Today (July 9) marks the anniversary of a horror plane crash which killed over 150 people after the “government forgot” to publish the weather forecast.
Pan-American Flight 759 to Las Vegas crashed moments after takeoff, about a half-mile east of what was then called New Orleans International Airport, US.
All 145 passengers and crew members were killed in the plane, and an additional eight on the ground were killed in the horror crash in 1982.
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Another four people on the ground sustained injuries and 11 houses were also severely damaged or destroyed when the 14-year-old Boeing 727 was forced down by a microburst.
The aircraft was destroyed by the impact, explosion, and subsequent ground fire.
A 16-month-old baby girl was discovered in the wreckage, she had been protected in her crib from the flames by the fallen debris. Her mother and four-year-old sister sadly died.
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) determined that the probable cause of the accident was a sudden downdraft.
It is believed the aircraft was in its most vulnerable moment by the microburst-induced wind shear and shoved it to the ground.
A report claims that the pilots, first officer Pierce and Captain McCullers, would have had difficulty recognising and reacting to the effects.
An investigation claimed the risk of what was then a poorly understood phenomenon and said the disaster could have been avoided had the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) acted sooner.
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The limited capacity of wind shear detection technology at the time was named as a contributing factor, alongside the US Government’s failure to "put out proper weather information that day and to maintain wind shear detection devices at the airport.
The New York Times previously reported that according to witnesses, a wind shear alert was mentioned on New Orleans Airport radio frequencies on July 9, before Flight 759 took off.
But the flight crew had been briefed with a recorded weather advisory that was two hours old, though airport routine is for hourly recordings of weather information. There were no procedures at the airport for advising flight crews that updated weather announcements were available.
As a result, millions of dollars were paid out as compensation to various families affected by the crash.
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