LOT Polish Airlines Flight 5055 – 14 March 1987
On March 14th, 1987, LOT Polish Airlines Flight 5055 took off from Warsaw, Poland At 10:18 local time en route to New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport. The flight was supposed to be routine, with 11 crew members and 172 passengers on board. However, tragedy struck 54 minutes after takeoff, as the plane crashed in the Kabaty Woods Nature Reserve.
The exact cause of the crash was never determined with complete certainty, but the most widely accepted theory is that it was the result of a mechanical failure. The plane, a Soviet-made Ilyushin Il-62M, had a malfunctioning engine that caused it to veer off course and eventually crash. The crew attempted to turn the plane back towards the airport, but they were unable to control the aircraft and it crashed.
The crash of Flight 5055 was a devastating event for the families of those who lost their lives, as well as for the aviation industry as a whole. It was the deadliest plane crash involving a Polish airline, and one of the worst aviation disasters of the 1980s. In the aftermath of the crash, investigators and aviation experts worked tirelessly to determine the cause and make recommendations to prevent similar tragedies from occurring in the future.
According to the Aviation Safety Network
According to the Aviation Safety Network, as the plane climbed away from the Polish capital, air traffic control advised the flight’s crew to increase their climb rate to avoid an upcoming zone of military airspace. As such, they applied maximum thrust.
This decision ultimately proved fatal, as it caused faulty bearings inside the aircraft’s number two engine to explode. This, in turn, destroyed its low-pressure turbine shaft, prompting it to disintegrate.
In the wake of the crash, LOT Polish Airlines implemented a number of changes to their operations and procedures to prevent similar accidents from occurring. They strengthened their maintenance protocols and began conducting more rigorous inspections of their aircraft. They also improved their crew training programs to emphasize communication and teamwork.
The legacy of LOT Polish Airlines Flight 5055 is a sobering reminder of the risks and responsibilities that come with air travel. While the aviation industry has made great strides in improving safety and reducing the risk of accidents, it is important to never forget the lessons of the past and to continue working towards even greater levels of safety and reliability.
Featured image source:
By Felix Goetting – Gallery page http://www.airliners.net/photo/LOT—Polish/Ilyushin-Il-62M/1253004/LPhoto http://cdn-www.airliners.net/aviation-photos/photos/4/0/0/1253004.jpg, GFDL 1.2, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=27067748