Atlanta, GA Jet Crashes On Training Flight, May 1960


Atlanta (AP) -- A Convair 880, the nation's newest jet airliner, exploded and crashed on takeoff yesterday, killing the four crewmen who were taking it up on a training flight.
No one else was aboard the four-million-dollar gleaming white pride of Delta Airlines fleet.
Delta officials identified the victims as Capt. JAMES H. LONGINO, 41, College Park, Ga.; Capt. H. L. LAUBE, 45, College Park; First Officer BRYAN BOLT, Atlanta, and Capt. W. F. WILLIAMS, 50, Miami.
C. E. WOOLMAN, president of Delta, said there was no immediate explanation for the accident. The Civil Aeronautics Board is investigating.
Delta put the 600 m.p.h. plane into service only a week ago on routes between New York and Atlanta, New York and New Orleans and New York and Houston. It was scheduled to go into service between Atlanta and Dallas Sunday.
The sparkling swept-wing craft thundered down the runway and started to climb when it exploded and tumbled back into a clay embankment.

The Troy Record New York 1960-05-24


Dad missed the flight...

My father was the chief inspector for Delta at the time. He also was supposed to be on that flight. My mother had a dream and asked him not to get on that flight. Dad was with Delta for more than 45 years, and she never once asked him to miss a flight, except for this one time. He went to work planning to board the flight and at the last minutes his plans changed. Needless to say, we were all extremely grateful that he did not get on that aircraft.

Why not ask one of his

Why not ask one of his brothers? They are both still living.

Delta CV880 crash May 1960

I was also at S.R. Young when the 880 crashed. We were outside for recess and ran up to the fence to see what happened. (we got a talking-to the next day for crossing the dirt road beyond the ball fields).
Barry, I remember you also.
We lived on E. Mercer Ave. at the time.
My dad was working for Delta at that time and I also went to work for Delta as a mechanic after he retired.

Bryan Bolt

I don't remember seeing pictures, but I'm sure there was in the newspaper. I remember that day vey well. Your a Great grandfather Levi Dodson was my uncle. I was only 14 when it happened, but I remember our family getting the news. I have not seen your Grandmother, Nell in several years. We live in a different state. The only family that is still living that could give you information is Uncle Joe or Nell.


My father was a Delta pilot, and we lived four doors down from the Longinos on Herschel Rd. in College Park. Just to clarify a couple of issues - this was a training flight, not a check flight, and only Delta crew members were aboard. There is some confusion between this accident and the DC-8 training accident in New Orleans in 1967. In that instance the crew was practicing an approach with two engines out at night, and the aircraft struck the Hilton Inn hotel resulting in 13 fatalities on the ground as well as the loss of the six-member crew, including an FAA inspector. As technology has evolved, aircraft simulators are now used for all phases of training and checking so that difficult and potentially dangerous maneuvers are accomplished in a no-threat environment. It is not at all unusual for a newly-qualified captain to have never actually stepped foot into the real aircraft until he begins his operational experience training on a line flight accompanied by a check airman with passengers aboard. Thus was the case with me when I qualified on the A-330 at Northwest Airlines and subsequently retired in 2007.

Capt Longino Flight

Many friends and I were outside at SR Young elementary school which was close to the airport. We saw the plane go down and crash. I remember it to this day!

Bryan Bolt

Bryan would've been my uncle. (my mom's brother) I was born in '64, so I never got to meet him. I believe that she has been traumatized by this event for all her life. They were extremely close and she always talked about how kind he was and how he served as a protector. I never heard mention of any details and randomly found this website through Google. I will tell her about it and maybe she can lend some more details if she is able. She is still in contact with Bryan's wife.

a correction

Actually, this 880 accident didn't involve sliding into a hotel and killing those high school students. This plane crashed inside the airport boundary. The one you are thinking about is the Delta DC-8 accident in New Orleans. That was also a training flight and it happened on landing in the middle of the night.

Convair 880 Crash

I worked at Eastern Air Lines as ramp agent and was watching the Convair at the time it crashed. It looked to me like the tail hit the runway when it was pulled up at a steep angle and then cartwheeled to the left as I remember in a giant ball off fire. I remember bulldozers were used to dam the spilled fuel. It was an awful and scary sight. Later that day I assisted Mr. Arthur Sulzberger, publisher of The New York Times(didn't know who he was at the time) and his wife to catch an Eastern flight to Chattanooga because they had missed their Delta flight due to not connecting from Miami due to the crash I remember this well because I received a commendation by telegram from Captain Eddie Rickenbacker to my station manager, Mr. H.W. Tofflemeier, as a result of a phone call to Capt. Eddie from Mr. Sulzberger.

delta 880 crash at atlanta airport

my dad, capt clyde mills was checking out in the 880 and was trying to get on that fatal flight but was still checking in from his regular trip and thanks to timing did't make it. he was real close to a couple of the lost crew and in fact capt longino taught me to water ski at lake altoona. we lived in hapeville and as they say, I could practically throw a rock from our front porch into delta's old hangar