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Crash at Grand Canyon. By Amanda Pinkstaff. Thesis.

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crash at grand canyon

Crash at Grand Canyon

By Amanda Pinkstaff

thesis
Thesis

The collision of TWA flight 2 and United flight 718 on June 30, 1956 revolutionized the aviation world by helping establish the Federal Aviation Act of 1958 and fueling the 250 million dollar upgrade to air traffic control communication and radar.

TWA Super Constellation

United DC-7

june 30 1956
June 30, 1956
  • 9:01am: TWA flight 2 left runway 24 at Los Angles International Airport (31 minutes late) destined for Kansas City, MO.
  • 9:04am: United Airlines Flight 718 left runway 25L at Los Angles International Airport (19 minutes late) destined to Chicago, IL.
  • 9:58am: United 718 reported its position with CAA communication station in Needles, CA flying at 21,000ft. Scheduled to reach the Painted Desert by 10:31am.
  • 9:59am: TWA Flight 2 reported to the company’s station over Las Vegas, NV. Was at 21,000ft and would reach the Painted Desert at 10:31am.
  • 10:13am: Last known report of both flights to a Salt Lake City, UT controller that both planes were flying at 21,000ft and were scheduled to reach the Painted Desert at 10:31am.
june 30 19564
June 30, 1956
  • 10:31am: The Salt Lake City, UT control system received a mayday call from United 718.
  • 11:51am: A missing aircraft alert was issued.
  • Later that evening Palen and Henry Hudgin, operators of the Grand Canyon Airlines, went looking for the crash site and found what looked to be the tail end of TWA Super Constellation flight 2.
  • July 1, Army helicopters made visits to the crash site but nothing developed until the next day.
  • 6:15am on July 2, 1956 Army H-21 Piasecki helicopters began the task of recovering the victims at the crash site.
the memorials
The Memorials

July 9, 1956, a ceremony for 67 of the TWA victims was held at Citizen’s Cemetery in Flagstaff, AZ.

Memorial site at Grand Canyon Cemetery , on the South Rim of the Grand Canyon.

the federal aviation act of 1958
The Federal Aviation Act of 1958
  • This crash was the greatest air tragedy of its time and Congress responded with the Airways Modernization Act (1957) that established a board led by General Elwood Quesada.
  • Many legislators were split on whether to fund thenew safety regulations.
  • It wasn’t until a military jet and commercial airliner

crashed in Brunswick, Maryland on May 20, 1958

that Congress addressed the much-needed upgrade.

  • Senator Mike Monroney and Foreign Commerce

Chairman Oren Harris introduced the act to the Senateand House and on August 23, 1958 President Eisenhower signed the Federal Aviation Act.

aviation then and now
Aviation Then and Now
  • Then
  • “Visual Rules”
  • Radar around major cities only.
  • Planes got nicknames like Ocean liners.
  • In 1953 a speed record of 1500mph.
  • Now
  • Accident rate for commercial aviation at historic low.
  • Nationwide radar and air traffic controls.
  • In 1990 a new speed record: 2,124.05 mph.
bibliography primary
Bibliography - primary
  • Accident investigation report: Trans-World Airlines, inc., Lockheed 1049A, N 6902C, and United Air Lines, inc., Douglas DC-7, N 6324C, Grand Canyon, Arizona, June 30, 1956. : Washington, 1957.
  • Gelder, John W. Air Law: The Federal Aviation Act of 1958. Vol. 57. : The Michigan Law Review Association, 1959. http://www.jstor.org/stable/1286152. (Accessed February 22, 2009)
  • Redford, Emmette S. Congress Passes the Federal Aviation Act of 1958. Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama Press, 1961.
  • St. Petersburg Times. 67 Plane Crash Victims Buried in Mass Ceremony. 9 July 1956, p. 35. (accessed February 22, 2009) http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=oNANAAAAIBAJ&sjid=M3YDAAAAIBAJ&dq=grand %20canyon%20airline%20crash&pg=5920%2C4319517
  • U.S. Air Carrier Operations. Annual Review of Aircraft Accident Data. Washington, DC: National Transportation Safety Board. 2005. <http://www.ntsb.gov/publictn/2009/ARC0901.pdf>
  • U.S. Court of Appeals Ninth Circuit. - 295 F.2d 678. Trans World Airlines, Inc., a Delaware Corporation, Appellant, v. Mary S. Shirley, As Executrix of the Estate of Robert F. Shirley, Linda Shirley, a Minor by and Through Her guardian Ad Litem, Mary S. Shirley, And Mary S. Shirley, Appellees . 20 Oct. 1961. Justia.com. <http://cases.justia.com/us-court-of-appeals/F2/295/678/28621/>
bibliography secondary
Bibliography - secondary
  • Accident Description. The Aviation Safety Network Website. Aviation Safety Network. 2009. (Accessed February 21, 2009) <http://aviation-safety.net/database/record.php?id=19560630-1>.
  • Adair, Bill. The Collision That Changed How We Fly. St. Petersburg Times. 2006. http://www.sptimes.com/2006/06/28/Worldandnation/The_collision_that_ch.shtml. (Accessed April 11, 2009)
  • Aerofiles. US Aviation Firsts. K.O. Ecklands. 2009. <http://www.aerofiles.com/chrono.html>
  • Brandt, Trey. Aircraft Wrecks in Arizona and the Southwest. Arizona Aircraft Archaeology. 2003. http://www.aircraftarchaeology.com/twa_united_airlines_grand_canyon.htm. (Accessed February 18, 2009)
  • Doney & Associates PLC. Grand Canyon Collision. Aroundaz.com. 2005. http://www.doney.net/aroundaz/grandcanyoncrash.htm. (Accessed February 18, 2009)
  • Federal Aviation Act (1958). Major Acts of Congress, Answers.com. The Gale Group, Inc, 2004. http://www.answers.com/topic/federal-aviation-act-1958. (Accessed February 21, 2009)
  • Federal Aviation Administration. U.S. Department of Transportation. http://www.faa.gov/. (Accessed February 25, 2009)
bibliography pictures
Bibliography – pictures
  • Brandt, Trey. 2003. <http://www.aircraftarchaeology.com/TWA%20Grand%20Canyon/TWA.jpg>
  • Brandt, Trey. 2003. <http://www.aircraftarchaeology.com/TWA%20Grand%20Canyon/United%20DC- 7.jpg>
  • Doney.net. <http://www.doney.net/aroundaz/DA_crash_map.gif>
  • Doney.net. <http://www.doney.net/aroundaz/DA_temple_chuar_labeled.jpg>
  • Doney.net. <http://www.doney.net/aroundaz/DA_grandcanyon_twa_cemetery.jpg>
  • Doney.net. <http://www.doney.net/aroundaz/DA_grandcanyon_united_cemetery.jpg>
  • Brandt, Trey. 2003. <http://www.aircraftarchaeology.com/TWA%20Grand%20Canyon/buckles.jpg>
  • Brandt, Trey. 2003. <http://www.aircraftarchaeology.com/TWA%20Grand%20Canyon/exit3.JPG>
  • Brandt, Trey. 2003. <http://www.aircraftarchaeology.com/TWA%20Grand%20Canyon/props.jpg>
  • Brandt, Trey. 2003. <http://www.aircraftarchaeology.com/TWA%20Grand%20Canyon/twacabin.JPG>
  • Brandt, Trey. 2003. <http://www.aircraftarchaeology.com/TWA%20Grand%20Canyon/purse.jpg>
  • Air Force Link. <http://www.af.mil/shared/media/bio/quesada_er.jpg>
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