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Thread: Somber reminder of Eastern flight 66

  1. #1
    Senior Member Aviation.High.Guy's Avatar
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    Somber reminder of Eastern flight 66

    As I was going through some of my old aviation stuff squirreled away , I came across a grim reminder of
    a fateful day in NYC aviation history. The day Eastern Airlines flight 66, a 727 fell out of the sky.

    She was taken down by wind shear during a thunderstorm just short of Rockaway Blvd and JFK's RWY 22L.
    On June 24, 1975 one hundred and thirteen souls perished there. I was a young kid at the time, but I'll never
    forget that huge plume of black smoke on the horizon. I could see it clearly from my apartment nearly 5 miles away
    in central Queens.



    About six years later ('80 or '81), when I was a teen I began making trips by bicycle down to the 22s with my
    buds to take pictures of airliners. (We didn't know about the "Mounds" spotting area back then.) We would
    just head straight to the approach lights- as close as we could get to the runway. I loved that smell of jet fuel
    in the air and feeling a gust of wind in the wake of a jumbo passing low overhead.



    One day while waiting for the next arrival I started kicking around some sand out of boredom. I looked down
    and saw this twisted little piece of cast aluminum, painted zinc chromate green and lined with rivets. Being
    a freshman at Aviation High School I knew right away what I was looking at. But I can still remember feeling a chill
    up my back when I realized why it was there. It was an air disaster relic. Something the investigators and clean up crews
    missed. A small piece of flight 66. After picking it up, my friends and I started poking around the earth some more.
    Within a few minutes we turned up a few more small airplane fragments, only this time they had dark blue and aqua paint.
    ...The colors of Eastern Airlines.

    -Don B.

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    Wow! And speaking of accidents, I believe today is the anniversary of the Tenerife accident...

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    Senior Member NIKV69's Avatar
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    Those artifacts are incredible. Few years ago some friends and I took a helicopter up to Mount Potosi to the site of TWA flight 3 and found little pieces of wreckage. I'd bet pieces of those two 747s at Tenerife are still in the dirt as well.
    'My idea of a good picture is one that's in focus and of a famous person doing something unfamous.' Andy Warhol

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    Senior Member megatop412's Avatar
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    Wow, what a find Don. Crazy when you think of large commercial airplanes being reduced to thousands and thousands of small bits like that, to say nothing of the occupants. There's probably still some small bits of AA587 over in Belle Harbor. I still haven't made it over there to see the monument

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    Senior Member Aviation.High.Guy's Avatar
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    Wow, I just googled Flight 3. Did you see the pilot's wings supposedly found at that site by a hiker?
    Amazing find if it's true.

    http://www.lostflights.com/Commercia...262014_sDw5BLC


    Quote Originally Posted by NIKV69 View Post
    Those artifacts are incredible. Few years ago some friends and I took a helicopter up to Mount Potosi to the site of TWA flight 3 and found little pieces of wreckage. I'd bet pieces of those two 747s at Tenerife are still in the dirt as well.
    -Don B.

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    Senior Member Aviation.High.Guy's Avatar
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    Yep. It kinda freaks me out to own these parts, but as a collector and history buff I can't part with them.


    Quote Originally Posted by megatop412 View Post
    Wow, what a find Don. Crazy when you think of large commercial airplanes being reduced to thousands and thousands of small bits like that, to say nothing of the occupants. There's probably still some small bits of AA587 over in Belle Harbor. I still haven't made it over there to see the monument
    -Don B.

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    Amazing finds, a couple of fantastic pieces of aviation history. That would look great framed with a shot of the aircraft.

    Still sad to imagine that day near Rockaway Blvd. I remember getting stuck in the sand when I drove on that exact spot in the last 80's.

    AJ
    Pull back and the houses get smaller!

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    Senior Member Zee71's Avatar
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    Don.....I remember that day well............I was a young lad at 15 years of age. A group of us were on the A train heading back home from the Rockaways. I recall looking out the window, when we heard a tremendous bang. I didn't know what it was until I saw the smoke off in the distance. We got off the Rockaway Blvd. train station, and as we were walking home all remember was the amount of emergency vehicles heading down Woodhaven Blvd. and heading to the airport. Once I arrived home, my mom was glued to the breaking news on the TV of the disaster. I told her that I was going to see for myself. I quickly grab my wheels (my bike), and pedaled as fast as I could to get there. When I finally got to Rockaway Blvd. and closer to the field, I just remember hoards of people heading for the field not to help but to loot, which I couldn't even phantom why would anyone ever do that. I never got close enough to see the wreckage, because it was a mob scene to say the least. I was so sadden by those whom lost their souls that day, and disgusted by the looters. A day I never forgot.
    Mark
    Queens, NY

    My website: http://mbsphotography.smugmug.com
    My photos at: JetPhotos and ANet

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    Senior Member Aviation.High.Guy's Avatar
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    Hey Mark, thanks for sharing your experience of that fateful day. Indeed it was a very sad time for NYC Aviation.
    I remember all the talk on the news about the danger of windshear and microbursts.

    On a happier note, good to know I wasn't the only kid riding a bicycle to the airport.
    -Don B.

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    Senior Member 727C47's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aviation.High.Guy View Post
    Hey Mark, thanks for sharing your experience of that fateful day. Indeed it was a very sad time for NYC Aviation.
    I remember all the talk on the news about the danger of windshear and microbursts.

    On a happier note, good to know I wasn't the only kid riding a bicycle to the airport.
    you weren't,and my people in South Ozone Park heard that crash too,a very ,very,sad day
    The beehive hummm of the JT9D and GE CF680C2,the thunder of the JT8D-17,the rumble of the PW1830 and the high ,thin whine of the PW 545A are all music to my ears!

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    Senior Member megatop412's Avatar
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    Amazing how vivid people's recollections are, more than 35 years later

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    Senior Member Delta777LR's Avatar
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    collectables right there! thats incredible, Im curtain if i was to walk around those approach light at JFK, it would be crazy if I found another piece of Eastern 66. If I did I would also take that piece home and frame it. Thats incredible. Thats a piece of a major disaster.
    Sergio has been a huge Delta Air Lines fan since 1992!!

    Sergio Cardona

    http://www.jetphotos.net/showphotos....e=1&display=15

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    Senior Member Aviation.High.Guy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Delta777LR View Post
    collectables right there! thats incredible, Im curtain if i was to walk around those approach light at JFK, it would be crazy if I found another piece of Eastern 66. If I did I would also take that piece home and frame it. Thats incredible. Thats a piece of a major disaster.
    I bet you're right. It would take over a century for those relics to disintegrate and probably the fiberglass parts would
    never go away. I'm sure there are fragments still out there. By now, they would probably be a few inches underground.
    -Don B.

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    My father died on that flight. Those relics jumped out at me. It still feels like yesterday.

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    Senior Member NIKV69's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by daughter View Post
    My father died on that flight. Those relics jumped out at me. It still feels like yesterday.
    Sorry for your loss. My dad was a ramper for EAL and was working when 66 went down. R.I.P.

    Don you are right. My buddies at IFP take Helo flights in that area all the time. I may plan something for this winter.
    'My idea of a good picture is one that's in focus and of a famous person doing something unfamous.' Andy Warhol

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