At 15:55, the dispatcher returned with wind speeds, wind directions, and runway conditions at San Francisco and Los Angeles. She grew up in Sacramento. Were going to LAX, Thompson told the dispatcher. Thus the fundamental principle of redundancy was violated. And so began a slash-and-burn cost-cutting campaign a campaign that culminated in a terrible black mark which will forever hang over the company, a tragedy so horrible and so preventable that it would call the safety of the entire industry into question. No survivors from Flight 261 have been found. Traveling with Colleen Whorley in Mexico, he e-mailed a friend poetic descriptions of their time together. The airline ended up being fined a mere $44,000 for allowing planes to fly 840 times without properly completed maintenance records. The following is a list of some of the victims of Alaska Airlines Flight 261. William Knudson, 53, SacramentoCo-founder of Inland Business Systems in Sacramento, Mr. Knudson was known for his love of boating and restoring old cars with his partner, Bradley Long. For the next few minutes, they calculated landing weights and center of gravity and other values while controllers in Los Angeles prepared to accommodate them. The criminal investigation also proved to be a disappointment. After the June 2014 incident, Arntson retired from Alaska Airlines, and the Federal Aviation Administration revoked his pilots license, the US Attorneys Office said. Monte Donaldson, 31, SeattleA freelance landscaper, his passion was music and filmmaking. Mutual Fund and ETF data provided by Refinitiv Lipper. It worked. The lead mechanic that day was John Liotine, a rare Alaska Airlines employee who still took safety seriously. Alex Murdaugh sentenced to life in prison for murders of wife and son, Biden had cancerous skin lesion removed last month, doctor says, White supremacist and Holocaust denier Nick Fuentes kicked out of CPAC, Tom Sizemore, actor known for "Saving Private Ryan" and "Heat," dies at 61, Biden team readies new advisory panel ahead of expected reelection bid, At least 10 dead after winter storm slams South, Midwest, House Democrats unhappy with White House handling of D.C.'s new criminal code. Paul Pulanco, 40, SeattleLike his partner, Craig Pulanco, Paul Pulanco was an animal lover and avid gardener. Then, additional grease was to be applied to the entire length of the screw, filling all the threads. For several months he surreptitiously recorded his bosses violating safety rules and handed the tapes over to FAA investigators. Web19K views 2 years ago. Ileana Ost, 30, San Bruno, Calif.She had just returned to work at the Alaska Airlines ticket counter in San Francisco after four months of maternity leave following the birth of her first child, Emily. He worked at Travel Trends in San Francisco, and was traveling with a friend, James Luque. Meanwhile in the cockpit, the pilots tried to figure out what had happened. More importantly, investigators felt that the pilots should not have attempted to troubleshoot the problem after exhausting the procedures in the checklist, considering that they didnt know the extent of the damage. Both Captain Thompson and First Officer Tansky posthumously received the Air Line Pilots Association Gold Medal for Heroism. Following the crash and the damning FAA special inspection report, Alaska Airlines overhauled its maintenance program, including through its compliance with a new FAA airworthiness directive mandating that the jackscrew lubrication interval not exceed 650 flight hours. When the jackscrew was hauled to the surface, investigators could not find any trace of grease on it, except for some old, dried out leftovers outside the normal working area of the screw. According to the plea agreement, both breathalyzer tests performed on Arnston were well above the federal limit of 0.04 percent for pilots, indicating blood alcohol concentrations of 0.134 and 0.142 percent, over three times the legal limit. We went to full nose down and Im afraid to try it again to see if we can get it to go in the other direction.. He was a vice president of business development for Creditland, Inc. He is a resident of Newport Beach, California. With no grease at all, the rate of wear would increase by a factor of ten or more. Friends said she was shy but very gentle and loving. Ronald Lake, 59, Corte Madera, Calif.He was the husband of Joyce Lake, father of three adult sons and an avid traveler. While Tansky held the plane steady, Thompson contacted LAX maintenance again. Had it been inspected after 7,200 flight hours instead of 9,550, the excessive wear would have been discovered before the crash. The report noted that the crash could have been avoided if they had immediately returned to Puerto Vallarta when they encountered the jammed stabilizer. Grace Pearson, 23 months, SeattleLittle Grace Pearson was traveling with her parents, Sarah and Rodney Pearson, and her sister, Rachel. Web19K views 2 years ago. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, However, the plane ran into a streak of at least two or three grease applications that were not done correctly, including one in September 1999 by a notorious San Francisco-based mechanic who was later found to have applied virtually no grease to any of the jackscrews he worked on. A year after the crash of Alaska Airlines Flight 261, lawyers representing families of the victims contend the jet's pilots erred by failing to quickly land the MD-80 when problems first surfaced minutes into the flight. Born in Hawaii, Mr. Ing grew up on Mercer Island, graduating from Mercer Island High School in 1990. View on timesmachine. By 2000, Alaska Airlines only inspected the wear on the jackscrew nut every 30 months, equivalent to 9,550 flight hours, whereas the manufacturer recommended an interval no larger than 7,200 flight hours. But in the end he was forced to accept a mere $500,000 settlement, far less than the $20 million he had sought, and only then on the condition that he resign from his job. Ted Thompson, 53, Redlands, Calif.The pilot of Flight 261, Capt. At that moment they effectively were dead. I think its at the stop, full stop, said Thompson. However, Alaska Airlines maintenance personnel often did it in as little as one hour not because they found a more efficient way, but because they didnt understand the proper procedure and skipped some of the steps. He is also survived by a grown son, Fred. But after Liotine left for the night, the next shift and the shift supervisors decided to run the test again before taking his measurement at face value. Video Alaska Airlines Pilot Accused of Flying Drunk - ABC News Jimmy Carter Kellie Pickler's husband dies Georgia shooting Escaped NYC zoo owl Tesla union launch Alaska Airlines Pilot Accused of Flying Drunk Authorities say 60-year-old David Hans Arnston flew drunk twice in one day. Avinesh Amit Deo, 23, BurienThe Highline High School alumnus had just graduated from ITT Technical Institute and was to have started his career at the time of the crash. I think if its controllable, we ought to just try and land it, said Tansky. Visit r/admiralcloudberg to read and discuss over 190 similar articles. Before the flight, he told a friend that Weimer, an airline transport pilot, would be at the controls for the short sightseeing trip, according to the NTSB report. A former Alaska Airlines captain faces jail time for piloting a plane carrying passengers while under the influence of alcohol, over four years after the incident took place. Indeed, by the end of the 1990s, what had once been a small regional carrier had successfully transformed itself into one of Americas largest airlines. Let me just try it, Tansky said, offering to take over the strenuous task of holding the plane level. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) also revoked his pilots license. It was the first sign that something was in fact gravely wrong with their airplane. Alaska Airlines 261 is a chartered flight operated by Alaska Airlines. CNN A former Alaska Airlines pilot plans to plead guilty in California to flying with a blood-alcohol level three times the legal limit for pilots. Did maintenance errors cause the tragic crash? The pilot of Flight 261, Capt. The stabilizer is attached to a giant threaded screw, called the jackscrew, which feeds through a nut attached to the aircraft structure inside the tail. If done correctly, the process took about four hours. Quotes displayed in real-time or delayed by at least 15 minutes. The first flight was from San Diego International Airport to Portland, Oregon. A Warner Bros. The longer it went without being greased properly, the faster the jackscrew wore down the threads on the nut. Web3.3M views 1 year ago Air Alaska Flight 261 dives into the ocean shortly after takeoff, killing the 88 passengers and crew on board. Did maintenance errors cause the tragic crash? He was coming home with his wife, Carol. Thorgrimson, a founding partner of a prominent Seattle-based law firm. You did try the suitcase handles and the pickle switches, right? the maintenance technician asked. Over time, this minute difference will cause the jackscrew to wear away the threads on the nut if metal-on-metal contact is allowed to occur. Sheryl Thompson, 33, Valdez, AlaskaTraveling with her parents, Morris and Thelma Thompson, Ms. Thompson was an important figure in extreme skiing in Valdez, helping organize annual events. TimesMachine is an exclusive benefit for home delivery and digital subscribers. Former owner of a travel business, she was a very giving person, friends said, and was working toward a masters degree in art therapy. And hes just hit the water, said one pilot. Gotta get it over again said Thompson. Powered and implemented by FactSet Digital Solutions. January 22, 2016 Examined 9:54 Whats next for Juan Marquez, 34, San FranciscoAn adult-education book salesman, he owned two condos in Puerto Vallarta with his partner, Dale Rettinger, and went there often to relax. But there was nothing to be done. Neither the electric switches (which the pilots called pickle switches) nor the fully manual trim handles (referred to as the suitcase handles) could move the stabilizer. Keep in mind that the pitch of the stabilizer itself is actually inverse to the pitch of the airplane.). The NTSB report did not identify a probable cause of the crash. All large airplanes have what is referred to as a trimmable horizontal stabilizer. An Athabascan Indian, he grew up in Alaskas interior. Described by friends as a soft-spoken, caring person, Ms. Thompson is survived by two sisters. Fox News Alexandra Deabler contributed to this report. Ryan Sparks, 20, EnumclawA graduate of Enumclaw High School, Mr. Sparks was traveling with his girlfriend, Meghann Hall, and her friend Rachel Janosik. Lives would have been saved if they had. All rights reserved. Okay, right rudder, right rudder, said Thompson. Described as the mother hen of the block, Mrs. Pearson was the block-party organizer and Christmas-party hostess. Federal regulations limit alcohol levels to 0.04 for airplane crew members. According to the official maintenance manual, greasing the jackscrew involved three main steps. On the 31st of January 2000, an Alaska Airlines MD-83 bound for San Francisco suddenly plunged from the sky off the coast of California, spiraling downward until it slammed into the Pacific Ocean. He won commendations from a booster group for the action. And because of the increased interval between applications of new grease, a jackscrew with insufficient grease couldnt expect to see more until the plane had been in the air for another 2,250 hours. However, the pilots were clearly under pressure to continue on to San Francisco, and maintenance technicians and dispatchers on the ground did not appreciate the direness of the situation. But in the end, Alaska all but got away with it. It stars Denzel Washington as William Whip Whitaker Sr., an alcoholic airline pilot who miraculously crash-lands his plane after a mechanical failure, saving nearly everyone on board. Charlene Sipe, 53, BrierTraveling with Harry Stasinos, Ms. Sipe was also a longtime insurance agent. She is survived by her mother, Dr. Claire Barnett of Seattle, a family-practice doctor. Stacy Schuyler, 20, Federal WayA ground-service agent for Horizon Air, Ms. Schuyler was a 1997 graduate of Puyallup High School. Miles Clemetson, 6, SeattleThe son of Carolyn Clemetson from a previous marriage, Miles attended John Hay Elementary School on Queen Anne Hill with his stepsisters. And so it was that on a sunny day in January 2000, 83 passengers and five crew boarded Alaska Airlines flight 261 in the resort city of Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, bound for San Francisco, California. There is a long-held belief in many cultures that the number 13 is unlucky. He was traveling with his wife, Barbara Ryan, and their sons, Bradford Patrick Ryan and James Ryan, and five friends of James Ryan. She was a treasured volunteer at a Eugene elementary school. WebAlaska Flight 261 Pilots Awarded ALPA Gold Medal Air Line Pilot, March 2001, p. 22 By Chris Dodd, Staff Writer Two Alaska Airlines pilots who fought until their last moments to regain control of their MD-80 despite an inoperative horizontal stabilizer have been honored with ALPAs Gold Medal for Heroism in a special ceremony in Seattle. The pilots pulled back as hard as they could on their control columns and deployed the flaps to try and slow down, but their efforts were utterly hopeless. The basic design of the stabilizer is relatively simple. Well see you at the gate. This would be the last transmission between flight 261 and Alaska Airlines maintenance. Its on the stop now, its on the stop, Thompson said. The revelations were in a report by the National Transportation Safety Board, the Anchorage Daily News reported . The stabilizer on the MD-80 series rests on top of the tail, and like all airliners, it can move up and down to adjust the pitch angle at which the plane is stable. Both were Alaskan natives. It can be interpreted (and alcoholics often reverse the order in their mind) that he therefore feels lost and is drinking and using drugs to run away from that sadness. Following the procedures prescribed in the checklists, they tried cycling the motors on and off, checking the trim motor circuit breakers, and using the manual trim controls. He was traveling with his wife, Patty Williams and their friends Bob and Lorna Thorgrimson. After four days in the woods, they were rescued and taken to Boise Memorial. Hes ah, down.. He was remembered for being a friendly neighbor and loving owner of two golden retrievers, Casey and Emma, and he loved to play the clarinet. Erickson was a student pilot. Lorna Thorgrimson, 52, PoulsboTraveling with her husband, Robert Thorgrimson, Mrs. Thorgrimson was also accompanied by her close friends, Patty and Bob Williams. As investigators recovered more and more of the plane from the ocean floor, a troubling picture of the sequence of events began to emerge. I didnt want to call you guys, said the flight attendant, but that girl theyre like, you better go up there and tell them., I need you strapped in, dear, said Thompson, cause Im going to release the back pressure and see if I can get it back.. Thompson was an Air Force veteran who had flown for Alaska Airlines for more than 17 years. Note: this accident was previously featured in episode 2 of the plane crash series on September 16th, 2017, prior to the series arrival on Medium. Instead it went the other way., What do you think. Toni Choate, 48, San FranciscoHe had been a general contractor and cabinet finisher in Visalia, Calif., then bought a bar in Santa Clara, Calif. CNN has reached out to Alaska Airlines for comment. Arntson was selected for random drug and alcohol testing by Alaska Airlines at at John Wayne Airport after landing. The pilots were able to stabilize the plane, inverted, for less than a minute (with a 9pitch towards the ocean). Quality control fell by the wayside as workers performed tasks they didnt understand, while under pressure to get planes back in service as quickly as possible. The co-pilot also recalled Arntson saying "I bet it's for me.". The 63-year-old aviator, from Newport Beach, Calif.,previously pleaded guilty to the crime in February of this year. FOLLOW US ON FACEBOOK FOR MORE FOX LIFESTYLE NEWS. Barbara Hatleberg, 64, Eugene, Ore.The wife of Glenn Hatleburg, mother of three and grandmother of two, she was retired but used her skills at accounting and finance to volunteer in the office of her church. Im sorry, this airplane isnt gonna go anywhere for a while.. Some did still less, failing even to ensure that grease totally filled the inside of the nut. (David Arnston Google+). Key safety-related positions within the airlines management structure went unfilled. The free-swinging stabilizer rotated up past its stop, slamming back against the aerodynamic fairing that encased the tail. Ah, here we go, said Captain Thompson, uttering the last words captured on the cockpit voice recorder. She is survived by her husband of 13 years, Phil Salyer. Erickson indicated that he and the pilot had been drinking alcoholic beverages, investigator Brice Banning wrote. The night shift subsequently performed the test five more times and measured a wear depth of approximately 0.84mm on each attempt. You got it?. Possibly. FAA regulations say a pilot cannot have a blood or breath alcohol concentration of 0.04 or more, which is half the legal limit for driving in the United States. Collins said the bodies recovered were those of an infant, two women and a man. He had treated his cousins, Avinesh Prasad and Avinesh Amit Deo, to a trip to Mexico. Still, the pilots did not give up; Thompson thought it might be possible to roll out right-side-up using the rudder. Flight 261 was traveling from Puerto Vallarta to San Francisco on Jan. 31, 2000 when a mechanical malfunction inverted the jet and sent it downward off the Ventura County coast. This may seem strange to make such a change in the cabin based on a superstitious belief. When he measured the wear on the jackscrew nut and found it to be exactly one millimeter (0.040in), he concluded that the nut had reached the end of its service life and issued a work card ordering its replacement. The seemingly simple task of greasing the jackscrew was not immune to this degradation of the maintenance environment. Permanent License Revocation If the investigators conclude that the pilot was intoxicated prior to a flight, the FAA will typically revoke the pilots license permanently. It added dozens of new routes, expanded to a large number of new cities, and even added services to Mexico in order to offset the seasonal nature of its flights to Alaska. He lived in Brier with his partner, Charlene Sipe. No survivors Erickson indicated that he and the pilot had been drinking alcoholic beverages, investigator Brice Banning wrote. Quotes displayed in real-time or delayed by at least 15 minutes. When greased regularly, the nut on the MD-80 series is designed to last for 30,000 flight hours before requiring replacement long enough that most planes will see only two or three different jackscrew nuts during their entire time in service. They heard a helicopter, but they were unable to fire the flare gun successfully and the helicopter left. The massive aerodynamic force pushing up on the horizontal stabilizer was normally absorbed by the nut, but with its threads stripped, all that force was transmitted through the mechanical stop instead. LOS ANGELES -- Federal authorities have arrested a former Alaska Airlines captain on federal charges of piloting a plane while intoxicated. Were flying were flying tell em what were doing.. Aloysius Han, 65, Oakland, Calif.A retired architect for Pacific Gas and Electric Co., Mr. Han often traveled to Mexico, where he owned a condominium and other property. Two electric motors spin the jackscrew within the nut, causing the stabilizer to move up or down. Meanwhile, N963AS continued to fly, and maintenance workers continued to grease the jackscrew every eight months. But over the next two decades, Alaska Airlines pursued an aggressive strategy of expansion, aiming to become an affordable option for travelers throughout the Western United States. The horrific crash killed all 88 people on board and raised troubling questions about one of Americas largest airlines. Toxicology results showed that Weimers blood-alcohol was 0.238. He lived with his mother in Oakland and spent much of his time caring for exotic birds, his koi pond and a garden. Discovery Company. However, the procedures available to them did not state that this was necessary, which doubtlessly contributed to their decision to continue on. Market data provided by Factset. Craig Pulanco was working as a flight attendant aboard Flight 261. In December of 1998 the federal government launched a criminal investigation into Alaska Airlines, seizing documents and interviewing witnesses. According to the criminal complaint filed Tuesday, Arntson was the pilot of two Alaska Airlines flights on in June 2014, in which he was under the influence. View on timesmachine. After touching down at John Wayne Airport and spotting the drug tester, Arnston allegedly said, I bet its for me, according to his co-pilot on the two flights said, CBS reports. What I want to do is get the nose up, and then let the nose fall through and see if we can stab it when its unloaded. It was his belief that the stabilizer might move nose up if there was no aerodynamic force pushing it upward into the nose down position. ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) The pilot of an airplane in a fatal Alaska crash had six times the legal limit of alcohol in his system for flying, according to federal investigators. Patty Williams, 63, Poulsbo, Kitsap CountyMrs. How long does it take for a potato to cook at 350? An avid outdoorsman and Spanish language graduate of Western Washington University, he was traveling with his parents and with long-time friends, Michael Bernard, Ryan and Abigail Busche, Russel Ing and Deborah Penna. Clemetson was traveling with her husband, Dr. David Clemetson and their family. The state medical examiner found the cause of Weimers death was injuries from the crash but also that alcohol intoxication may be viewed as a factor contributing to death., Connect with the definitive source for global and local news. At that moment they effectively were dead. Mr. Marquez was flying home alone while Mr. Rettinger stayed behind for a longer vacation. Shortly after the accident, Liotine discovered that the jackscrew nut he had inspected in 1997 was not in fact replaced and had actually gone on to cause the crash. Indeed, the final, terrifying dive was the culmination not just of hours of failed troubleshooting, but of years upon years of negligent maintenance, blatant corruption, and lax federal oversight, a deadly combination that led to an unprecedented failure of the stabilizer trim jackscrew one of the scariest malfunctions any flight crew has ever faced. Even though the pilots fought for control for a short period, an MD-80 will not She was a flight attendant for Alaska. Less than one second later, Alaska Airlines flight 261 slammed into the Pacific Ocean, obliterating the aircraft and instantly killing all 88 people on board.
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