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1956 Grand Canyon mid-air collision facts for kids

Kids Encyclopedia Facts
United Airlines Flight 718
TWA Flight 2
An artist's recreation of the collision.
Accident summary
Date June 30, 1956
Summary Midair collision
Place 21,000 feet above the Grand Canyon

The 1956 Grand Canyon was a mid-air collision that happened on Saturday, 30 June 1956 at 11:31 am Mountain Standard Time. A United Airlines plane running as United Airlines Flight 718 hit another airplane owned by Trans World Airlines (TWA), operating as Trans World Airlines Flight 2. The aircraft involved was a Douglas DC-7 and a Lockheed L-1049 Super Constellation. The crash happened over the Grand Canyon within the boundaries of Grand Canyon National Park. All 128 passengers and crew on board both flights died in the collision. The crash was the first commercial airline crash with over 100 deaths, and led to lots of changes in flight control in the United States. The crash site today is considered as a National Historic Landmark.

Aircraft

A total of two airplanes were involved in the collision. These planes were:

United Airlines Flight 718 - nicknamed Mainliner Vancouver, the aircraft was a Douglas DC-7. The airplane had an aircraft registration of N6324C. The aircraft carried a total of 58 people (53 passengers and 5 crew members). The aircraft was flying under the orders of pilot Robert F. Shirley, co-pilot Robert W. Harms,and flight engineer Gerard Fiore.

Trans World Airlines Flight 2 - nicknamed Star of the Seine, the aircraft was a Lockheed L-1049 Super Constellation. The aircraft had an aircraft registration of N6902C. The aircraft carried 70 people (64 passengers and 6 crew members). The aircraft was flying under the orders of pilot Jack S. Gandy, co-pilot James H. Ritner, and flight engineer Forrest D. Breyfogle.

Collision

At about 11:31 AM MST, the track of both airplanes intersected over the canyon, and they hit each other.

Gallery

A photograph of the TWA funeral by Life Magazine in 1956

Images for kids

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1956 Grand Canyon mid-air collision Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.