A 1956 Plane Crash in the Grand Canyon Made Flying Safer for Americans

Discussion in 'Travel Technology' started by gregm, Apr 27, 2014.  |  Print Topic

  1. gregm

    gregm Gold Member

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    In 1956 two planes collided over the Arizona desert, killing all 128 people on board and scattering the debris deep inside the Grand Canyon. This week, the National Park Service designated the crash site a National Historic Landmark—even though they don't actually want you to go visit it.

    At the time, the tragedy was the deadliest civilian plane crash on American soil. It also served as a devastating wakeup call to the fledgling airline industry, which was suffering from growing pains and lack of government support.


    It's an interesting read: http://gizmodo.com/why-a-1956-plane-crash-site-in-the-grand-canyon-was-nam-1568330158
     
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  2. blackjack-21

    blackjack-21 Gold Member

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    Saw the "Mayday" story of that crash several months ago, and was amazed that even in the mid 1950's there were large areas without total radar coverage in the U.S. The accident could have been avoided but one pilot (on the UA aircraft I think) decided to change course and altitude because of clouds blocking the view of the GC that he was trying to show his passengers. That differs from the linked report above, but the Mayday story does show that the TWA Connie seemed to sideswipe the DC-7 at an angle from slightly below it. Without radar coverage in the area, controllers couldn't see the crash coming.

    We had the pleasure of having several of our flights from YYZ-LAS get permission for a lower altitude flyover of the Canyon on the way into LAS. Not too low to interfere with the small aircraft and helios carrying tourists on their sightseeing trips, but on a clear sunny day the view was super even from above 15,000 or 20,000 feet.
     
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2014
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  3. gregm

    gregm Gold Member

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    Any pictures?
     
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  4. blackjack-21

    blackjack-21 Gold Member

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    No pix sorry. We don't usually bring a camera unless it's on a road trip, and while I probably have some pictures in our locker somewhere of our two trips to the Canyon by car from LV, I may not have taken any from the planes if I had a camera anyway, as we were transfixed by the sights from the windows of the plane, and by the time I had whipped out my trusty camera we'd already be flying over Lake Mead and the Hoover Dam before making the right turn followed by a left for the final into LAS.

    Our first trip to LV was in 1985, followed by many more over the years, and on some of our earlier trips we had those super views along the way. Haven't been there for a few years, but with the increase in air traffic in recent times I wonder if they still allow aircraft diversions along the way for a quick look at the Canyon.

    We may try to get to LV sometime this year and if we do I'll try to get some pix with my cellphone camera if possible.
     
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