Falls City, NE Plane Crash, Aug 1966

Recorder Burned On Crashed Plane

42 Killed In Crash In Nebraska

FALLS CITY, Neb. (AP) - Investigators learned Monday that one of two recording devices, which may have held a clue to the cause of Saturday night's airliner crash, was burned beyond use in the crash that killed 42 persons.
The Braniff International Airways plane was in an envelope of flame when it plunged from a cloud into a soybean field about eight miles northeast of here.
However, there was a chance that another recording device may still be useful.

Too Much Heat
Ed Slattery, spokesman for a 12-man Civil Aeronautics Board investigating team, said Washington experts found heat had destroyed any record that was in the flight recorder. The device, pulled from the wreckage, was designed to keep a record of the plane's position and movements in the air.
He said CAB and factory experts were trying to decipher information in the cockpit voice recorder, which should reveal any cockpit conversation which took place within 30 minutes before the crash. Slattery said the cockpit recorder was recovered "in a rather battered condition."
An explosion flared as the plane hit the ground, and a witness shouted: "My God, the world is on fire!"

Sky Lit Up
ANTONE SCHAWANG, owner of the field where the plane crashed, was with his family in an automobile when the disaster occurred. "The sky seemed to light up," he said, as the burning plane crashed and exploded. It was the that his wife shouted that "the world is on fire."
Sitting in the kitchen of his farm home three hours later, his suntanned face tired and drawn, SCHAWANG continued his description.
"I could see this ball of flames dropping almost straight down, then I saw the tip of a wing sticking out and I knew it was a plane," he said.
"Then there was the crash."
"It came so close “ a few more yards and our house and buildings would have been wiped out."
SCHAWANG said the impact tossed flames and debris “500 feet in the air. It sounded more like hitting your fist on the table than an explosion."

First Fatal Crash
The plane was a BAC One-11, a twin-jet, rear-engine craft built by British Aircraft Corp. and capable of carrying 63 persons. The CAB said this was the first fatal crash of a BAC One-11 in the United States.
Braniff identified the crew as Capt. DONALD G. PAULY, 47, First Officer JAMES A. HILLIKER, 39, and stewardess GINGER ELAINE BRISBANE, 21, all of Minneapolis, Minn., and stewardess SHARON EILEEN HENDRICKS, 21, Sawyer, N. D.
The plane was Braniff Flight 250, just 15 minutes from landing at Omaha. It had left New Orleans, La., to go to Minneapolis with stops at Shreveport, La.; Fort Smith, Ark.; Tulsa, Okla.; Kansas City, Mo., and Omaha.
Residents near this southeast Nebraska town of 5,600 said there was thunder and lightning before the crash and a heavy rain afterward.

Waterloo Daily Courier Iowa 1966-08-08

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Claim bodies of 42 plane victims

FALLS CITY (UPI) - Friends and relatives today claimed the bodies of some of the 42 persons killed in Saturday's crash of a Braniff jet airliner while authorities tried to reconstruct the tragedy.
Members of a Federal Bureau of Investigation "disaster team" continued efforts to positively identify other victims.
Preliminary studies indicated the British-built jet disintegrated in the air while flying through the most vicious of all thunderstorms: a line squall.
Edward E. Slattery, Jr., chief Civil Aeronautics Board investigator at the scene, was asked whether sabotage had been eliminated as a cause. He said "nothing has been eliminated" but that his team, including a meteorologist, were working mainly on the weather-caused theory.
In Washington, informed sources said Monday the BAC 111's flight and voice recorders were seriously damaged but that the voice recorder might yield some information despite fire and impact damage.

The Columbus Daily Telegram Nebraska 1966-08-09

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