Covington, KY Greater Cincinnati Airport Jet Crash, Nov 1967
Kentucky Air Crash Claims 64 Lives
Second Disaster At Greater Cincinnati Airport in Two Years
By Terry Flynn and Robert T. Weston
CINCINNATI (UPI) -- Federal investigators today recovered the flight recorder and voice tape recorder from a Trans World Airlines "substitute" passenger jet which crashed near the Greater Cincinnati Airport during a landing approach, killing 64 of the 82 persons aboard.
Most of the 18 survivors were injured seriously.
The investigators hoped the recorders, which were sent to Washington for study, would help solve Monday night's air disaster, the second at the airport in two years. A 1965 crash killed 58 persons aboard an American Airlines jet.
The plane, flight 128, originated in Los Angeles and was flying nonstop to Cincinnati, then on to Pittsburgh and Boston.
It crashed during a light snow shortly before 9 p. m. EST on the farm of R. S. WAGNER in Hebron, Ky., six miles south of Cincinnati across the Ohio river.
The crash happened less than a mile from the spot where an American Airlines Boeing 727, also on a flight to Cincinnati, went down two years ago, killing 58 of the 60 persons aboard. The two crash sites are less than a mile apart.
Only two week ago a TWA Boeing 707 cracked up at Greater Cincinnati Airport when the takeoff was aborted. The 37 persons escaped serious injury, but an elderly woman died later of complications.
JOSEPH O'CONNELL, chairman of the National Air Transportation Safety Board, defended the airport, saying it is "as good as any in the U. S. It's a better airport than most in terms of terrain and approaches."
"However," he added, "it seems to be accident prone. But it is relatively safe."
O'CONNELL was in Cincinnati when the Convair crashed. He was preparing for a hearing next month into the near-tragedy of two weeks ago.
At the crash site, Kentucky state troopers stood guard while bodies were removed and federal investigators gathered evidence. The investigators were to meet later today for a preliminary review of their findings.
Records To Washington
The Convair's tape and flight recorder and the airport control tower's tape recordered[sic] were flown to Washington.
Fourteen of the survivors are in St. Elizabeth's Hospital at Covington. Three are in Booth Hospital, also in Covington, and another is in General Hospital in Cincinnati.
But for a malfunctioning door, there might have been no crash.
Capt. CHARLES L. COCHRAN, 45, a veteran of 14,000 air hours, was at the controls when a problem was found in one of the cabin doors of the four-engined jet Convair 880 that was to make the flight.
The 72 passengers and seven crew members transferred to another plane, also a Convair 880, and began their flight, 2 ½ hours late. Less than six miles from the Greater Cincinnati Airport, located across the Ohio River in Florence, Ky., there was "a loud boom and a gigantic flash in the sky." The airliner with COCHRAN at the controls, screamed to earth, bursting into flames on impact.
"I've never seen a plane so completely destroyed," said EDWIN WALTON, one of the first rescuers on the scene. "Everything was gone except the tail section."
"Seats were thrown all over the plane. There was nothing you could identify as wings. It hit a clump of large trees and struck with such force that it uprooted a tree about three feet in diameter and carried it 100 feet away."
Middlesboro Daily News Kentucky 1967-11-21