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This is a photo of me, taken at Schipol airport in Amsterdam in May of 1979 by Hans Hofman. The image appeared in the article published the “RITS” July 17, 1979, issue.
This is the picture I had heard about from the Dutch editor of the magazine “NEW REVIEW.” It shows me on the ground after my escape from the burning wreckage of the Pan Am 747, Clipper Victor. I vaguely remember seeing somebody walk past me with a camera. I am reaching into my left rear pocket to retrieve my handkerchief which I used to wipe the blood off the right rear side of my head. Later, at the hospital, three stitches were sewn too close the wound.
This is the cover of “STERN” magazine from what was West Germany. The image was cropped from the original shot. The resulting cover photo highlights the left wing of the aircraft. Note the exit door over the wing. I was sitting a row in front of that door and climbed out of a hole in the ceiling above my seatmates onto the wing.
This is one of my photos which was published in the Dutch magazine “Niew Revu”. The editors used a two-page layout for this picture. Note that this photo is dark. This is the first one I shot after my escape from the burning Pan Am 747. After I took the photo, I checked the internal light meter in the camera and found that the light was too dark. I reset the “F” stop and took four more photos.
This picture was published in “LIFE” magazine. I am sure that the photographer was a local native who also took the picture of me. I found out about three months later that the four passengers in this picture were seated in the center section of row 30, across the aisle from me. They followed me out of the hole in the ceiling and because of that decision, they survived. The person standing over them is Pan Am, Purser Dorothy Kelly.
This is a copy of the advertisement that KLM was running world wide at the time of the accident. The man sitting in the cockpit of a 747 is the airlines Chief Instructor Pilot, Jacob Van Zanten. When word of the accident reached the CEO of the airline, he instructed his staff to find Van Zanten and send him to Tenerife to find out what happened. Shortly after that, word came back that Van Zanten was the pilot in command of the KLM 747 that ran into Pan Am.
There are two pictures in this frame. The upper one features Pan Am First Officer Bob Bragg (L) and Pan Am Flight Engineer George Warns. I saw both of them during a tour of the cockpit about an hour before the accident. The lower photo is a drawing of the airport runway layout at Los Rodeos Airport in Santa Cruz, Tenerife, Canary Islands. I understand that the drawing is not accurate, but I don’t recall the error in the drawing. Neither of these photos is mine.
This is a black and white version of Picture #7. The injured people were sitting across the aisle from me in row 30.
This is one of my pictures which was also published in the Dutch magazine “Niew Revu.” I was standing at the top of a stairway which was positioned at the left from the door of the Pan Am 747. The two aircraft in front of us was a McDonnell Douglas DC-8 (L) and a Boeing 727. After the fog descended upon us, I heard two aircraft take off. I believe they were these two aircraft. Note the big aircraft in the background on the far side of the tarmac. This is the KLM 747 “City of Amsterdam” which ran into us. Looking closely, you can see their left wing tip. The distance between their left wing tip and our right wing tip was too short for us to get by them. KLM Captain Van Zanten decided to refuel there which caused a 40-minute delay in our departure. During that time the fog rolled in. Note the pavement leading to the left. That leads to the runway. The small inset photo is another one of mine and is a Pan Am Clipper Victor at the gate in Los Angeles (LAX).
This is a photo of me with my sailboat, “JAMAICA 3” at the fuel dock in my home marina, Ballena Isle Marina in Alameda, California, which is on the east side of San Francisco Bay next to Oakland. The sailboat is my home on weekends.
This is a clean version of one of my photo’s I shot after I had reset the “F” stop on my camera to lighten up the photo. The three people on the left are co-survivors of the accident. I do not know who the man is but the women are Patricia and Lynda Daniel (mother and daughter) from La Verne, California. Their husband/father tossed them out of a hole in the forward fuselage. As they looked up from the ground, they saw him grab another person when another explosion killed them.
This is a collection of three photos. Across the top is a photo of the burned out wreckage. The lower left is the KLM print advertisement, and the lower right is the photo of the survivors who were sitting across from me in row 30.
Tenerife: Remembering the world’s deadliest aviation disaster
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