WMU News

United Flight 232 crash pilot to speak at Kellogg Auditorium

Feb. 18, 2004

BATTLE CREEK, Mich.--A United Airlines captain, who in 1989 beat the odds and set his disabled DC-10 down in a Sioux City, Iowa, crash landing that was survived by more than half of the plane's passengers and crew, is coming to Battle Creek Wednesday, March 17, to speak at Kellogg Auditorium.

Western Michigan University's College of Aviation is bringing Capt. Al Haynes to town to tell his story and relate the accident and the lessons learned to his views on flight safety, cockpit and cabin crew training and communications training. His talk is set for 7 p.m., and tickets are available for $5 each by calling WMU's Miller Auditorium at (269) 387-2300 or by going online to <www.wmich.edu/miller>. Tickets also may be purchased at the door the day of the presentation. WMU aviation students will be admitted free with valid student IDs.

Haynes, a 35-year veteran of United, was at the controls of a Denver-to-Chicago flight July 19, 1989, when a mid-air explosion took out one engine and disabled all of the aircraft's hydraulic systems, leaving the crew with no flight controls. In what aviation experts have called a miraculous combination of luck, training, communication skills and cooperation, Haynes and his crew flew 70 miles to land at Sioux City's Gateway Airport. The flight ended in a fiery crash when the plane touched down, killing 112. Haynes and 183 others survived, and the heroic action of crew, passengers and Sioux City emergency workers has been the subject of several books and a 1999 television movie, "Crash Landing: The Rescue of Flight 232."

Post-flight investigations and subsequent simulator tests showed that other DC-10 crews were unable to repeat the effort of the crew of Flight 232. Investigators concluded that, in its damaged condition, it was not possible to land the aircraft on a runway. As a result, crew members were highly praised for managing to put the aircraft down just off the runway centerline and saving as many lives as they did.

For more information about the event, contact Beth Seiler, business coordinator for the College of Aviation, at (269) 964-4579.

Media contact: Cheryl Roland, 269 387-8400, cheryl.roland@wmich.edu

WMU News
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