).

Another point is that the video talks about a snowplow on the runway, when it was actually a snow sweeper. One might think this would not make a difference, but the time for a snowplow and snow sweeper to clear the runway vary.

PWA was doing a straight in ILS approach, so as Dizzy1 mentioned a circling over the NDB was not required.

It is really to bad they didn't interview anyone with aviation background for the video.
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