The 1979 Crash At Tenerife

The crash of two airliners, KLM Flight 4805 and Pan Am Flight 1736, both 747s, on the island of Tenerife in 1979 has gone down as the deadliest airline catastrophe of all time, with nearly 600 fatalities.  Today’s podcast goes into the crash of the two planes, and the eight different pieces of information that, when linked together, caused the crash.

As always, you can download the podcast by clicking on this link, find it in iTunes, or listen to it below.

Sources for the podcast:

As promised, here’s a diagram of the airport at Los Rodeos.

Los Rodeos Airport Diagram

And finally, the NOVA special on this is one of the best out there.  I’m going to try and embed it here, but if it doesn’t work, click on the link above.

Watch The Deadliest Plane Crash on PBS. See more from NOVA.

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3 Responses to The 1979 Crash At Tenerife

  1. Mark

    Excellent job on this one. The Tenerife runway crash fascinates me to no end too. To think that if just ONE of the eight things that went wrong didn’t go wrong, those almost 600 lives would not have been lost. (Would you ever go hang out where taxiway C4 meets the runway and see if it gave you the shivers?) … I agree, NOVA’s special was brilliantly done, great acting and in-depth analysis.

    • CatastropheCast

      Thanks! Yeah, I think this one really struck me when I was a kid. And there’s *so* much that came out of it that’s still in use today… But yes – one of these days I’d love to get to Tenerife and just hang out for a while. It’d be even weirder if the fog started rolling in over the hills…

      • Mark

        Apparently that happens quite a lot at Los Rodeos (now known as Tenerife North). You’ll have to get a flight from mainland Spain though as international flights go to Tenerife South, though I suppose you could just hop a cab to the North airport for a hang-around! I still think of ways I would be able to legitimately get out on that runway, even though it would creep me out big-time! 😉

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