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The Tenerife crash - March 27th, 1977

At 16h55, the Dutch 747 reached the runway, the American 747 a few hundred meters behind it. The fog was becoming denser: the 747s could not see each other, and neither aircraft could be seen from the control tower. The visibility was less than 200 meters.

KLM Boeing 747
The KLM Boeing 747 involved in the crash

17 :01 :57 (PanAm first officer) – Tenerife the Clipper one seven three six.

17 :02 :01 (Tenerife control tower) – Clipper one seven three six Tenerife.

17 :02 :03 (PanAm first officer) – Ah. We were instructed to contact you and also to taxi down the runway, is that correct?

17 :02 :08 (Tenerife control tower) – Affirmative, taxi into the runway and -ah leave the runway third, third to your left.

17 :02 :16 (PanAm first officer) – Third to the left, OK.

 Background conversation in the control tower made it difficult for the crew to hear the instructions.

17 :02 :18 (Mecanician) – Third he said?

17 :02 :19 (Captain) – Three?

17 :02 :21 (Tenerife control tower) – -ird one to your left.

17 :02 :22 (Captain) – I think he said first.

<17 :02 :26 (First officer) – I'll ask him again.

17 :02 :32 (First officer) – Left turn.

17 :02 :33 (Captain) – I don't think they have take-off minimums anywhere right now.

17 :02 :39 (Captain) – What really happened over there today?

17 :02 :41 (PanAm employee) – They put a bomb (in) the terminal, Sir, right where the check-in counters are.

17 :02 :46 (Captain) – Well we asked them if we could hold and -uh- I guess you got the word, we landed here.