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May 26, 1979 - Image 13

Resource type:
Michigan Daily, 1979-05-26

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The Michigan Daily-Saturday, May 26, 1979-Page 13
Jet crash at O'Hare* 272dead

Contnued from Page 1)
FBI disaster team was en route from
Washington to aid in identification of
the victims.
Three of the passengers were
believed to be executives of Chicago-
based Playboy magazine.
THE SILVER, blue, and red tri-
jet-Flight 191 bound for Los
Angeles-lost a left wng engine and
veered to the left as it took off from
runway 32-R. It came down almost in
the middle of three mobile home parks
one and one-half miles from the field.
Several persons on the ground were
injured by debris, at least two of them
seriously enough to require
As darkness fell, floodlights were
brought to the crash site and rescuers
and investigators said they would work
through the night looking for bodies and
clues. -
NEAL CALLAHAN, public affairs of-
ficer for the Federal Aviation Ad-
ministration (FAA) in Chicago, said a
recording of conversations between the
pilot and the control tower indicated the
tower knew on takeoff there was
"The only thing we do know for sure
is that he didn't have time to talk to the
control tower," Callahan said.
Asked by reporters whether the plane
should have been'able to fly with one
engine missing, Callahan said:
"YES, IT SHOULD fly, no question
about that, but that's one thing that will
be determined in a further in-
vestigation." The National Transpor-
tation Safety Board sent investigators
from Washington.
A spokesperson for the FAA said the
jet's left-wing engine burst into flames
on the takeoff roll and fell to the run-
The plane rose to about 200 fee
heading north over tightly-packed
suburban Chicago. Then, as it banked
to the southwest, it turned nose upward,
fell backwards and took what a witness
described as "swan dive" ino the
TWHE PLANE'S landing gear was still
down when it smashed into the ground.
The airport control tower said com-
munications with the plane were nor-
mal at takeoff but there was no
"Mayday" call from veteran pilot
Walter Lux of Chicago.
"When I saw the flames the first
thing I thought of was to run to a ditch
and hide," said one witness. "I've
always been afraid of something like
this happening outhere."
Another witness who saw the plane
fall said, "It was turned completely up-
side down. When it hit the ground, it
just totally disintegrated. The heat was
Experiment reported
University physics Prof. Alan Krisch
reported on high energy physics ex-
periments in an article, "The Spin of
the Proton," published in the May issue
of "Scientific American."
To learn more about the forces within
the nucleus of the atom, Krisch led a
research group of about a dozen
physicists, mainly from the University
and the Argonne National Laboratory
near Chicago.
FOR THEIR experiments, Krisch
and his colleagues used the Argonne
Zero Gradient Synchrotron (ZGS) ac-
celerator, currently the world's only
electron beam facility for polarizing
protons to an energy of 12 billion elec-
tron volts

so intense it singed my face ... There
can't bea survivor in that plane."
JOHN WAYNE, a passenger on an
Ozark Airlines flight arriving as the
American aircraft was departing, said,
"It went over some trees - bang - and
then just a huge, red ball of fire. It
looked like it pretty much nosed in."
"I looked up, I saw one engine gone,"
said Tom Ring, who was working at a
junk yard as the huge jetliner hurtled
overhead. "I knew it was
going.., when it missed that nearby
tower by ten feet, I knew it was going."
Ring said the plane was "going 45 to
50 miles per hour at the most ... There
was one engine gone from the plane. It
just veered with the left wing down and
"THE PILOT tried hard to steer
away from an area where there was a
gas station and a lot of junked cars. He
tried hard and he did it."
At the makeshift morgue set up at an
American Airlines hangar, a security
guard said, "the bodies are going to be
coming at three to five minute intervals
from now on. They'll be coming up all
night probably."
Chester Clark, who lives at the Leh-
man Mobile Home Trailer Park, said he
was standing in front of his mobile
home when the plane crashed into a
grassy open field, slid into the west
edge of the park and hit several
"I SAW THE plane coming out of the
sky. It hit the ground. It bounced pretty
much intact and hit the ground again
and then exploded'in a huge mushroom
cloud," Clark said.
John Bielsky, 80, and his wife, Mary,
79, whose mobile home in the Touhy
Mobile Home Park was destroyed, said
they escaped through the front door of
their trailer home after the rear roof
collapsed under debris from the plane.
A 12-by-12 foot section of a luggage
compartment door rested against one
of the trailer homes in the park. Most
residents of the trailer park said their
homes shook from the crash impact.
Al though O'Hare ranks as the
world's busiest airport, traffic in recent
weeks has been substantially below
normal due to the machinist strike
against United Air Lines, which is
headquartered at Chicago. The ill-fated
flight took off at mid-afternoon on the
northside of the field.

AN AMERICAN AIRLINES DC-10 crashed yesterday shortly after takeoff from
Chicago's O'Hare Airport. The plane hit the ground (top) and disintegrated upon
impact. Authorities reported no survivors. The map below indicates the site of
the crash.

- \,
No rtihw e st
O'Hare Field r'HC
G LE N E x pr es s va y [aok
y , - -'Michis
4Roosevelt, r N






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