ord
Posts: 1355
Joined: Tue Jul 20, 1999 10:34 pm

AA 191 25th Anniversary

Tue May 25, 2004 2:54 am

For those that remember the crash of American 191 at O'Hare Airport in Chicago, it's hard to believe tomorrow (May 25) will be the 25th anniversary of the crash.

The DC-10 from Chicago to Los Angeles had a full load that Friday, partly because of the busy Memorial Day weekend and also because American's chief competitor on the ORD-LAX run, United, was on strike at the time and not operating.

When the left engine fell off on take-off and the airplane crashed, it was at the time the worst aviation disaster in the U.S. and led to the temporary grounding of the DC-10.
 
aa777flyer
Posts: 1017
Joined: Fri Feb 09, 2001 8:45 am

RE: AA 191 25th Anniversary

Tue May 25, 2004 2:58 am

To this date it still is the worst single airplane disaster in US aviation history.  Sad
The TSA was created to make the post office look efficient!
 
SpeedbirdHeavy
Posts: 414
Joined: Wed Jan 14, 2004 3:39 pm

RE: AA 191 25th Anniversary

Tue May 25, 2004 3:01 am

Wow! I can't believe it's been all this time. I remember it like it was last year.

I especially remember walking down the street in Evanston and seeing the black smoke vapors wafting overhead. I was a good 10 miles from the crash site too.
China Airlines...Come fry with us!
 
ORDagent
Posts: 580
Joined: Wed Dec 17, 2003 6:24 am

RE: AA 191 25th Anniversary

Tue May 25, 2004 3:08 am

I was walking home from grade school in Bloomingdale IL and saw the smoke along with my classmates. We thought it might have been a house fire. We were so wrong.
 
jsnww81
Posts: 2297
Joined: Mon Jan 28, 2002 3:29 am

RE: AA 191 25th Anniversary

Tue May 25, 2004 3:37 am

I don't know if anything will be done to commemorate the crash... there is currently no memorial at the crash site. The plane went down before I was born, but I live in Chicago and have driven past the crash site many times. There's nothing to suggest that almost 300 people died there.
 
contrails
Posts: 1310
Joined: Fri Oct 13, 2000 11:53 pm

RE: AA 191 25th Anniversary

Tue May 25, 2004 4:39 am

I didn't realize I'd gotten that old. I vividly remember hearing the bulletin coming across on TV, and I remember the sadness I felt, even though I did't know any of the pax.

I lived in Ft. Worth at the time, and had not yet ever been to Chicago or ORD. I was at ORD later that summer, however, and watched an AA DC-10 Captain give his plane a very thorough pre-flight check.

My cousin told me that she and her family were circling ORD shortly after the crash and were not aware of what had happened. On one of the circles she looked out and saw the fire and wreckage, and they soon figured it out.

Younger people today may not believe this, in today's post-Robert Crandall era, but there was a time when the airlines filled the skies over the US with DC-10's, 747's, and L-1011's on domestic flights. It was another time and another world. Things sure have changed.
Flying Colors Forever!
 
22right
Posts: 393
Joined: Sat May 01, 2004 2:41 am

RE: AA 191 25th Anniversary

Tue May 25, 2004 4:43 am

Where exactly is the crash site? Specific directions will be highly appreciated... I know it was near Touhy Avenue, but how do I get there, say from River Rd?
"I never apologize! I am sorry, but that's the way it is!" - Homer Simpson
 
clrd2go
Posts: 976
Joined: Sat Mar 01, 2003 4:43 am

RE: AA 191 25th Anniversary

Tue May 25, 2004 5:44 am



I was at BOS waiting to board a TW 707 to DEN when I heard of
the crash..got an eerie feeling when I saw an AA DC10 taxi by...overheard
flight attendants in the boarding area discussing the crash.



Jim
What a long strange trip it's been
 
MD11LuxuryLinr
Posts: 1311
Joined: Tue Jul 22, 2003 8:34 am

RE: AA 191 25th Anniversary

Tue May 25, 2004 10:54 am

I was one and a half years old when 191 went down. Needless to say I don't remember it. But having the infatuation that I do with the DC10, I have found myself scouring through 191's NTSB crash report a dozen or so times. It can be pretty upsetting.

~"but there was a time when the airlines filled the skies over the US with DC-10's, 747's, and L-1011's on domestic flights. It was another time and another world. Things sure have changed."~

You got that right, Contrails. Damn I miss those days. Its hard to believe that only 15 years ago, I could watch daily parades of 741s, DC10s, and L1011s coming from ORD, LAX, etc. Nowadays, it's all A319/320/321s, 73G/738s, and the occasional 757 (if we're lucky), being utilized on the same routes. Speaking locally of course..  Smile
Caution wake turbulence, you are following a heavy jet.
 
TexaSkies
Posts: 19
Joined: Tue Apr 06, 2004 8:59 am

RE: AA 191 25th Anniversary

Tue May 25, 2004 12:44 pm

One of my best childhood friends lost his sister, one of the FA's, on AA 191 on that terrible day in 1979. To those who perished and there loved ones God Bless.
 
rjpieces
Posts: 6849
Joined: Mon Nov 24, 2003 8:58 am

RE: AA 191 25th Anniversary

Tue May 25, 2004 12:51 pm

I wasn't alive at the time of the crash, but a few months ago, I read some of the ghost stories from the crash and they fascinated me. As do the ghost stories from Eastern 401.
"Millions long for immortality who do not know what to do with themselves on a rainy Sunday afternoon"
 
dc863
Posts: 1466
Joined: Fri Jun 04, 1999 10:52 am

RE: AA 191 25th Anniversary

Tue May 25, 2004 1:03 pm

RJpieces I've read those stories about ghosts from AA191 as well. Speaking of ghosts and air crashes there is a story of a ghost at Heathrow Terminal 1 that is somehow connected to BE548 that crashed just after take-off from LHR-BRU in June 1972.
 
Vorticity
Posts: 324
Joined: Thu May 20, 2004 9:09 am

RE: AA 191 25th Anniversary

Tue May 25, 2004 1:30 pm

AA 191 occured before I was born, but people have since learned from the tragedy. We studied the case in a Materials Engineering course. It won't be forgotten
Thermodynamics and english units don't mix...
 
airfinair
Posts: 563
Joined: Thu Dec 30, 1999 11:36 pm

RE: AA 191 25th Anniversary

Tue May 25, 2004 9:31 pm

I remember driving down the Kennedy Expressway near Harlem Ave., heading into the city and seeing the first plumes of smoke rise up. It was an eerie site, and one I will never forget. We immediately turned on the radio, and listened to reports for the next 5 hours for the start of our Memorial Day weekend roadtrip.

The Chicago Tribune has a great detailed editorial about the crash in today's edition, with details of the upcoming History Channel program on 5/27, "The Crash of Flight 191."

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/opinion/chi-0405250061may25,1,5377219.story
ORD,MDW,IND,ARB,AMS,AUS,ANQ,DTW,DEN,PHL,PIT,MIA,GPT,SAN,PHX,LAX,SFO,OAK,SEA,LAS,SLC,SMF,ATL,MEM,BOS,MHT,JFK,EWR,LGA,NASâ
 
TriStar500
Posts: 4411
Joined: Thu Nov 04, 1999 9:50 pm

RE: AA 191 25th Anniversary

Tue May 25, 2004 9:48 pm

I think there are no further words necessary...  Crying



Sorry, found no copyright informations regarding this horrible picture.



[Edited 2004-05-25 14:53:42]
Homer: Facts are meaningless. You could use facts to prove anything that's even remotely true!
 
dadoftyler
Posts: 245
Joined: Tue Dec 28, 1999 4:16 am

RE: AA 191 25th Anniversary

Tue May 25, 2004 10:40 pm

Amazing. Twenty-five years.

I was working the Staff desk in Reservations in Ft. Worth for American at the time. 191 was not only booked full, it had been booked full for several weeks. In fact, I had taken an irate call the day before that fateful Friday from a customer who called me everything but a child of God to try and get me to overbook him on that flight. I didn't.

After the crash, those of us on Staff began to take calls from family members. At the time, we didn't have a positive manifest, but we could confirm that 191 had been involved in an incident but that we had no further information (a blatant lie), and we got their names, relationships, and phone numbers for callbacks, and asked them to remain available at that phone number.

That day was horrific. At the time, I was surprised that the people I talked to were not more hysterical--later, I realized they were all in shock. The one really bizarre one I talked to was from a lady who wanted to confirm if her husband was aboard. I gave her my shpiel, to which she replied, "well I hope the son of a bitch was on that plane, and hope the whore he's screwing was sitting next to him."

The manner in which airlines handle incidents like this has changed dramatically since 1979. Now, airlines have "care teams" specially trained to handle phone inquiries and have teams constantly ready to be deployed to assist each family involved in tragedies like this. That's wonderful, but I sure wish I had had some sort of advance training or preparation for what I went through 25 years ago. I didn't sleep well for many, many weeks.
 
ord
Posts: 1355
Joined: Tue Jul 20, 1999 10:34 pm

RE: AA 191 25th Anniversary

Tue May 25, 2004 10:46 pm

Another note on the crash that I remember is that there was a famous author on the flight; I believe her name was Judith Wax but I can't be sure. One of her books was an autobiography, and in that book she described her fear of flying and the danger of it all. The page in her book where this was written? Page 191.
 
User avatar
RayChuang
Posts: 8005
Joined: Sat Jun 24, 2000 7:43 am

RE: AA 191 25th Anniversary

Tue May 25, 2004 11:14 pm

Stories like this makes you wonder what would have happened if the FAA had decided right there and then to permanently pull the plug on DC-10 certification (I'm sure that had been considered given the the chequered history of the plane at that time).

My guess is that it would have dramatically increased 767 sales as both AA and UA scrambled to replace the lost capacity from the grounding of the DC-10. And it might have pushed Boeing to get earlier ETOPS certification, too.
 
tristarenvy
Posts: 2235
Joined: Wed Jan 21, 2004 2:07 am

RE: AA 191 25th Anniversary

Tue May 25, 2004 11:56 pm

Seems to me, if you reads the Trib artice from the link back at AIRFINAIRS reply, that the 10 wasn't the culprit HERE. That McD/D reccomended a certain way to maintain the engine and pylons, and that AA had done it ANOTHER way to save time. Bad engineering? Bad maintenance? Bad combo of both? As I had nothing to do with AA or McD/D, I'll leave the "armchair quarterbacking" to others.

Yes, this argument will go on for years about who gets the blame. And the fact it was the fourth fatal accident involving a 10 doesn't look so good, either.

I'll be anxious to watch the History Channel program Thursday, about the incident.



If you don't stand for SOMETHING, you'll fall for ANYTHING.
 
ord
Posts: 1355
Joined: Tue Jul 20, 1999 10:34 pm

RE: AA 191 25th Anniversary

Wed May 26, 2004 12:20 am

"My guess is that it would have dramatically increased 767 sales as both AA and UA scrambled to replace the lost capacity from the grounding of the DC-10."

This is a good thought. But keep in mind if your scenario played out and the DC-10 was grounded permanently, that would have been in May of 1979. The first 767 didn't enter service until September 1982 with United. So something other than the 767 would have been needed to fill the gap for almost 3-1/2 years.
 
hirisk
Posts: 217
Joined: Wed Jan 14, 2004 2:55 am

RE: AA 191 25th Anniversary

Wed May 26, 2004 12:40 am

i can't believe it's been 25 years already!i was about 2 years old when that happened.

22right,the crash site is off the end of 32R right infront of a trailer park.i'm sure one of the local A.NETTER's knows where it is better then i do.i got that out of AIR DISASTER Vol 2.

lets hope nothing like that happens again
happy contrails
 
LMP737
Posts: 4810
Joined: Wed May 08, 2002 4:06 pm

RE: AA 191 25th Anniversary

Wed May 26, 2004 12:45 am

The building in the picture is AA maintenance hanger at ORD. One of the supervisors had just stepped out and saw the whole thing happen.
Never take financial advice from co-workers.
 
sterne82
Posts: 394
Joined: Sun May 07, 2000 4:50 am

RE: AA 191 25th Anniversary

Wed May 26, 2004 12:46 am

We are talking about people who lost their lives in an horrible crash, and you're speaking about; what if the 10 has been grounded definitely...

No comment.

Regards,

Sterne
 
UnitedTristar
Posts: 839
Joined: Fri May 21, 2004 6:45 am

RE: AA 191 25th Anniversary

Wed May 26, 2004 12:49 am

For those of you interested I saw Fox News has special on 191 this evening 25May

God Bless all those who lost their life that day.
 
PHLBOS
Posts: 6504
Joined: Thu Apr 01, 2004 6:38 am

RE: AA 191 25th Anniversary

Wed May 26, 2004 12:53 am

I was 13 at the time of the crash. I remember seeing a photo similar (but shot at a different angle) to the one shown in Reply #14 in a then-current LIFE magazine article.

A few days following the crash, for something to do; my mother took my brother and I over to Saratoga Road (Route 145) at the East Boston-Winthrop line to watch the planes land at BOS' 22L. We had done something similar weeks before the crash and noticed the sizable void created by the DC-10 groundings when comparing the 2 visits.

At the time, the only widebody trijets we saw landing were TWA L1011s (I don't believe DL had any L1011s operating out of BOS at the time). We did see a few more 707s or 720s than usual during the post-crash visit.

Man, does time fly.
"TransEastern! You'll feel like you've never left the ground because we treat you like dirt!" SNL Parady ad circa 1981
 
ultrapig
Posts: 568
Joined: Fri Dec 12, 2003 11:38 pm

RE: AA 191 25th Anniversary

Wed May 26, 2004 1:00 am

After this Crash TWA started putting a statement in all of its timetables essentially "The ONLY WideBodies TWA flies are 747 and L1011's"" In other words "we don't have any DC-10"s" anyone else remember this?
 
ConcordeBoy
Posts: 16852
Joined: Thu Feb 01, 2001 8:04 am

RE: AA 191 25th Anniversary

Wed May 26, 2004 1:01 am

Should also be mentioned that today is the 2nd anniversary of the latest CI crash.... though, doubt that title will last long  Yeah sure

225 people died.
Faire du ciel le plus bel endroit de la terre c'est impossible sans Concorde!
 
ord
Posts: 1355
Joined: Tue Jul 20, 1999 10:34 pm

RE: AA 191 25th Anniversary

Wed May 26, 2004 1:13 am

Ultrapig, I believe this was also the time when TWA placed "L-1011" on the center engine of their L-1011 fleet so that nobody would think it was a DC-10.
 
ultrapig
Posts: 568
Joined: Fri Dec 12, 2003 11:38 pm

RE: AA 191 25th Anniversary

Wed May 26, 2004 1:17 am

Ord-you and I must be old-you are right
 
September11
Posts: 3293
Joined: Fri May 21, 2004 12:49 am

RE: AA 191 25th Anniversary

Wed May 26, 2004 1:20 am


View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Mick Bajcar



one of their classic planes

a rich story to remember what happened that very day
Airliners.net of the Future
 
Cubsrule
Posts: 11432
Joined: Sat May 15, 2004 12:13 pm

RE: AA 191 25th Anniversary

Wed May 26, 2004 1:25 am

Hirisk/22R- The crash occurred at the Northeast corner of Touhy and Elmhurst/York, quite close to the Des Plaines Oasis on the Northwest Tollway. The site remains a mobile home park to this day, but as mentioned before, there is no permanent memorial. 22R- If you drive west from Touhy and River, the site will be on your right after you go under the tollway and cross Wolf and Mt. Prospect Roads.
I can't decide whether I miss the tulip or the bowling shoe more
 
sprxflySWA
Posts: 587
Joined: Wed Nov 12, 2003 3:37 am

RE: AA 191 25th Anniversary

Wed May 26, 2004 2:11 am

The pic of the -10 on its side always gives me a chill up my back. That one and the ones of the PSA 727 going down in San Diego have the same effect. It must be the "knowing what happened next" thing.

I was almost 9 then, and I remember on the news after the DC-10s were grounded seeing stories of PSA 727s in hangar getting a paint job into CO colors,as CO was racing to find planes to replace the -10s for the time being.


Sad day.
 
ord
Posts: 1355
Joined: Tue Jul 20, 1999 10:34 pm

RE: AA 191 25th Anniversary

Wed May 26, 2004 2:27 am

Ultrapig, one more note on your initial comment I'm sure you remember was that when the DC-10s were put back into service after the grounding American changed the sticker on the front of the plane from "DC-10 LuxuryLiner" to "American Airlines LuxuryLiner" to hide the fact these were in fact DC-10s from the casual passenger.
 
Bobs89irocz
Posts: 599
Joined: Fri Aug 22, 2003 4:52 am

RE: AA 191 25th Anniversary

Wed May 26, 2004 2:31 am

My dad actually works in that hanger thats in the picture.

I meet a fellow last year that had his parents on board this flight, they where bound to LAX for a family reunion. I have talked to several people in the Chicago land area about this crash and it ended up just about every one of them had some type of story with them knowing someone (or knew someone that knew someone) that was on the plane. My old boss i worked for at GlobeGround at ORD said he actually saw it happen.

I have passed right by where the crash site is, unfortunately there is no memorial. Someone stated above that they thought it was in front one that trailer part....actually it was just on the south side of there the trailer park is.

Sad day for America and Aviation. My they R.I.P.
 
ckfred
Posts: 4716
Joined: Wed Apr 25, 2001 12:50 pm

RE: AA 191 25th Anniversary

Wed May 26, 2004 3:37 am

I was in high school that day, about 15 miles from the crash site, and we could see the smoke. We figured it was just a nearby building on fire.

My next-door neighbor was a Cook County sheriff's deputy, and he was sent out to secure the area and then mark the location of remains.

I won't go into the details, but what he saw out there was far more disturbing than anything that he had seen at a crime scene.
 
B777FA
Posts: 235
Joined: Mon Aug 11, 2003 4:52 am

RE: AA 191 25th Anniversary

Wed May 26, 2004 3:46 am

Does anyone have a crew list for the flight?? I would like to put up their names up in operations when I go to work tonight, so everyone can remember/say a prayer for them and the passengers.


So far I have the 3 cockpit crew members and Im looking for the 10 F/As

Thank you
 
SonicKidatBWI
Posts: 154
Joined: Thu Feb 19, 2004 4:03 am

RE: AA 191 25th Anniversary

Wed May 26, 2004 4:31 am

It seems as if there were so many horrific DC-10 crashes . . . Air New Zealand DC-10-30, THY Turkish Airlines DC-10-30, United Air Lines DC-10-10 Flight 232, and of course American Airlines DC-10-10 Flight 191.

Of all of the DC-10 crashes I have always been most fascinated with UAL 232 . . . and this is the eerie thing . . . everyday I always seem to look up at the clock when it is exactly 2:32. This happens in the A.M. or P.M. I can go all day without looking at a clock but as soon as 2:32 comes around, I always seem to glance at my cell phone time or computer clock or TV clocks, and it'll be 2:32. It really freaks me out.

R.I.P. to everybody on AA 191. I found a tremendously great website on AA 191 a few weeks ago. It had people giving their memories on what they were doing on that day during and after the crash and what they remember hearing and seeing.
 
ord
Posts: 1355
Joined: Tue Jul 20, 1999 10:34 pm

RE: AA 191 25th Anniversary

Wed May 26, 2004 6:56 am

"It seems as if there were so many horrific DC-10 crashes . . . Air New Zealand DC-10-30, THY Turkish Airlines DC-10-30, United Air Lines DC-10-10 Flight 232, and of course American Airlines DC-10-10 Flight 191."

Not to stray off topic, but I just read a book called "The Unfriendly Skies." Part of the book details how McDonnel Douglas knew in the test stages that the DC-10 was susceptible to the cargo door blowing off. Part of the problem was the diffcult latch. An engineer wanted changes because he said an accident would happen, but the DC-10 was trying to get launched ahead of the L-1011 and any change would have caused production delays so MD said no.

Once in service, there were over 100 documented cases of airline baggage handlers having trouble with the cargo latch. Then the AA DC-10 had its cargo door blow off but was miraculously saved by the pilot.

Then in 1974 the Turkish DC-10 lost its cargo door and crashed and finally changes were made to the cargo door and its latch.
 
ConcordeBoy
Posts: 16852
Joined: Thu Feb 01, 2001 8:04 am

RE: AA 191 25th Anniversary

Wed May 26, 2004 7:11 am

For those of you interested I saw Fox News has special on 191 this evening 25May

What time? I see nothing in their schedule on it specifically.
Faire du ciel le plus bel endroit de la terre c'est impossible sans Concorde!
 
UAL Bagsmasher
Posts: 1839
Joined: Wed Sep 08, 1999 12:52 pm

RE: AA 191 25th Anniversary

Wed May 26, 2004 7:43 am

I drove past the scene today at 3:00 pm, just about the time when the plane went down 25 years ago. Off in the distance, I saw two busses parked with a crowd of people roaming the area (most likely next of kin). As is typical with Chicago, they had cops blocking all access to the site for everyone else.
 
Superfly
Posts: 37735
Joined: Thu May 11, 2000 8:01 am

RE: AA 191 25th Anniversary

Wed May 26, 2004 7:47 am

Why was my post deleted?  Insane

I posted the same photo as TriStar500?

[Edited 2004-05-26 00:47:48]
Bring back the Concorde
 
n9801f
Posts: 154
Joined: Tue Apr 13, 2004 8:29 am

RE: AA 191 25th Anniversary

Wed May 26, 2004 8:36 am

SonicKidatBWI,

Can you give the link to the site you mention?

Thank you.
 
User avatar
RayChuang
Posts: 8005
Joined: Sat Jun 24, 2000 7:43 am

RE: AA 191 25th Anniversary

Thu May 27, 2004 1:22 pm

Ord, you wrote:

But keep in mind if your scenario played out and the DC-10 was grounded permanently, that would have been in May of 1979. The first 767 didn't enter service until September 1982 with United. So something other than the 767 would have been needed to fill the gap for almost 3-1/2 years.

However, by the time of the unfortunate AA 191 tragedy, Boeing had already launched the 767 project for nearly a year and both AA and UA had already placed orders for the initial 767-200 model. If the DC-10 had been permanently grounded my guess is that AA and UA would have probably increased their initial order count for the 767 quite a bit to compensate for the loss of the DC-10 and possibly Boeing may have accelerated the development of the longer-fuselage 767-300 as other DC-10 operators scrambled to replace the DC-10.