BA84 From Canada, joined Aug 2004, 381 posts, RR: 3 Posted (6 years 10 months 1 week 6 days 15 hours ago) and read 4737 times:
While responding to another thread, I was reminded of the Arrow Air crash at Gander, Dec 12, 1985. This was a US military charter from Cairo to Fort Campbell, Kentucky, carrying approximately 250 soldiers home for Xmas.
The DC-8 crashed on take-off killing all on board. The official report blamed icing. Ramp workers who handled the plane disagreed, saying there was condensation, but no ice. The plane became airborne, crossed over the highway, crashing down a forested slope to the edge of Gander Lake.
A truck-driver insisted the plane was on fire as it passed overhead. Autopsies showed some passengers had inhaled toxic smoke. There was speculation that a barometric bomb may have been loaded at Cairo. Several employees at YQX related this to me in 1988, taking me to the crash site.
Crownvic From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 1594 posts, RR: 6 Reply 2, posted (6 years 10 months 1 week 6 days 13 hours ago) and read 4656 times:
I will never forget this crash...Arrow was becoming a fairly large and popular airline when this DC-8 went down. It was a horrific crash that really hurt the airlines reputation. To this day, Arrow (Big A) has never been the same.
Connies4ever From Canada, joined Feb 2006, 3857 posts, RR: 13 Reply 3, posted (6 years 10 months 1 week 6 days 7 hours ago) and read 4594 times:
Not to stir the pot on this too much, but:
My father was a licensed AME for AC and certified to sign out the DC8.
His theory on the Arrow Air accident was inadvertent deployment of the #4 t.r. just after take off. Looking at the aircraft ground track from the runway
indicates the aricraft slowly crabbing to the right. It stalled and crashed a
couple of miles from the end of the runway.
Air Canada had a lot of problems with the t.r. lock sensor getting contaminated and giving a false lock indication early in their ops with the aircraft (ops started asummer 1960). The fix was to move the sensor to the top of the engine pod from the bottom, where it was much less likely to get contaminated by stuff coming off the runway or flung off by the wheels, ergo, fewer false lock indications.
At least, that's my recollection of what dad told me.
The icing thing was given as an official reason, and has long been suspected of not being the truth. The arms/explosives reason is certainly quite plausible.
NorthStarDC4M From Canada, joined Apr 2000, 2804 posts, RR: 40 Reply 5, posted (6 years 10 months 1 week 6 days 1 hour ago) and read 4418 times:
AIRLINERS.NET CREW CHAT OPERATOR
All the theories don't tell the story fully, including the official one.
The "on fire" witness report is unreliable at best, no one else saw the aircraft on fire or trailing smoke. Any investigator of anything will tell you witnesses are the 1st thing you ignore. Human nature changes any witnessed event in the mind's eye.
Anyways, #4 t/r, overweight, bird strike, uncommanded slat retraction, icing, failed hijacking, tire explosion... ive heard all of these before, and none really make me believe that they could, on their own, bring down that DC-8-60.
Like the Trident at Staines, we will never know due to the lack of data (FDR was unhelpful being an older foil model and the CVR was inop).
the truth is probably some combination of overweight, engine/control issues and maybe crew error.
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