United Airlines Flight 266

United Airlines Flight 266

Airliner Accident
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United Airlines Flight 266

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United Airlines Flight 266 was a scheduled flight from Los Angeles International Airport, Los Angeles, California to General Mitchell International Airport, Milwaukee, Wisconsin via Stapleton International Airport, Denver, Colorado with 38 on board. On January 18, 1969 at approximately 18:21 PST it crashed into Santa Monica Bay, Pacific Ocean about 11.5 miles west of Los Angeles International Airport four minutes after takeoff.

Rescuers (at the time) speculated that an explosion occurred aboard the plane, a Boeing 727. Three and a half hours after the crash three bodies had been found in the ocean along with parts of fuselage and a United States mail bag carrying letters with that day's postmark. Hope was dim for survivors because United's domestic flights do notcarry liferafts or lifejackets. A Coast Guard spokesman said it looked "very doubtful that there could be anybody alive."

Two minutes into its flight, the pilots reported a fire warning in the No. 1 engine and shut it down. The aircraft had departed LAX with one of its three generators inoperable, and shutting down the suspect engine took a second generator offline. The remaining generator became overloaded and shut down, resulting in the loss of all electrical power.

The pilots began flying in total darkness with less than 3 miles visibility due to fog and rain, with no lights or instruments, and consequently lost complete control of the aircraft due to disorientation and crashed...
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