Crisis Management Tenerife

Topics: Airline, Air safety, International Civil Aviation Organization Pages: 22 (7558 words) Published: June 23, 2013
Term Project
Crisis Management Tenerife Planes Crash Case Study

Table of Contents
Contents Page

Abstract History Key Discussion Question 1 – 9 Conclusion and Recommendation References

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The Tenerife Disaster is a well known event among the aviation industry for being the worst air accident in human history. A Dutch KLM 747 and an American Pan Am 747 crashed into each other at a Spanish airport in the Canary Islands resulted in 583 death and a extensive media coverage on the Dutch, American and Spanish subjects. The disaster was investigated and studied by the International Air Transport Association (IATA), the International Civil Aviation Organization ICAO and researchers as a model for human errors in the airplane

system that proved vulnerable to crisis. The disaster was summarized as a combination of human and technical errors although the investigation pointed out communication inaccuracy as the sole cause for the tragedy. Attention error, perception error, response communication error, poor decision making and an insufficient airport all contributed to the crash. This disaster has great impact directly and indirectly to the stakeholders such as two national airline companies, the victims and their families, the airport employees and the Spanish government, as the country where the accident took place. Therefore, this disaster involves the aviation industry in three different countries, laws, languages and also local political issues. Right after the disaster, both airlines and Spanish government has to deal with several sensitive issues including the crash survivors and victim, body identification, releasing information to the public, sorting financial responsibility under the pressure of high level of media coverage and time limit. Since the event, international aviation organizations and airline business have worked hard to put together new regulations, crisis prevention and response plans that will stop similar events from happening. The Tenerife crisis is marked as one of greatest change in aviation approach to crisis training. It introduced anticipate crises thinking, personality and attitude test; on-board crisis plan, checklists, crisis drills and Crew Resource Management programs (CRM) as well as reinforced the strictest laws on international language and communication code used in the industry.

In further details this paper recommends a Pre-Crisis response plan that can help the each stakeholder group (airline companies, passengers, Airport Air Traffic Control) to prepare for crisis. Advance communication systems. Anti-blocking device (ABD), effective safety demonstration and Aero-language are the main recommendation. The paper also discussed post-crisis restoration of the environment, infrastructure and services. In addition, similar cases from Thailand that was created by similar errors like the political protest that

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closed down Suwanabhumi Airport in November 2008 and the TG311 that crashed at Tribhuvan international airport, Nepal in 1992. It can be concluded that the accident encouraged the aviation industry to finally address its vulnerability and flaws in multiple areas of errors that can rise a series a chainreaction to a great tragedy. Accordingly to ICAO, Tenerife Disaster became a required model of case study explored in present and future aviation training classes.

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History: Tenerife Disaster

The Tenerife disaster happened on March 27, 1977 at 17:06:56 local time at Los Rodeos Airport on the island of Tenerife in the Canary Islands, Spain. On that day two of Boeing 747 crashed on each other, the disaster caused the highest number of fatalities of any single accident in aviation history. The two planes involved were the 747 airbuses of Pan American World Airways Flight 1736 (the Clipper Victor) under the control of Captain Victor Grubbs, and KLM Royal Dutch Airlines Flight 4805 (the Rijn) under the command of Captain Jacob...

References: 
McCreary, J., Pollard, M., Stevenson, K., and Wilson, M.B., 1998. Human Factors: Tenerife Revisited. Journal of Air Transportation World Wide. 3(1). P.23-30.
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Wilcock, J. ,and Heimann, L., 2008. Crew Resource Management. Presentation tm
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