Paramount, CA Helicopter Crash, May 1968


Paramount, Calif. (UPI) -- A helicopter en route from Disneyland to Los Angeles International Airport disintegrated in flight and crashed into Wednesday, killing all 23 persons aboard, including nine Ohio tourists and the mayor of a California city.
The coroner's office released the names after the bodies were removed from the burned wreckage in a cow corral and identification made through personal efforts and contacts with relatives.
Among the dead were eight members of an Ohio family and a friend traveling with them. They were en route to the airport to catch an airplane for a flight to Las Vegas, Nev., before returning home during the weekend.
Also killed along with the three crew members was Red Bluff, Calif., Mayor JOHN TRAINOR who had been attending mayor's and councilman's institute in the Disneyland area.
Investigators today collected debris strewn over a half mile area around the crash site, located about 12 miles southeast of Los Angeles Civic Center, to determine the cause.
A Federal Aviation Agency spokesman said the helicopter crash was the worst in the history of nine western states in terms of lives lost. The crash of a New York Airways helicopter Oct. 14, 1963, claimed the lives of three passengers and three crewmen.
Los Angeles Airways, operators of the regularly scheduled flight, said there was "a possibility there was a mid-air collision" because other aircraft were seen in the vicinity.
But witnesses reported no other planes were visible and the FAA said they had received no reports of other aircraft in trouble.
The twin-turbine Sikorsky S61LS helicopter was ferrying 20 passengers and three crewmen from the Anaheim heliport, two blocks from the Disneyland amusement complex, to International Airport when it "seemed to come apart in the air" at 5:47 p.m. PDT over busy Alondra Boulevard in this Los Angeles suburb.
"It was disintegrating right in the air, all sorts of pieces kept falling off and drifting away like feathers," said Edward Bilyeu, a service station attendant.
"The tail section fell off, and I could imagine there were people falling out of the helicopter. It wasn't afire at the time, but when it hit the ground, everything just went up in flames."

The Press Courier Oxnard California 1968-05-23



Los Angeles Airways announced yesterday it will continue to operate helicopter shuttle service at full schedule while federal authorities probe the cause of a crash of one of its aircraft with a loss of 23 lives.

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