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Manchester United Plane Disaster - 1958 One of the great sports tragedies of the twentieth century was the Munich Air Disaster. It occurred on February 6, 1958, when British European Airways Flight 609 crashed on its third attempt to take off from a slush-covered runway at Munich-Riem Airport in Munich, West Germany. On board the plane was the glamorous Manchester United football team, nicknamed the "Busby Babes" (after manager Matt Busby), along with a few supporters and sports journalists. Twenty of the 44 people on board the aircraft died instantly in the crash. The injured, some of whom had been knocked unconscious, were taken to the Rechts der Isar Hospital in Munich where three more died, resulting in a total of 23 fatalities with 21 survivors. The team was returning from a European Cup match in Belgrade, Yugoslavia, against Red Star Belgrade, but had to make a stop in Munich to refuel the aircraft. After refuelling, the pilots, Captains James Thain and Kenneth Rayment, attempted to take off twice, but had to abandon both attempts due to boost surging in the port engine. Fearing that they would get too far behind schedule, Captain Thain rejected an overnight stay in Munich in favour of a third take-off attempt. By the time of the third attempt, it had begun to snow, causing a layer of slush to build up at the end of the runway. When the aircraft hit the slush, it lost velocity, making take-off impossible. It plowed through a fence past the end of the runway, before the port wing hit a nearby house and was torn off. Fearing that the aircraft might explode, Captain Thain set about getting the surviving passengers as far away as possible. Despite this threat, Manchester United goalkeeper Harry Gregg remained behind to pull survivors from the wreckage. An investigation by West German airport authorities originally blamed Captain Thain for the crash, claiming that he had failed to deice the wings of the aircraft, despite statements to the contrary from eyewitnesses. It was later established that the crash had, in fact, been caused by the build-up of slush on the runway, which had resulted in the aircraft being unable to achieve take-off velocity. Accordingly Thain's name was eventually cleared in 1968--a decade after the incident. At the time of the disaster, Manchester United were trying to become only the third club to win three successive English league titles; they were six points behind League leaders Wolverhampton Wanderers with 14 games to go. They were also holders of the Charity Shield and had just advanced into their second successive European Cup semi-final. The team was also on an 11-match unbeaten run, and had advanced to the Fifth Round of the FA Cup tournament two weeks before the crash. Real Madrid won the European Cup in 1958, but team officials generously offered to have Manchester United declared the winners. This plan was not approved by UEFA, however. Manchester United did win the European Cup ten years later. Two of the survivors from 1958 were on that 1968 team.
Tags: soccer  Manchester  United  disaster  airplane 
Added: 7th June 2012
Views: 4659
Rating:
Posted By: Lava1964
Aberfan Disaster - 1966 At 9.15 am on Friday, October 21, 1966 a enormous mountain of excavated coal mining debris (known to coal miners as a waste tip) slid down a mountainside into the mining village of Aberfan, near Merthyr Tydfil in South Wales. The waste tips, which had been building up for 50 years, had become heavy and saturated due to a week of rainy weather. The debris slide first destroyed a farm cottage in its path, killing all the occupants. At Pantglas Junior School, just below, the children had just returned to their classes after singing All Things Bright and Beautiful at their assembly. The tipping gang up the mountain had seen the slide start, but could not raise the alarm because their telephone cable had been repeatedly stolen. (The Tribunal of Inquiry later established that the disaster happened so quickly that a telephone warning would not have saved any lives regardless.) Down in the village, nobody saw anything, but everybody heard the noise as about 40,000 cubic metres of debris crashed into the school at a depth of 39 feet. Gaynor Minett, an eight-year-old student, remembered four years later, "It was a tremendous rumbling sound and all the school went dead. You could hear a pin drop. Everyone just froze in their seats. I just managed to get up and I reached the end of my desk when the sound got louder and nearer, until I could see the black out of the window. I can't remember any more but I woke up to find that a horrible nightmare had just begun in front of my eyes." The slide engulfed the school and about 20 houses in the village before coming to rest. Then there was total silence. George Williams, who was trapped in the wreckage, remembered that "In that silence you couldn't hear a bird or a child." All able-bodied persons in the village rushed to the scene with whatever implements they could find to begin digging through the mess to search for survivors. None were found after 11 a.m., but it took nearly a week to recover all the bodies. The death toll in the Aberfan disaster was 144--of which 116 were school children. That accounted for about half the school's enrolment. Five teachers were killed too. An inquiry later blamed the National Coal Board (NCB) for ignoring warnings from years earlier about the potential hazards of the growing waste tips. Families of the victims were eventually compensated 500 British pounds by the NCB for each loved one who had perished.
Tags: Aberfan  Wales  disaster  coal 
Added: 11th June 2012
Views: 2731
Rating:
Posted By: Lava1964
Condo -  1983 Sitcom Disaster McLean Stevenson's sixth and final sitcom in the space of 15 years was the short-lived ABC show Condo, which aired for four months in 1983. The premise of the show was that James Kirkridge (Stevenson), a middle-aged insurance salesman, was experiencing a gradual reversal in finances. Accordingly, his family had to downgrade their lifestyle so much that he and his wife Kiki (Brooke Alderson) had to sell their rambling, palatial house in the suburbs and downsize. Jesse Rodriguez (Luis Avalos), an upwardly mobile native of the Los Angeles barrio, had recently become a successful owner of a landscaping business, enabling he and his wife Maria (Yvonne Wilder) to trade up to a more upscale neighborhood. Both couples ended up purchasing condominium units right outside a quaint Los Angeles-area fairway, and became each other's not-so-neighborly next-door neighbors. The Kirkridges initially mistook the Rodriguezes as the condo's groundskeepers. When Jesse informed them that he and his clan were in fact owners of the condo next door, weariness and bigotry ensued, mostly from staunch traditionalist James. Kiki, slightly daffy but strong enough to keep James from stepping too much out of line, was a little more accepting of her Hispanic neighbors, but often experienced culture shock causing occasional friction between her and feisty Maria. There was a Romeo-and-Juliet aspect to the show: The older Kirkridge son fell in love with and married the Rodriguez daughter. Condo was rare for its time as it had an animated opening sequence. Disliked by TV critics and viewers alike, Condo was yanked by ABC after just 13 episodes. Marc Price, who played the younger Kirkridge son, moved on to play Skippy Handelman, the Keatons' awkward yet lovable next-door-neighbor in Family Ties.
Tags: Condo  TV  sitcom 
Added: 21st June 2012
Views: 2744
Rating:
Posted By: Lava1964
Nevada Mid-Air Crash - 1958 It's is hard to imagine today, but as late as 1958 civilian air traffic control in the United States operated independently from military air traffic control with neither group thinking it was absolutely necessary to share information with the other. The result was inevitable: On April 21, 1958, a military training plane collided with a civilian DC-7 passenger airliner just outside of Las Vegas, killing all 49 people on both aircraft. The passenger plane, United Airlines flight 736, was traveling from Los Angeles to New York and was headed to a scheduled stopover in Denver. An investigation later showed that the training plane went into a planned dive and clipped its right wing into the passenger plane's right wing. Both planes plummeted violently to the ground within seconds into an area of desert. The end result was that the FAA was henceforth given full authority to monitor all air traffic to prevent future calamities. It is still the worst air disaster ever to occur in Nevada.
Tags: 1958  mid-air  collision  Nevada 
Added: 10th December 2014
Views: 1376
Rating:
Posted By: Lava1964
TV Disaster - My Three Sons Final Season My Three Sons ran for 12 seasons (1960 through 1972), first on ABC then on CBS. It is the second-longest running live-action sitcom in American TV history, behind only The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet. Despite plentiful cast changes, the departure of three major characters, and implausible plot twists, it remained a reliable ratings-grabber year after year. For most of its time on CBS, MTS enjoyed a favorable Saturday 8 p.m. time slot. Prior to what would be its final season, CBS decided to give its hugely popular new series All in the Family the time slot MTS was accustomed to having. MTS was moved to Monday at 10 p.m.--a horrible time for most kids to watch it. In addition to the time change for the twelfth season, a bizarre storyline was introduced: Fred MacMurray, who played family patriarch Steven Douglas, took on a second role--that of his cousin the Laird (Lord) Ferguson McBain Douglas of Sithian Bridge. English actor Alan Caillou's voice was dubbed for MacMurray's whenever Lord Douglas spoke. The plot centered around Lord Douglas' arrival in Los Angeles from Scotland. He came in search of a First Lady to marry and return with him to Scotland. He found Terri Dowling (Anne Francis), a waitress at the Blue Berry Bowling Alley. While initially reluctant to give up her life in America and return to Scotland as royalty, she finally accepted. This odd storyline was a continuation of a plot idea that originally began in the fourth season, when the Douglases visited Scotland on the pretense of having been told they had inherited a castle. With a later time slot--well after many younger MTS fans had gone to bed--the show finished the season outside the Top 30 for only the second time. In an attempt to save the series, CBS moved MTS in midseason to Thursday at 8:30 P.M. Nevertheless, MTS ended its prime-time run in the spring of 1972. Fred MacMurray, bitterly disappointed, protested the show's cancellation to CBS head honcho Fred Silverman, but to no avail. Although MTS was a staple on the rerun circuit for many years, the awful twelfth season was generally not included in the episodes made available for rebroadcast.
Tags: My  Three  Sons  sitcom  plot  twist 
Added: 9th July 2012
Views: 3557
Rating:
Posted By: Lava1964
Freaks Movie Trailer - 1932 This is a contemporary trailer created for the cult classic film Freaks long after its original 1932 release. This Tod Browning film is set in a circus sideshow and centers around the camaraderie of the "freaks"--and uses real carnival sideshow performers. The plot has two able-bodied members of the circus plotting to poison a midget to gain his inheritance. Originally planned for 94 minutes, it was cut to about an hour after very bad test screening results. (One woman claimed to have suffered a miscarriage from viewing the film.) It was a box office disaster in 1932--losing about $150,000. In the United Kingdom, Freaks was considered so shocking that it was banned for 30 years. The film was rediscovered by horror buffs in the 1960s. Shown at special midnight screenings, it developed an appreciative audience and has become a celebrated film.
Tags: Freaks  movie  circus 
Added: 30th October 2012
Views: 1857
Rating:
Posted By: Lava1964
1994 Aeroflot Plane Crash Scandal One of the strangest--and most preventable--air disasters in history was Aeroflot Flight #593. On March 23, 1994 a Russian International Airlines Airbus A310-300 crashed into a hillside of the Kuznetsk Alatau mountain range, Kemerovo Oblast. The jet was en route from Moscow's Sheremetyevo International Airport to Hong Kong's Kai Tak International Airport with 75 occupants aboard, of whom 63 were passengers. Most of the passengers were businessmen from Hong Kong and Taiwan who were seeking economic opportunities in Russia. There were no survivors. No evidence of technical malfunction was found, but cockpit voice and flight data recorders revealed the bizarre reason for the crash: The 12-year-old daughter (Yana) and 16-year-old son (Eldar) of pilot Yaroslav Kudrinsky were present on the flight deck. Eldar apparently had unknowingly disabled the autopilot's control of the aircraft's ailerons while seated at the controls! Yana was also recorded saying, "Daddy, can I turn this?" The aircraft had then rolled into a steep bank and near-vertical dive from which the pilots were unable to regain control in time to prevent the crash. Unlike Soviet planes with which the crew had been familiar, no audible alarm accompanied the autopilot's partial disconnection. Because of this they remained unaware of what was happening until it was too late. The plane slammed into the hillside at high speed before the crew could return the controls to autopilot. As a job perquisite, Aeroflot pilots, once per year, could take their family members on a flight free of charge and even have them present on the flight deck--but having them sit at the controls was absolutely against regulations.
Tags: Aeroflot  Russian  air  crash  children  at  controls 
Added: 2nd May 2013
Views: 3265
Rating:
Posted By: Lava1964
Bell Canada Dieppe Commercial I might as well post the best Canadian commercial ever made: a Bell Canada spot that aired in the 1990s. A young man surprises his grandfather back home in Canada by phoning him from Dieppe. (It might need some explaining to non-Canadians unfamiliar with the Dieppe Raid during the Second World War. Nearly two full years before D-Day, on August 19, 1942, more than 6,000 Allied troops--the vast majority Canadian--were sent on an ill-conceived mission across the English Channel to the French coastal city of Dieppe. They landed on a beach with high tides, baseball-sized rocks that inhibited vehicles, and high cliffs heavily fortified by German machine guns. Their mission was to destroy enemy defenses and communications. It was an unmitigated disaster. Of the 6,086 troops who landed, 3,623 were either killed or captured. Historians argue about the raid's value to this day. Some claim it was a total waste of human life. Others say the costly lessons of Dieppe led to the successful Allied amphibious landings later in the war in North Africa and Normandy.)
Tags: Bell  Canada  Dieppe  commercial 
Added: 6th July 2013
Views: 1929
Rating:
Posted By: Lava1964
Near Air Disaster - 1983 Gimli Glider Incident A mistake in metric measurement nearly caused a catastrophic airplane disaster over Canadian airspace in the summer of 1983. Known to Canadians as "the Gimli Glider," on Saturday, July 23, 1983, Air Canada Flight 143, a Boeing 767-233 jet, ran out of fuel at an altitude of 41,000 feet. It was about halfway through a flight originating in Montreal en route to Edmonton with a stopover in Ottawa. Although both engines conked out due to lack of fuel, the crew was able to glide the aircraft safely to an emergency landing at Gimli Industrial Park Airport, a former Royal Canadian Air Force base in the small community of Gimli, Manitoba. An investigation later found out the airplane had run out of jet fuel because it had wrongly been fueled in litres rather than imperial gallons. Luckily for the 61 passengers onboard, the flight crew was familiar with glider flying techniques and was able to safely land the huge aircraft. With some difficulty, the airplane touched down on a small runway that had recently been converted from an abandoned military airstrip to to a race track. A race event was underway at the time but was stopped in time to allow the aircraft to land. An official investigation later revealed "company failures and a chain of human errors that combined to defeat built-in safeguards."
Tags: Air  Canada  Gimli  Glider  aviation 
Added: 12th November 2013
Views: 1204
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Posted By: Lava1964
Missing Airplane From 1950 - Northwest Flight 2501 Commercial airliners vanishing are not new. On the night of June 23, 1950, Northwest Orient Airlines flight 2501 departed from New York City en route to its final destination of Seattle with a scheduled stopover in Minneapolis. It never made it to either stop. Sometime around 1:13 a.m. the DC-4 vanished over Lake Michigan near Benton Harbor, MI not long after its captain, Robert Lind, requested permission from air-traffic control to lower its altitude by 1000 meters to avoid stormy conditions. That permission was denied due to heavy air traffic. The airplane should have been spotted on radar near Milwaukee shortly thereafter, but instead it vanished. It was filled to capacity with 55 passengers and a crew of three. Some debris--including small body fragments--washed ashore but the plane itself has never been found, despite sonar-assisted searches and trawlers dragging the lake bottom. Thus no one knows what really happened to it. Researchers in 2008 discovered that the human remains were buried secretly in an unmarked grave without the victims' families being notified. At the time it was the worst airline disaster in American history.
Tags: airplane  aviation  missing  plane  Northwest  2501 
Added: 16th February 2015
Views: 1567
Rating:
Posted By: Lava1964

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