Atlanta, GA Jetliner Crashes On Take-Off, May 1960



Atlanta (UPI) -- Investigators sifted through the wreckage of a Delta Air Lines 880 jetliner today in search of the flaw that caused the plane to crash in fiery ruin, killing four crew members.
The aircraft, a Convair 880, crashed and exploded in a geyser of flame as it left the runway on a training flight from Atlanta municipal airport Monday. There were no survivors.
"There was not a chance for them to get out," a Delta official said. Fire engulfed the wreckage immediately, searing the ground around it.
The victims included two pilots who were learning to fly the pure jet 880, the newest and fastest jet certified for commercial use. The other two pilots were instructors.
They were identified at Capt. JAMES H. LONGINO, 41, of Atlanta, who set two transcontinental speed records in 880s; Capt. W. F. WILLIAMS, 50, of Miami; Capt. H. L. LAUBE, 45, of Atlanta; and 1st officer BRYAN E. BOLT, 31, also of Atlanta.
Why the four-engined plane, one of the most ruthlessly tested ever to enter commercial service, went down was a mystery. Delta President C. E. WOOLMAN said, "We are not able to say at this time what the cause was."
"It was a good airplane and a sweet-flying airplane," WOOLMAN added. "The pilots aboard were able pilots."
The Civil Aeronautics Board began an investigation of the crash, the third fatal training flight involving jet transports since last August.
The four million dollar plane, which made a commercial New York to Atlanta run May 20 carrying 85 persons, may have been making a "partial power" take off, with one engine cut, when it crashed.
Delta put the 880 into regular scheduled service only nine days ago. The Federal Aviation Agency certified the plane for commercial use on May 1.

The Star Anniston Alabama 1960-05-24