Today In History: 13 January 1970 – Polynesian Airlines Flight Carrying 29 Passengers and 3 Crew Crashes Near Faleolo International Airport

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On this day, 13 January 1970 a Polynesian Airlines flight carrying 29 passengers, pilot, co-pilot and one flight attendant crashed into the sea about a minute after takeoff from Faleolo International Airport killing all 32 people on board.

Aviation Safety Network records the probable cause as “unrecoverable stall due to shifting of winds”.

“About one minute after takeoff the aircraft encountered windshear and possible precipitation turbulence, causing the nose to pitch up. The aircraft stalled and crashed into the sea; an explosion followed”.

One minute after takeoff from Faleolo Airport, while climbing, the airplane entered a low pressure area with thunderstorm activity, rain falls, turbulences and windshear. The airplane went out of control and crashed into the sea few hundred yards offshore. It exploded while contacting the water surface and all 32 occupants were killed. The aircraft stalled and crashed into the sea; an explosion followed. Probable cause: Loss of control caused by severe turbulences and probable windshear