Looking Back at the Crash of United Flight 232

Monday, July 28, 2014

The broken hull of the United Airlines Flight 232 airplane The broken hull of the United Airlines Flight 232 airplane (Iowa Department of Public Safety)

Twenty five years ago, United Airlines Flight 232 slammed onto a runway in Iowa and burst into flames. Miraculously, 184 of 296 passengers lived. Laurence Gonzales, a commercial pilot, draws on interviews with hundreds of survivors, crew, and airport and rescue personnel, to tell the harrowing story of pilots flying a plane with no controls and flight attendants keeping their calm in the face of certain death. His book Flight 232: A Story of Disaster and Survival goes step by step through the research that reveals the flaw, smaller than a grain of rice, that brought down the aircraft.


Laurence Gonzales

Comments [5]

Dan from NYC

In emergencies, don't fully automated flight systems (777, etc) make it harder for pilots to wrest control when necessary?

Jul. 28 2014 01:53 PM
Amy from Manhattan

Normally, is steering done only w/the rudder? Or is there anything else?

Jul. 28 2014 01:51 PM
antonio from baySide

Is there any developments regarding plane construction which will make planes safer in the future?

Jul. 28 2014 01:46 PM
Caterina Bartha

Charlie Victor Romeo the 3D film (2013), for a riveting depiction of flight 232 based on the transcripts from the flight recorder. Check out for upcoming screenings.

Jul. 28 2014 01:37 PM
Jul jo from NYC

Thank God for Denny Fitch. There would have been so many more lost had he not been on that plane.

Jul. 28 2014 01:36 PM

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