On this day, there were a lot of airplane crashes. Maybe this is true of every day. The truth is that I don’t pay so much attention to things that have happened recently. If I can find things to write about that took place hundreds or even thousands of years ago, I would prefer to. But today, there was nothing too interesting in the way back. So I was looking at the last century, and I noticed all these plane crashes.
Let’s start with 1933, when the Lituanica flew all the way across the across the Atlantic Ocean. It was a little bitty airplane. The two pilots took off from New York and thirty some hours later, they flew over Ireland. And then they crashed in Poland, less than 400 miles from their destination. Both pilots died.
Skipping ahead 20 years, 40 NROTC students and 6 crewmen were taking a USMC R4Q Packet from Corpus Christi to Norfolk. But the plane lost power on takeoff, slamming into a bunch of trees a mile past the runway. Shockingly, six people actually survived the initial crash, although three of them died soon after.
In 1996, TWA Flight 800 was on its way from New York to Rome. Twelve minutes out, the airplane exploded. It is believed that there was a short circuit in or near the fuel tank, and that was that. It killed all the passengers and crew: 230 people.
In 2007, TAM Airlines Flight 3054 was going from Porto Alegre to São Paulo in Brazil. On landing at the very stormy São Paulo airport, the plane overran the runway, and slammed into a nearby warehouse. Not only were all 187 people on board killed, so were 12 on the ground.
And then last year, Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 crashed in Ukraine. We still don’t have an official account of this. But we do know that all 298 people on board died.
And yet, on this day in 1955, Disneyland was opened. A coincidence?