Hot news: The worst air disaster in US history occurred at the O'Hare air disaster that left 379 dead. - NEWS

Hot news: The worst air disaster in US history occurred at the O’Hare air disaster that left 379 dead.

The worst air disaster in U.S. history is often cited as the crash of American Airlines Flight 191, which occurred on May 25, 1979, at Chicago O’Hare International Airport. The tragic accident resulted in the deaths of all 271 passengers and crew on board, along with two people on the ground, bringing the total death toll to 273. While the figure of 379 dead is incorrect, the disaster remains the deadliest aviation accident on U.S. soil.

The Flight

American Airlines Flight 191 was a regularly scheduled passenger flight from Chicago O’Hare International Airport to Los Angeles International Airport. The aircraft involved was a McDonnell Douglas DC-10, a wide-body airliner known for its large capacity and long-range capabilities.

The Disaster

The disaster unfolded shortly after takeoff. As Flight 191 accelerated down the runway and began to lift off, the left engine separated from the wing. The engine detached, flipping over the top of the wing and falling to the runway. This catastrophic failure severed hydraulic lines and electrical systems, causing significant damage to the aircraft’s control surfaces.

Immediate Consequences

Without the left engine and with severe damage to the left wing, the aircraft became uncontrollable. Just moments after takeoff, the DC-10 banked sharply to the left, lost altitude, and crashed into an open field approximately one mile from the end of the runway. The impact caused a massive explosion and fire, leaving no chance for survival for those on board.

Investigation and Findings

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) conducted a thorough investigation into the accident. The primary cause of the engine separation was traced to improper maintenance procedures. Specifically, during routine maintenance eight weeks before the crash, ground crew used an incorrect procedure to remove and reinstall the engine and pylon. This improper method led to the fracturing of the pylon structure, which eventually failed during the takeoff roll.

The investigation also revealed critical design issues with the DC-10, including the vulnerability of its hydraulic and electrical systems to damage from engine separation. These findings prompted significant changes in aircraft maintenance procedures and design standards to enhance safety.

Impact on Aviation Safety

The O’Hare air disaster had a profound impact on aviation safety. It led to increased scrutiny of aircraft maintenance practices and highlighted the importance of proper procedures. The incident also accelerated the development of more robust design requirements for aircraft systems to ensure they could better withstand such catastrophic failures.


The legacy of Flight 191 extends beyond the tragic loss of life. It serves as a sobering reminder of the importance of meticulous maintenance and rigorous safety standards in aviation. The lessons learned from this disaster have undoubtedly contributed to making modern air travel safer.

In conclusion, the crash of American Airlines Flight 191 at Chicago O’Hare International Airport remains the worst air disaster in U.S. history, with a total of 273 fatalities. The tragedy underscores the critical need for stringent maintenance practices and robust aircraft design to prevent such catastrophes in the future.

Related Posts

HOME      ABOUT US      PRIVACY POLICY      CONTACT US © 2023 NEWS - Theme by WPEnjoy