Santa Monica Bay, CA Jetliner Plunges Into Ocean On Take Off, Jan 1969



Los Angeles (UPI) -- A United Air Lines Boeing 727 jetliner carrying 37 persons crashed into stormy seas during a rainstorm last night only minutes after taking off from the Los Angeles International Airport and all aboard were feared dead.
Rescuers speculated an explosion occurred aboard the big plane.
Three and one-half hours after the crash, three bodies had been found in the ocean along with parts of a fuselage and a U.S. mail bag carrying letters postmarked Saturday.
Hope was grim because UAL domestic flights do not carry liferafts or lifejackets and a Coast Guard spokesman said it looked "very doubtful that there could be anybody alive."
The plane was bound for Denver and Milwaukee and a United official reported that the flight usually carried airline personnel en route to a training program in the Colorado city.

Fire Warning.
The largest piece of debris recovered was a 10-foot square sectionof insulation from the plane, leading to the speculation of a massive explosion minutes after takeoff.
The first word of trouble came when the pilot told the airport that his fire warning indicator light had gone on and he was shutting down one of its engines.
The first of the bodies was picked up by a lifeguard boat two and one-half hours after the crash nine miles from Marina Del Rey.
Coast Guard cutters and helicopters scoured an area 10 miles west of the airport. The searchers were hampered by heavy swells and rain.
The accident was tragically similar to the crash of a Scandinavian Airlines DC8 last Monday night. The SAS aircraft plunged into the ocean under the same weather conditions while coming in for a landing with the loss of 15 lives. Thirty persons survived.
The plane, FLight 266, took off at 6:20 p.m.
Four minutes after takeoff, the pilot radioed that his fire warning indicator light had gone on and said he had shut down one of his three engines. He was ordered to return to the airport but seconds later disappeared from the radar screen.
Coast Guard helicopters and fixed wing aircraft which rescued 30 survivors of the SAS plane, sped into action two minutes later from their ports at the ocean end of the airport. They used spotlights and dropped flares to light up the dark night.
The harbormaster's office at Marina Del Rey was set to care for possible survivors and local hospitals already caring for some survivors of the SAS tragedy implemented a prepared emergency procedure.
The Coast Guard warned private boats to stay out of the search area 10 miles west of Los Angeles International. Private craft hampered the rescue of the survivors of the SAS plane which had flown in from Copenhagen.



Plane crash victim

Inez Jimenez was on that plane. She was my Godmother.

C.W. Reynolds

This is the first place I have seen my grandfather’s name listed for this flight, apart from that I have only heard stories. My grandfather was a United pilot, but was not piloting this flight. Any information you have that mention him would be, and I can’t say this enough, greatly appreciated.

Flight #266

There were only 2 bodies recovered. Mrs. John Rae right after the crash and Dr. Swan an couple of days later. This information above is incorrect.

Remembering UA266


HI- email me

HI- email me peter_biertzer@yahoo.com my uncle lost his parents on this flight. and as we approach 50 years since the crash i'm organizing victims' families to erect a memorial. Would like to speak to you for more info. thank you!

Bonnie Jean Cottle


I am writing from the Gamma Phi Beta house at the University of Colorado. Bonnie Cottle was one of our sister who passed away during the crash in L.A. Unfortunately, aside from her name, this article, and a plaque in our house we know nothing else of her. Many of us in the house are not completely certain we believe in the super natural, but there is clearly a force in the house.We are looking for information on all of our sisters that have passed, to see if there is some unresolved issue surrounding our past sisters. Any further information you have regarding this article or Bonnie would be greatly appreciated. Rest in Peace Bonnie, love in IIKE.

Thank you for your time!
The Sisters of Gamma Phi Beta