Posts Tagged ‘American Airlines’

I’ve been at O’Hare International Airport, once, it’s located in Chicago, Illinois and I fortunately got my flight in and out without incident. For the passengers and crew of American Airline Flight 191 it was another story entirely. The tragedy occurred 25th May, 1979 and was recorded on film and photography at the time.

Just as the aircraft reached its take-off speed engine no.1 and the pylon assembly were separated from the left wing. It flipped over the top of the wing and then landed on the runway. The aircraft was continuing on the normal climb up but everyone thought the pilot would be turning to come back around to land.

It is unknown what was said in the cockpit because the cockpit voice recorder lost power with the loss of the engine. The last recorded words were from the first officer “Damn!” and it was known after the engine was not the only failure in the plane. Hydraulic systems one and three were damaged and the airplane was in he air for 50 seconds before it crashed into the ground.

What the passengers saw is debatable, but the cockpit had been equipped with CCTV positioned above the captains shoulder and connected to view screens in the passenger cabin, it is possible they could see their efforts unfolding as well. The plane crashed into a field around 4,600 feet from the end of the runway, aircraft debris was then thrown into an adjacent trailer park. The DC-10 aircraft also crashed into an old aircraft hanger that was part of the old Ravenswood Airport, being used for storage.

271 people onboard the aircraft were killed, two employees at a nearby repair garage were killed and two more were seriously burnt. The conclusion, taking out the jargon, was that the aeroplane had crashed because of improper maintenance used by American Airlines. 273 dead, and despite later exonerating the aircraft the damage was done in the public’s eye. American Airlines were fined $500,000 by the US government for improper maintenance procedures. 262 Americans, 4 Saudi Arabians, 1 South Korean, 2 Austrian, 1 Belgian and 4 people from the Netherlands all gone. For 32 years there was no memorial placed but in 2009 a memorial was funded after a two-year campaign by the 6th grade class of Decatur classical school in Chicago.

With a tragedy like this it is not unusual to think that there would be accounts of strange activity. Des Plaines officers reported that motorists had reported odd sights within a few months of the crash. They had seen odd, bobbing lights in the accident sites field, they had thought that it might be ghoulish collectors but on arrival they found the fields empty. Patrols often went on to the field but never apprehended anyone.

The nearby mobile homes park residents claimed to hear knocking at doors, rapping at doors and windows; responders would open their doors only to find there was nobody there. Dogs at the park would bark at the empty field and owners were unable to find anything that they would be reacting too. On a few occasions it was also said people confronted figures in the area too, and might get a worried person who told them they were searching for lost luggage or needed to make a connection before disappearing.

One anecdote (Americanhauntingsink.com) recalls a man who was approached by another man, he was walking his dog in an area near the crash at night and the man told him he needed to mark an emergency telephone call. The man was said to have a strong smell of gasoline and appeared to be smouldering. The dog walker turned to point towards the telephone booth and when he finally turned back to the man had vanished. Until that point he hadn’t paid much attention to the 191 rumours but was now soundly convinced.

There is also another report that travellers coming through O’Hare have seen a young man making a call from a booth, located close to the Fight 191 departure gate. He is said to take a few steps after finishing the call and then vanishes in front of their eyes (no I didn’t experience this).

Ghost Research said that they had got to the site, they hadn’t experienced anything unusual but did put up some ghost box recordings on their website. What you make of ‘spirit boxes’ is personal opinion but they were uploaded and linked on the site, along with a picture of the memorial.

Flight numbers are re-used all the time, airline geeks go into another theory about the flight number being cursed. Usually an incident or tragedy might well mean the number is retired but they found four connected incidents to the use of Flight 191.

1972, Puerto Rico on June 24th, was running late and the control tower at Mercedita was closed. The pilots communicated to an uncontrolled frequency and crashed into the runway. There were 20 people on the flight and five died, including two crewmen. The investigation was unable to each any conclusion about what had happened to cause the crash.

After the Chicago incident there was another Flight 91, Delta Airlines was going from Ft Lauderdale, Hollywood to LAX with a stop at Dallas. As the flew in they were starting to see thunderstorms but they were experienced pilots, they began the descent as the storms reached their peak. It was a mile short of the runway when it landed, it hit a car near the airport, two water tanks and then disintegrated.

The cause was a weather phenomenon known as a microburst, an increase in the headwind slowed it down, caused a severe downdraft and a strong tailwind caused the plane to speed up. It first hit the car and killed the occupant, it went out of control and upon crashing 137 people of the 163 onboard died. The third tragedy struck the 191 on the 2nd August, 1985.

21 years later, Flight 191 and a flight from Lexington, Kentucky set off towards Atlanta. Comairs Flight 191 set off on the morning of 27th August, 2006, and was assigned runway 22 but used runway 26 instead. 26 was too short to make a safe take off and this meant it overrun at the end of the runway. It crashed just past the end of the runway, it killed 47 passengers and two of the three crew onboard. The first officer was the only survivor. Ames Polehinke. The investigation concluded that the likely cause of the accident was pilot error, Captain Clay’s wife disputed this saying it was an under-staffed control tower and an inaccurate runway map.

Flight 191 has been kept in use and continues to be used by US airlines but its not the plane so you likely won’t need to worry about ghosts right?

Let’s be fair with the amount of flights in the modern world and airlines it is easy to associate a number with an accident. I googled my flight for Chicago which was 4146 and it seems that there was an accident for it too. 18th January 1988 there was a loss of all 108 passengers and crew onboard. Engine Number Four caught fire and then the flight in Chongwing, China, hit a power line and two farmhouses before it burst into flames. The engine fire was caused by an oil leak and it was blamed on poor maintenance. I am not inclined to believe in accidents being associated to numbers but more the airlines we place our faith in.

It hasn’t stopped me flying.

Wikipedia

americanhauntingsink.com

Chicago Tribune (now blocked in UK)

ghostresearch.org

airlinegeeks.com

planecrashinfo.com

mysteriousuniverse.org

IMG_0387

Dank old photo taken by me on a phone many years ago 🙂

 

Japan Air Lines, Flight 1628, is a UFO incident that occurred on 17th November, 1986. The aircraft was a Boeing 747 cargo plane going from Paris, France to Narito, Tokyo.

On the Reykjarvik to Anchorage sction at 5.11pm. The crew witnessed two unidentified objects to the left. Each had two rectangular arrays of what looked to be glowing nozzles and the rest of them were in darkness. The two UFO’s left, a third much larger disk-shaped UFO then followed them instead, the pilot’s requested a change of course.

The pilots were granted the change, an oncoming American Airlines plane and a military plane came to join them in order to confirm it’s presence. The crafts sighed JAL1628 but could not see any other aircraft.

The 50 minute long sighting had ended in the vicinity of Mt. McKinley.

A post that might be of more use to any readers that are intrigued…

 

http://www.ufoevidence.org/cases/case287.htm