The Story Of United Air Strains Flight 227

Precisely 57 years in the past immediately, on November 11, 1965, United Air Strains Flight 227 crashed whereas touchdown in Salt Lake Metropolis, killing 43 of the 85 passengers onboard the aircraft.

United Air Strains Flight 227 was a usually scheduled home transcontinental flight between LaGuardia Airport (LGA) in New York and San Francisco Worldwide Airport (SFO) in California, with stops within the following cities:

  • Cleveland Hopkins Worldwide Airport (CLE)
  • Chicago O’Hare Worldwide Airport (ORD)
  • Denver-Stapleton Worldwide Airport (DEN)
  • Salt Lake Metropolis Worldwide Airport (SLC)


The aircraft was a nine-month-old Boeing 727-200

The plane concerned within the crash was a nine-month-old Boeing 727-200 registered N7030U. Answerable for the flight was Captain Gale C. Kehmeier, assisted by First Officer Philip E. Spicer and Second Officer Ronald R. Christensen.

In Denver, the brand new flight crew took management of the aircraft after an uneventful first three legs between New York and the mile-high metropolis. For its subsequent leg to Salt Lake Metropolis, Utah, the plane took off from Denver simply after sundown at 16:54 and climbed to its assigned cruising altitude of 31,000 ft. At 17:38, the aircraft started its descent into Salt Lake Metropolis following the radar vectors.

United Air Lines Flight 227 route map

Picture: GCmaps

At 17:47, Salt Lake Metropolis Air Visitors Management (ATC) suggested the flight that they have been 5 miles south of Riverton Fan Marker approaching the localizer course cleared for ILS runway three 4 left strategy. The command pilot acknowledged the message: “Okay, we’re slowed to 2 fifty (Knots), and we’re at ten thousand ft; we now have the runway in sight now; we’ll cancel and standby with you for site visitors.” At 17:49, the flight management was transferred to Salt Lake Metropolis Tower, which cleared the aircraft to land.

The aircraft was descending too quick

When the plane crossed the management marker, it was 2,000 above the glideslope and descending at 2,000 ft per minute. This was thrice the United Air Strains really helpful fee of strategy for landings. The primary officer tried to use energy to decelerate the descent however was stopped by the captain. The captain then used thrust too late to cease the aircraft, touchdown 335 ft in need of the runway.

United Air Lines Boeing 727

The plane’s touchdown gear collapsed because the aircraft slid onto the runway. The affect of the touchdown had ruptured gas traces which have been ignited by sparks from the fuselage scraping throughout the bottom. Forty-three folks died because of the following fireplace.

The investigation into the crash of United Air Strains Flight 227

Following an intensive investigation, it was decided that the blame lay with Captain Gale C. Kehmeier. The ultimate strategy was too excessive and too near the airport to carry out a secure touchdown. The primary officer who was flying the aircraft tried to use thrust however had his hand disregarded the thrust leavers by the captain, who then took management of the flight.

United Air Lines Flight 227 wreckage

The accident investigation by the CAB (Civil Aeronautics Board) revealed that the captain had a checkered coaching historical past. He had failed his preliminary jet transition coaching and was made to proceed flying Douglas DC-6s. Later, he additionally failed a routine instrument proficiency take a look at.