707-138B N791SA "Empress of Sydney" (formerly VH-EBC) at
Vancouver after being extricated from the building with which it collided
on 7 February 1968. This photo was uploaded to the website on 7 February
2007, the 39th anniversary of the accident.Photo:
Photographer Tom Grant describes the accident: "This CPA 707
wet leased from Standard Airways made a statement upon landing one
dark, foggy morning at Vancouver on 7 February 1968. This could have
been a disaster. This aircraft came down on runway 08 (eastbound),
swerved off to the south toward the terminal, cut across the ramp
taking out the corner of the Aero Club building and two small aircraft
with its starboard wing. One of these aircraft ended up in one of
the starboard engines removing it from the wing. The B707 then cut
across the terminal ramp in front of a fully fueled Air Canada DC-8
and a DC- 9 and came to a stop in the CAE building. A couple of the
engines were still roaring. The terminal was evacuated. Personnel
rushed to the aircraft to get the passengers and crew off. One person
died on board (a Flight Attendant), and one DOT employee died in the
building. You can see that the flight crew survived because the nosewheel
collapsed and the roof of the building cut further back on the fuselage.
I'll not forget having my morning coffee with colleagues in the terminal
restaurant and hearing a roar and lights swish by the large windows.
The Gods smiled on us that day, for a slight deviation, left or right,
of the B707's path would have hit the main terminal or fueled aircraft."
Graham Collins describes the collateral damage to other aircraft:
"One of the two aircraft destroyed by the starboard wing of the
707 was a Beechcraft owned by my dad and a group of his friends. Their
Beechcraft had just been ferried back after being refurbished in the
Flightcraft in Portland, Oregon.
Due to a late day arrival, the Bonanza had to stay overnight on the
ramp while waiting for customs clearance before being released back
to the owners. The next morning the leased Canadian Pacific 707 lost
control and veered off the runway with the starboard wing passing
right over XDC. As my dad and his friends said afterwards if only
the engine wasn't hanging right below that section of the wing, it
might have turned out quite differently. After the outboard starboard
engine of the 707 passed through the Beechcraft's cockpit, it struck
a Cessna 185 that was on amphibious floats. Due to it's greater height
the 185 was completely demolished but the damage to the Bonanza was
still sufficient to cause XDC to be written off by the insurance company."