User avatar
Topic Author
Posts: 1286
Joined: Tue Jun 06, 2000 9:44 pm

TWA Flight 514 - 30 Years Later

Mon May 24, 2004 10:43 am

Hi all,

On December 1, 1974, a TWA 727-200 jetliner plunged into a fog-shrouded ridge just outside Washington, DC while on approach to Dulles International Airport. All 92 people aboard were killed instantly. The flight was enroute from Indianapolis to Washington National Airport, with an intermediate stop in Columbus, Ohio, but had been routed to the larger and more advanced Dulles Airport because of the bad weather in the area. The flight crew, misreading the poorly labeled approach plate, descended too low on approach and clipped the top of the ridge just 50 feet short of its apex at about 200 knots. The aircraft was destroyed by impact and the subsequent fireball.

Earlier this year, I visited the crash site, which lies just off a winding mountain road in the sprawling rural county of Loudoun, less than 45 minutes from downtown DC. Because the crash happened so close to my home, visiting the site was a very personal experience for me, and even more so because I had recently re-read Adam Shaw's book "Sound of Impact", which was written about the crash's victims, shortly after the accident happened. Being there really hit home how much of a tragedy a plane crash can be, and just how much life was lost on a virtually unmarked spot on a lonely mountain ridge.

Awhile back, I posted a log on another web site telling a little about my experience in visiting the crash site, as well as some photos I took while there. Even though some time has passed, I figured some of the users of might want to see this information, too, and now I've finally gotten around to posting.

My log:
The photos:

Please note that I present these items not to be ghoulish or macabre, or to be some sort of aviation tourist, but to honor those lives lost in this senseless tragedy. Someone should remember them, even now. As Shaw said in his book, "They were somebody to somebody." I know the photos don't show too much, but they're all I could get without entering onto the actual crash site. Just a few months shy of the 30th anniversary of this crash, I hope this post will mean something to some of you, particularly those in the DC area. Thanks.

[Edited 2004-05-24 03:43:47]

[Edited 2004-05-24 03:44:32]
UAL Bagsmasher
Posts: 1839
Joined: Wed Sep 08, 1999 12:52 pm

RE: TWA Flight 514 - 30 Years Later

Mon May 24, 2004 11:12 am

Interesting post. You don't hear much about that crash these days. I may have to visit the site next time I'm out that way.

Popular Searches On

Top Photos of Last:   24 Hours  •  48 Hours  •  7 Days  •  30 Days  •  180 Days  •  365 Days  •  All Time

Military Aircraft Every type from fighters to helicopters from air forces around the globe

Classic Airliners Props and jets from the good old days

Flight Decks Views from inside the cockpit

Aircraft Cabins Passenger cabin shots showing seat arrangements as well as cargo aircraft interior

Cargo Aircraft Pictures of great freighter aircraft

Government Aircraft Aircraft flying government officials

Helicopters Our large helicopter section. Both military and civil versions

Blimps / Airships Everything from the Goodyear blimp to the Zeppelin

Night Photos Beautiful shots taken while the sun is below the horizon

Accidents Accident, incident and crash related photos

Air to Air Photos taken by airborne photographers of airborne aircraft

Special Paint Schemes Aircraft painted in beautiful and original liveries

Airport Overviews Airport overviews from the air or ground

Tails and Winglets Tail and Winglet closeups with beautiful airline logos