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Depressing final words from the black boxes of crashed aircraft

Mar 11, 2014

If you’re not yet afraid of flying, here are 11 eerie final words recorded on the black boxes of major air disasters since 1964, collected with help from the “Last Words” section of the site Plane Crash Info.

Fair warning, all of these are incredibly depressing. You probably shouldn’t read this if you ever want to take a flight without needing to ingest 10 Xanax.

1. Pacific Air Lines 773

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On May 7, 1964, a passenger told several people on board that he was going to kill himself. He shot both the pilot and copilot, and then turned the gun on himself. The plane crashed on a hillside near San Ramon, California, and 44 people on board perished.

Last words: “Skipper’s shot!  We’ve been shot. I was trying to help.”

2. Air Canada 621

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Flight 621 crashed upon landing in Ontario due to pilot error, killing all 109 people on board.

Last words: “Pete, sorry.”

3. Pacific Southwest Airlines 182

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Flight 182 collided with a private Cessna 172 over San Deigo on September 25, 1978, killing 144 people.

Last words: “Ma I love you.”

4. Air New Zealand 901

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Flight 901 crashed into Mount Erebus on November 28, 1979. Most of the wreckage still remains on the mountain.

Last words: “Actually, these conditions don’t look very good at all, do they?”

5. Air Florida 90

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On January 13, 1982, due to pilot error, Flight 90 crashed into the 14th Street Bridge in Washington, D.C., and then plunged into the water below. Seven cars on the bridge were crushed, killing four people. 78 people died in total, and five people survived the crash, all of them pulled from the icy water by responding civilians and professionals.

Last words: “Larry, we’re going down, Larry… I know it!”

6. VASP 168

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On June 8, 1982, Flight 168 crashed while attempting to land in Brazil, killing all 137 people on board.

Last words: “What? There’s what? Some hills, isn’t there?”

7. WNBC News Copter

The WNBC helicopter crashed into the Hudson River in New York on October 22, 1986, killing radio traffic reporter Jane Dornacker, who had previously survived another similar helicopter crash in Brooklyn.

Last words: “…hit the water…hit the water…hit the water.”

8. LOT Polish Airlines 5055

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On May 9, 1987, Flight 5055 crashed into the Kabaty Woods outside of Warsaw Poland, after its engine exploded, killing all 183 people on board.

Last words: “Goodnight, goodbye, we perish!”

9. Surinam Airways 764

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Flight 764 crashed on approach in Suriname, on June 7, 1989, killing 176 of the 187 on board.

Last words: “That’s it I’m dead.”

10. Vladivostokavia 352

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On July 4, 2001, Flight 352 crashed in Irkutsk, Russia, after the pilot lost control of the plane while landing. All 145 people died.

Last Words: “That’s all guys! Fuck!”

11. Air France 447

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Flight 447 crashed in the Atlantic Ocean near South America on June 1, 2009, due to a technical glitch to which the pilots reacted incorrectly. All 228 people on board perished.

Last words: “Damn it, we’re going to crash… This can’t be happening!”

h/t Plane Crash Info

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