United Airlines Flight 553

United Airlines Flight 553

Airliner Accident
Airliner Accident Less

United Airlines Flight 553

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United Airlines Flight 553, registration , City of Lincoln, was a Boeing 737-222 en route from Washington National Airport to Omaha, Nebraska, via Chicago Midway International Airport on December 8, 1972. After the crew was told to go around and abort their first landing attempt on runway 31L at Midway Airport, the aircraft struck, at 2:29 p.m. CST, trees and then roofs along W. 71st Street before crashing into a house at 3722 W. 70th Place."3 area residents reported dead, 4 missing, 7 homes destroyed in crash that killed 45", Southtown Economist (Chicago), December 10, 1972, p1 A total of 45 people were killed in the accident, 43 of them on the plane.

The three-man flight crew died and the three flight attendants survived. The pilots' union contract at the time compelled United Airlines to have three licensed pilots on board, even though Boeing had designed the 737 to be flown by a crew of two, instead of three. The only person to survive in the forward part of the plane ahead of the wing was the First Class flight attendant. Her jumpseat collapsed, and she was severely injured in the crash. Fifteen passengers and the other two flight attendants in coach survived.

Among the passengers killed were Illinois Congressman George W. Collins and Watergate conspirator E. Howard Hunt's wife, Dorothy Hunt. Also killed were Michele Clark, a correspondent for CBS News, and Dr. Alex E. Krill, a noted ophthalmologist from the University of...
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