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5.25.22 – Remembering AA Flight 191

Wednesday, May 25, 2022

Remembering AA Flight 191

On May 25, 1979, American Airlines Flight 191 departed Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport for Los Angeles International Airport. Ten Flight Attendants and three Pilots were working the flight from ORD to LAX, with a total of 258 passengers onboard. Flight 191 crashed shortly after takeoff from ORD, killing all 258 passengers, 13 crewmembers and two people on the ground. With 273 fatalities, it was the deadliest aviation accident to have occurred in the United States to date.

How the Crash Happened

At 5,000 feet down the runway, the McDonnell-Douglas DC-10 aircraft reached 175 mph which was necessary for takeoff. At this time the 9,000-pound engine and pylon separated from the aircraft, flipping over the top of the wing and falling to the runway. The flight deck crew, which could not see the wings and engines from the cockpit, proceeded with takeoff. The plane lifted off about 6,000 feet down the runway, reaching an altitude of about 300 feet above the ground with its wings still level.

The plane was over the end of the runway, however, it began a sharp bank to the left due, in part, to retraction of the outboard slats caused when the engine and pylon detached from the left wing. The plane was no longer going fast enough to stay in the air. Due to the loss of electrical power, the flight crew did not receive any warning that the aircraft was stalling.

It began to descend. With its nose pointed downward, Flight 191 slammed into the ground of an open field about 4,600 feet northwest of the departure end of the runway.

Remembering the Crew

Our fellow Flight Attendants and Pilots who left us 43 years ago may be gone, but will never be forgotten.

Flight 191 Memorial – Lake Park, Des Plaines, IL

1004 West Euless Boulevard
Euless, Texas 76040

Phone: (817) 540-0108
Fax: (817) 540-2077


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