Colorado Springs, CO Jetliner Crashes On Landing, Mar 1991
NO SURVIVORS BELIEVED IN JET CRASH.
Colorado Springs, Colo. (AP) -- A United jetliner with 25 people on board crashed in flames as it approached the Colorado Springs airport early Sunday. Apparently, no one survived, authorities said.
"We can't even find a chair," said El Paso County Sheriff Bernie Berry. "There's not a great deal of that airplane left."
United Flight 585 en route from Denver crashed at 9:55 a.m. four to five miles south of the airport, the Federal Aviation Administration in Washington said. The plane had twenty passengers and a crew of five.
The FAA and the airline said all aboard apparently were killed. The plane narrowly missed houses and apartment buildings; at least one person on the ground was injured.
The United States Olympic Committee said two committee employees and a coach with the U.S. Cycling Federation were aboard the plane. United officials said a list of victims probably will be released Monday.
"There does not appear to be" any survivors, said Dick Meyer of the FAA's public information office in Seattle. Chicago-base United said in a statement that "at this time there are no reports of survivors" aboard the twin-engine Boeing 737-200.
"All obviously are presumed dead," said Sgt. Dean Kelsey of the El Paso County sheriff's office.
Mr. Meyer said the pilot did not tell the airport control tower of any problem before the crash. The plane was last inspected Sunday at Denver and had no history of problems, said Lawrence Nagin, United senior vice president, at a news conference at company headquarters.
A witness, Army Command Sgt. Maj. Leo Martinez, said that the plane banked sharply, veered and then crashed virtually nose first.
"I watched and it went vertically into the ground," he said. "There was a huge fireball, black smoke and orange flames."
He said there was "nothing -- just debris, very small debris. You can see tires burning. I don't think there's a part larger than a suitcase. You can't see any wings
... or anything."
Sheriff's Lt. Bill Mistretta said the plane crashed in an unincorporated residential area called Widefield. The plane crashed in a park surrounded by houses and apartment buildings.
"It's a long and narrow park," Sgt. Martinez said. "If he (the pilot) did this on purpose, no one in Iraq and Saudi Arabia could have done a better job of flying. It is the only place he could have taken it in."
Another witness, Bill Ferguson, likened the plane's descent to "a dive-bombing mission."
The blackened and twisted wreckage was scattered across the park. A piece of engine turbine was found across from the apartment complex in a vacant field, about a third of a mile from the crash site, sheriff's offiials said.
Frederick News-Post Maryland 1991-03-04
List of Casualties:
HAL GREEN, pilot.
TRISH EIDSON, first officer.
LISA CHURCH, flight attendant.
MONICA SMILEY, flight attendant.
ANITA LUCERO, flight attendant.
BONNIE BACHMAN, Phoenix, Arizona.
DAN BIRKHOLZ, 35, Colorado Springs.
ANDY BODNAR, Toronto, Canada.
MILDRED ANN BROWN, Copperas Cove, Texas.
DR. WILLIAM CRABB, 51, Colorado Springs.
CLAY CRAWFORD, 72, Colorado Springs.
JO CRAWFORD, 65, Colorado Springs.
ROBERT GEISSBUHLER, JR., 39, Colorado Springs.
PAM GERDITS, 39, Colorado Springs.
FRED HOFFMAN, 40, Colorado Springs.
HERALD HOLING, Colorado Springs.
MAURICE JENKS, Littleton, Colorado.
MICHAEL KAVANAUGH, Barna, Ireland.
KEVIN KODALEN, Colorado Springs.
ANDRZEJ KOMOR, 39, Warsaw, Poland.
PAULA McGILVAR, 43, Colorado Springs.
VINCENT RIGA, 55, Colorado Springs.
LESTER ROSS, Atlanta, Georgia.
DR. PETER VAN HANDEL, 45, Colorado Springs.
TAKASHI YOSHIDA, Fukushima, Japan.