How Many Years Ago Was 1956
How Many Years Ago Was 1956 – Thursday marks the 60th anniversary of a tragic event often forgotten today, but seen by aviation experts as a pivotal moment in aviation safety.
On June 30, 1956, two planes collided over the Grand Canyon in one of the worst commercial aviation disasters in American history.
How Many Years Ago Was 1956
Both planes were leaving Los Angeles International Airport on Saturday morning and both experienced brief delays.
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The Trans World Airlines flight was scheduled to depart Kansas City, Mo. at 8:30 am, but was delayed due to minor maintenance. According to the Civil Aviation Bureau accident investigation report, the plane took off at 09:01 am.
According to the report, the United Air Lines flight departed for Chicago at 9:04 am, three minutes after the TWA flight.
The accident, attributed to turbulent weather conditions, outdated visibility flight rules, and lack of communication, would be detailed in the 1957 accident report.
TWA Flight 2, piloted by Captain Jack Gandy, flew north over the San Bernardino Mountains at a speed of 270 knots and an altitude of 19,000 feet. Commanded by Captain Robert Shirley, United Flight 718 flew east of Palm Springs at an altitude of 288 knots and 21,000 feet. Both should have passed each other smoothly and reached their destination without any problems.
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For about 15 minutes everything went as planned. Then Gandy called to report the turbulence. He asked permission to start flying from 21,000 feet to avoid a cloudy area ahead. His request was denied, but he was allowed to fly at 1,000 feet in addition to the bad weather.
According to the flight information manual at the time, “air traffic clearances stating ‘at least 1,000 feet above all clouds’ rather than cruising altitude allow flight at any altitude at or above the minimum road altitude of 1,000 feet or more. Cloud cover.”
“1,000 peak operations” is common, but when it comes to air traffic, it places a lot more responsibility on pilots,” the guide says.
The maneuver will limit the amount of information the pilot can receive about the aircraft’s proximity to other aircraft, leaving the pilot to rely on what they can see.
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According to FAA spokesman Ian Gregor, the “1,000 peak operations” are no longer in use, with the introduction of flight radars and satellite surveillance.
“The type of radar and satellite surveillance we have today is very different from what existed 60 years ago,” he said. “As a result, pilots generally don’t need or demand to fly above the air today. Pilots sometimes request altitude changes to get above or below turbulence, and air traffic control will allow them if it’s safe.”
Shirley was not told when Gandy was allowed to fly 1,000 upwards above the clouds, according to the investigative report, although this meant that the two planes would fly simultaneously over the same area, at the same altitude. .
According to the accident investigation, the last consistent reports from the pilots would have been received shortly before 10:00 am. At 10:30am, Salt Lake City Aviation Radio communicators received an incomprehensible call. According to the report, after weeks of work, the message was finally interpreted: “Salt Lake, United 718…ah…we’re coming.”
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At around 10:31 am, the two planes collided over the Grand Canyon. The report says the pilots’ vision was likely blocked by clouds entering and exiting the area at the time, and they likely didn’t see each other until it was too late to move.
According to the accident report, the collision likely occurred at the confluence of the Colorado River and the Little Colorado River. The TWA plane landed on the northeast side of Temple Butte and the United plane stopped on the south side of Chuar Butte. The left wing of the United plane was found near the wreckage of the TWA plane.
Headline dated 1 July 1956. In an article written by staff reporters Ray Silvius and Ted Kazy, “A Trans-World Airlines Super Constellation plunged into the upper end of the rugged Grand Canyon yesterday, apparently killing all 70 people on board. Another plane carrying 58 people disappeared in the same area.
“Two planes may have collided. If they did, and they all died, it would be the biggest disaster in the history of commercial aviation.”
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“TWA aircraft and the other aircraft, a United Air Lines DC-7, are conducting routine radio checks to separate airline radio stations in the Needles, California area just before crossing into Arizona on its eastbound route.
“According to an Air Force official, the two planes radioed that they were planning to be in the same place in the Painted Desert at exactly the same time. They may have been.”
Coffin (Lynn Coffin, then Grand Canyon National Park Ranger) said the discovery was made by brothers Palen and Henry Hudgin, who run Grand Canyon Airlines. “The brothers said the debris was on the edge of a mound in hard-to-reach rough terrain, about 1,000 feet above the Colorado River. They said the debris was scattered on the hillside. They said, and two fires were burning in the area.”
The crash site is now known as Crash Canyon and is a popular tourist destination. Many people like to wander the area in search of the scattered remnants of the 60-year-old tragedy.
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Some of the debris still lies in the canyon, and the shimmering metal reminds hikers of the event on sunny days.
Still, good things came out of it. Although 65 such accidents occurred from 1950 to 1955, it was a wake-up call for aviation.
According to the FAA, “The accident dramatized the fact that although American air traffic has more than doubled since the end of World War II, little has been done to reduce the risk of a mid-air collision”.
According to the FAA, the Federal Aviation Act was proposed in May 1958 by Oklahoma Senator Mike Monroney, hoping to improve the safety of national airspace. The deed was signed by President Dwight Eisenhower two months later.
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Today, airplanes do not fly under visual flight rules. FAA spokesman Gregor said the commercial jets are still being steered by air traffic controllers at the altitudes where the 1956 crash occurred. no longer supports older versions of your web browser to ensure the security of user data. Please update to the latest version.
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