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More than 30 years later, Flight 191 memorial set to open in Des Plaines

When the anniversary of their parents' deaths comes around, sisters Melody Smith and Kim Jockl head to the chapel at O'Hare International Airport or to a trailer park near the crash site of American Airlines Flight 191. Next year, they will be able to visit a memorial to their parents and the 271 others who died when the plane crashed in Elk Grove Township just after takeoff from O'Hare on May 25, 1979. The monument is set to be unveiled Oct. 15 in Des Plaines' Lake Park,… ( 更多...

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Interesting to note.

One of the people who was supposed to be on that flight, but missed checking in, was a man named Michael Hingson. This man was the manager of an office on Floor 78 of Tower 1, WTC. I mention this guy, because he is blind. He and his guide dog, Roselle, not only made it out, but got their entire office out just as the plane hit a few floors above them.

He just put a book out that recants that story, plus AAL191, and how he survived. It's a very good read.
n111ma 0
I can't believe it's 32 years since this horrific crash. Even with a very seasoned crew at the was impossible recovering from the number 1 engine falling off this DC-10 after reaching V1...add to that configuaration, the outboard slats on the port wing retracting. This made for a doomed scenario. May the victims rest in peace!
kenish 0
I'm a systems engineer (not aircraft) but this is a classic design blunder that comes up in engineering texts now and then. Loss of electrical power disabled the control surface position indicators. The slats did not have mechanisms to prevent retraction or assymetry when hydraulic pressure was lost. The pilot was unaware the slats had retracted on one wing and correctly climbed at Vy for slats extended. The left wing stalled and caused loss of control. The aircraft would have been controllable had they climbed out only 5 kts faster at Vy for slats retracted.
preacher1 0
While an engine loss at VI will always cause a seat to pucker and the cockpit to get busy, that is what V1 is for, to be able to fly with an engine gone. Based on the photographs, this is what he was attempting but with the slat retraction, he never had a chance. I don't know but I am assuming that something was changed to prevent a future occurrence????
bbabis 0
They did have a chance. The plane was flying and at its attained speed it was capable of continued flight for a return for landing. The crew reacted as they were trained though and slowed to V2 wich allowed the left wing to stall due to the slat retraction and their fate was set. Bottom line is: If the plane is flying, fly it. Many training syllabuses now teach that if an engine failure occurs above V2 and the aircraft is performing acceptably, hold what you got.
Gene spanos 0
To the 273 passengers and crew - God rest their souls.
First Responder
RPS 2nd Rig in
4.0 Hrs on the crash site
preacher1 0
@bbabis- I didn't see where it said he slowed to V2. I can agree with what you are saying, that if the power would have been kept up he would have overcome the slat retraction. I know all the procedures though are just basically written for simple engine loss, not an egine falling off the airplane. I just wonder what else he was faced with in that cockpit. I never read the report.
Yes, the system was redesigned so the slats could no longer retract. I had no problem flying the old NWA DC-10s during the end of their career because 3 major events, the Turkish crash in Senlis, France, the ORD crash, and the Sioux Falls crash, uncovered things that got by the FMEAs and poor decision making. People dying is extremely sad, but fortunately we come out a little bit smarter from each event. I have a small display with pieces of the THY plane that I used during my engineering career as a reminder of what can happen.
preacher1 0
Well, hopefully,all can learn from the various mistakes and make the next issue better. It's when we don't or do and don't make the changes that things really get sad. As was posted earlier, just a change in thinking that caused a change in training might save lives somewhere.
bbabis 0
The aircraft left the ground and initiated climb at 165kts well above the V2 of 153. The stall speed of the left wing with slats retracted was 159. That was the gottcha. As the pilot flying raised the nose to slow to V2 for climb after the other pilot called the engine failure, he lost control. Test showed that the aircraft, as it was, could have climbed and flown at 160kts.

May God rest their souls and the rest of aviation learned some valuable lessons.
preacher1 0
Well, as Michael said, the system was redesigned as well as other things as well. It is just so sad that people have to die for us to find out some of the shortcomings
KauaiGolfer 0
Not only was the airplane still flying, it was accelerating. But the book said climb at v2+10 to 1500ft, so the pilots went strictly by the book, which killed them. Procedures have since been changed. It's also important to remember this was caused by a maintenance shortcut that was not recommended by the manufacturer. The airlines saw it as a way to save money, and easily convinced the FAA to approve it. My Dad was a DC-10 Captain at that time, and I vividly remember several very pissed off DC-10 pilots sitting around at our house discussing this accident during the grounding. During the inspections following the grounding, several other airplanes were found to have these same cracks, all caused by this maintenance shortcut.


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