Reeve Aleutian Airways Flight 8

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Reeve Aleutian Airways Flight 8
RAA L-188 N1968R.jpg
Lockheed L-188C N1968R, the aircraft involved
Date June 8, 1983
Summary Propeller separation leading to rapid decompression, cause undetermined
Site Pacific Ocean near Cold Bay, Alaska
Aircraft type Lockheed L-188 Electra
Operator Reeve Aleutian Airways
Registration N1968R
Flight origin Cold Bay Airport, Cold Bay, Alaska
Destination Seattle International Airport
Passengers 10
Crew 5
Fatalities 0
Injuries 0
Survivors 15 (All)

Reeve Aleutian Airways Flight 8 was an American domestic flight from Cold Bay, Alaska to Seattle, Washington on June 8, 1983.[1] Shortly after taking off the Lockheed L-188 Electra of Reeve Aleutian Airways was travelling over the Pacific Ocean, when one of the propellers broke away from its engine and struck the fuselage, damaging the flight controls. The pilots were able to make a successful emergency landing at Anchorage International Airport; none of the fifteen passengers and crew on board were injured in the incident.


The aircraft involved in the incident was a Lockheed L-188C Electra, powered by 4 turboprop engines, with manufacturer's serial number 2007 and registration N1968R. It had been delivered to Qantas in 1959. In 1968, after service with other airlines, including Air New Zealand and the California Airmotive Corporation, the aircraft was sold to Reeve Aleutian.[2] It had flown approximately 33,000 hours in service at the time the accident happened.[3]


Just after takeoff from Cold Bay Airport, on the Alaska Peninsula for a flight across the northern Pacific Ocean to Seattle, Washington, with 10 passengers, the crew noted an unusual vibration in the aircraft, but were unable to isolate the source. As the aircraft climbed from FL190 (approximately 19,000 feet (5,800 m)) to FL250 (approximately 25,000 feet (7,600 m)), the Flight Engineer left the cockpit to visually check the engines from the passenger cabin, but saw nothing amiss. The Flight Attendant went into the cockpit to discuss the vibration, which suddenly increased in intensity as she went back into the cabin. She looked out the window just in time to see the propeller on the No. 4 engine (the outboard engine on the right wing) detach itself and fly spinning under the fuselage. The propeller tore a gash 8 feet (2.4 m) long in the aircraft's belly, depressurizing the cabin and jamming the flight and engine controls.[4][5] The pilots managed to gain some control of the aircraft by using the autopilot and diverted the aircraft to Anchorage. With the engine throttle controls jammed at cruise power, on approach to land the crew was able to make the aircraft descend and climb after shutting down No. 2 (the left inboard) engine in combination with lowering and raising the landing gear.[4][6]

The Electra landed safely at Anchorage International Airport, even with the loss of almost all flight controls. The crew had to shut down all engines once the aircraft was on the ground in order to help bring it to a stop; one tire blew out and the brakes caught fire.[5] Nobody was hurt when the propeller hit the fuselage or during the emergency landing. The captain, 54-year-old James Gibson, with 5,700 hours' experience flying Electras, was honored for the successful landing by a meeting with President Ronald Reagan in the White House.[3][7] The Airline Pilots Association also honored Captain Gibson, 39-year-old First Officer Gary Lintner and 45-year-old Flight Engineer Gerald Moose Laurin later in 1983 with its Superior Airmanship Award.[8]

As the propeller fell into the Pacific Ocean and was never recovered for examination, the reason for its separation is unknown.[4]


Following the accident, the aircraft was repaired and returned to service.[9] N1968R was de-registered in 2001 and was exported to Canada as C-GHZI, where it was used as a firefighting craft. The airline managed to keep going after the accident but began to succumb to financial issues in the early 1990s. Reeve Aleutian Airways eventually ceased operations on December 5, 2000.[10]

Captain James Gibson died on January 5, 2010, aged 80.[citation needed]


The events of Flight 8 were featured in season 12 of the TV series Mayday, in an episode named "Fight for Control". The episode includes interviews from the flight crew and witnesses, a dramatic reenactment of the flight, and actual footage of the flight's emergency landing.[11]


  1. ^ "Accident description". Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved May 5, 2016.
  2. ^ Retrieved June 30, 2017
  3. ^ a b "Aviation Accident Final Report" (PDF). National Transportation Safety Board. DCA83AA029. Retrieved September 17, 2017.
  4. ^ a b c "Brief of Accident, DCA83AA029, File No. 3041". National Transportation Safety Board. Retrieved September 17, 2017.
  5. ^ a b "Near-tragedy probed in Canada; Flight crew praised for landing". The Bulletin. Bend, Oregon. June 10, 1983. p. A-12. Retrieved July 21, 2016.
  6. ^ "Crew members used 'a combination of backup systems' to..." United Press International. June 9, 1983. Retrieved July 21, 2016.
  7. ^ "President Salutes Controller, Pilot". Sarasota Herald-Tribune. June 21, 1983. Retrieved May 5, 2016.
  8. ^ "Alpa honours air safety efforts". Flight International. Vol. 124 no. 3875. London: Transport Press. August 13, 1983. p. 409. ISSN 0015-3710. Retrieved July 21, 2016.
  9. ^ Retrieved June 30, 2017
  10. ^ Retrieved June 30, 2017
  11. ^ "Fight for Control". Mayday. Season 12. 2012. Discovery Channel Canada / National Geographic Channel.

External links

  • Video of emergency landing
Retrieved from ""
This content was retrieved from Wikipedia :
This page is based on the copyrighted Wikipedia article "Reeve Aleutian Airways Flight 8"; it is used under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License (CC-BY-SA). You may redistribute it, verbatim or modified, providing that you comply with the terms of the CC-BY-SA