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Fri Apr 6, 2012, 05:09 PM

My father died four decades ago in a plane crash under similar circumstances

Dad worked for an aerospace contractor as an electronics engineer in Southern California. Part of his work involved flying with other team members in a B25-Mitchell for test purposes. He was reticent to speak of exactly what his work entailed, but he'd been a radar man in the Navy and had mentioned radar a time or two.

On a sunny Saturday, May 10, 1969, the plane lost power shortly after taking off from LAX with four crew members aboard. The only possible landing point, assuming the pilot might have been able to maneuver the craft at all, was a large recreation field that was crowded with Little Leaguers, so no dice there in any case. The plane plowed into a small apartment building, killing all four aboard and a man and his grand-daughter in the apartment.

I can still remember watching in shock the helicopter footage of the flaming wreckage. I was almost 12 at the time. It was the blackest day of my life, and I'm sure for many other people as well.

The crew were given posthumous awards for heroism by the City of El Segundo for having avoided the playing fields and saving the lives of potentially many children. That may or may not have gone over very well with the family of the victims in the apartment.

We do not know the precise sequence of events before, during and after the engine failure and subsequent disaster that day, or what was said and done by the pilot. Suffice it to say a tragedy occurred, and there were no winners.

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Reply My father died four decades ago in a plane crash under similar circumstances (Original post)
IDemo Apr 2012 OP
LAGC Apr 2012 #1
lunatica Apr 2012 #2
gateley Apr 2012 #3

Response to IDemo (Original post)

Fri Apr 6, 2012, 05:12 PM

1. So sorry to hear about your loss.



I'm sure the pilots did everything they could to minimize the risk of harm, before they ejected. Surely it was just a major malfunction.

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Response to IDemo (Original post)

Fri Apr 6, 2012, 05:21 PM

2. You were so young

I'm sorry for the little kid who lost his father that day.

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Response to IDemo (Original post)

Fri Apr 6, 2012, 05:23 PM

3. This must bring back memories (obviously). What a tragic way

to lose a loved one. Of course, no way is painless, but I often think that, even knowing my parents were dying, it was a shock to have them gone, I couldn't imagine losing them in an accident.


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