Upperville, VA TWA 727 Jet Crashes into Mount Weather, Dec 1974
The Federal Aviation Administration said there had been no unusual communications between the plane's crew and air-traffic controllers, "just the routine flight conversation."
When the Dulles tower lost radar contact with the plane about 11:10 a. m. EST local authorities were notified to begin a search. Two state troopers found the wreckage almost immediately.
The plane sheared off tree tops as it plunged into the west side of the mountain.
The plane then struck a rocky outcropping, caught fire, disintegrated and spewed over an area about the size of two football fields. The main wreckage cut a swath 60 to 70 yards wide for about a quarter of a mile.
Loudoun County Medical Examiner GEORGE HOCKER, describing the difficulty of finding and identifying the victims, said. "For about half of the bodies, you can recognize that it is a human. But with the rest of them, you're just dealing with pieces."
Near the crash site is a closely-guarded 85-acre government installation that houses an underground complex to serve as headquarters for the president and other officials in case of a disaster in Washington.
The crash severed the main underground telephone line into the complex. Government personnel on duty there at the time aided in the initial search efforts.
The flight originated in Indianapolis, and about 46 passengers boarded at Columbus, according to a TWA spokesman.
The Daily Times Salisbury Maryland 1974-12-02
Continued on page 6