Aviation Disaster Essay

1809 Words 8 Pages
On Monday July 1st 1956, Americans woke up to tune in their radios, channel in their T.V.’s, or unwrinkled their newspapers to horrific news. Gruesome headlines, and bewildered anchors spread the news that the unthinkable, and impossible happened the previous day. In the pristine and picturesque skies over the Grand Canyon in Arizona, tragedy struck in a way that would forever shock and change the world of aviation in ways never before imagined. Two airplanes collided unexpectedly in mid-air. The events leading up to the disaster, along with the proceeding investigations, would expose major flaws in aviation systems and give birth to new ideas and ways of thinking that would forge the aviation world, as we know it today. It turns out that …show more content…
After a delay in departure, at 9:04 am UA 718 was cleared for take off. In charge of the 58 passengers on board was Captain Robert S. Shirley. Shirley had enough flight time to make this a very routine flight. Shirley had flown with United since 1937. By the time he took the helm of Flight 718, he a total of 16,492 flight hours. 1,238 of those flight hours were in the DC-7. Flight 718 had 58 passengers onboard that day.
On that same day, only three minutes ahead of Flight 718, Trans World Airlines Flight 2 was also departing from Los Angeles International Airport to Kansas City Missouri. TWA Flight 2 was a Lockheed Super Constellation. In charge of the 70 crew and passengers was Captain Jack S. Gandy. At 41, Gandy was a veteran WWII and had been with TWA for some time. He had a total of 14,992 flight hours, 7208 of which were in the Super
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Attempts by the CAA and ground communication were futile. Using numerous radio frequencies along both flight paths were searched and at 11:51 a.m. an aircraft alert was issued and search and rescue procedures followed. Later that evening a civil pilot, having heard of the missing flights, recalled seeing smoke from the Canyon. He later made a low pass in the area and was able to identify the empennage of the TWA Super Constellation. That confirmed everyone’s fear. At 10:31 a.m. TWA Flight 2 collided with United Flight 718. All 128 people were lost. The following day, July 1, an Air Force Helicopter was able to land a search and rescue crew on the site where the TWA flight made impact. The Civil Aeronautics Board began recovery and

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