Date: March 27, 1977
Time: 17:07
Location: Tenerife, Canary Islands
Operator: Pan American World Airways / KLM
Flight #: 1736/4805
Route: Tenerife - Las Palmas / Tenerife - Las Palmas
AC Type: Boeing B-747-121 / Boeing B-747-206B
Registration: N736PA/PH-BUF
cn / ln: 19643/11 / 20400/157
Aboard: 644   (passengers:614  crew:30)
Fatalities: 583   (passengers:560  crew:23)
Ground: 0
Summary: Both aircraft were diverted to Tenerife because of a bombing at Las Palmas Airport. After an extended delay, both planes were instructed to back track up the runway. The KLM plane reached its takeoff point while the Pan Am plane was still on the runway. The Pan Am plane continued up the runway missing the taxiway turnout. There was heavy fog on the runway. The KLM plane began its takeoff roll without permission with the Pan Am plane still on the runway. The controller and Pan Am pilot each radioed a warning to the KLM plane, but were not heard because the simultaneous transmissions interfered with each other.The KLM plane hit the Pan Am plane just as it was taking off. Both planes burst into flames. KLM 234 + 14 crew, Pan Am 326 + 9 crew killed. All aboard the KLM plane were killed. The KLM captain was their safety officer and for some months had been training other pilots using a simulator, where getting takeoff permission was not simulated. The Pan Am aircraft was named Clipper Victor. The KLM aircraft was named Rhine River. Despite all the circumstances the KLM plane was blamed for taking off without permission by the NTSB.

Return to Home Page

Copyright Richard Kebabjian / www.planecrashinfo.com