Fort Worth, TX Delta DC9 Training Flight Crash, May 1972

BS Woman's Son is Victim in Crash

One of the four victims in the crash of a DC9 plane in Fort Worth Tuesday was Leon Randolph Hull Jr., 38, whose mother, Mrs. Eula Hull, resides at 805 Anna Street in Big Spring.

Services will be held at 10 a.m. Friday at the Nalley-Pickle Funeral Home here. The Rev. Burkhardt, an Episcopal minister of Fort Worth, will officiate. Burial will be in Mount Olive Cemetery. He will be interred near the grave of his father, Leon Randolph Hull Sr., who died Dec. 12, 1968.

The jet was on a routine training flight at Southwest Airport in Fort Worth when it crashed and burned.

Three Delta Airline pilots also perished in the crash. They were Capt. George G. Gray, 35, Atlanta; Capt. Franklin M. Cook, 32, who was in the process of being transferred from Atlanta to Dallas; and Capt. John N. Martin Jr., 35, Irving. Cook was at the controls of the aircraft.

Hull is believed to have died of smoke inhalation and multiple injuries, a Tarrant county medical examiner said.

The plane took off about 6:45 a.m. Tuesday. Gray was giving the other two pilots six-months routine proficiency checks.

Upon impact, the plane broke into flames and skidded upside down along a runway. Witnesses said the plane spewed burning fuel for five-eights of a mile before coming to rest on its top. The last of the four bodies was not removed from the wreckage for nearly three hours after the 7:26 a.m. crash.

Hull was a specialist on DC9 aircraft. He had been with the FAA since 1968. He graduated from Texas A& M in 1955 and served as a pilot in the U. S. Air Force until he joined the FAA.

Big Spring Daily Herald, Big Spring, TX 31 May 1972


Turbulence Cited in Jet Crash

GRAPEVINE, Tex (UPI) -- Turbulence stirred up by a big DC10 airliner may have been responsible for the fiery crash of a smaller DC9 which killed four men.

The DC9, which const $3.5 million, belonged to Delta Airlines. Two of the four Delta pilots on board were making checkout flights at Greater Southwest International Airport with another Delta pilot and a Federal Aviation Administration examiner.

The victims were Capt. George G. Gray, 35, an instructor pilot based in Atlanta; Capt. Franklin M. Cook, 32, who was transferring from Dallas to Atlanta; Capt. Johnny M. Martin, 35, of the Dallas suburb of Irving, and FAA examiner Leon R. Hull of Keller, north of Fort Worth.

The plane crashed at 7:30 a.m. at Greater Southwest, a commercial airport owned by the City of Fort Worth, halfway between Dallas and Fort Worth.

"The plane was rolling from side to side, very close to the ground, "Texas highway patrolman, David McNatt said.

Federal aviation men declined to speculate on what happened. But people familiar with commercial planes said the pilot may have banked to line up on Runway 13 and been in the bank when he hit turbulence from the DC10.

If that were the case, the observers said, the turbulence from DC10 -- actually twin tornadoes spinning on opposite directions -- may well have spun the DC9 on its back, too close to the ground for any recovery to have been possible.

Instruments recording the speed, altitude, compass heading, vertical gravity forces and conversation in the cockpit were recovered Tuesday night and flown to Washington.
Edward Slattery, a spokesman for the National Transportation Safety Board, said the instruments may have significant information about the crash.

An eight-man NTSB board was investigating.

Brownsville Herald, Brownsville, TX 1 Jun 1972


Leon R. Hull Jr.


BIG SPRING (Staff) --Services for Leon Randolph Hull, Jr., 38, of Keller and formerly of Midland, were held at 10 a.m. today in the Nalley-Pickle Rosewood Chapel with burial in the Mount Olive Cemetery.

He died Tuesday in a DC9 crash at the Greater Southwest International Airport in Fort Worth. He was a Federal Aviation Administration[sic] observer aboard the aircraft for a pilot training flight.

Born Aug. 3, 1933, in Big Spring, he was graduated from Texas A&M University in 1955 and served as a pilot in the Air Force until he went to work for the FAA in 1968.

Hull was employed with the FAA at the Flight Service Station at Midland-Odessa Regional Air Terminal in 1968 and 1969 when he left Midland to take a FAA post in Fort Worth.

Survivors are his mother, Mrs. Eula Hull of Big Spring; a son, Timothy and two daughters, Julie and Stephanie, all of the home; two sisters, Mrs. Roxie Coggin of Stanton and Mrs. Marilyn Brewer of Canyon.

Odessa American, Odessa, TX 2 Jun 1972