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Air Disasters in Boone County
There have been several air disasters in Boone County since the Greater Cincinnati Airport (CVG) opened in the 1940's. Not all of the accidents were fatal, but the worst aviation accident in Boone County's history was in 1967 when TWA Flight 128 crashed near Constance, killing 70 people. The 1960’s was the deadliest decade for the airport, and it prompted Time Magazine to write in 1967 after the Flight 128 Crash “the hills of Hebron have been a November graveyard for aircraft.”
Below is a list of the aviation disasters that have occurred in Boone County:
May 8, 1948- Noble T. Rush and Daniel Crowley were killed their twin-engine Beechcraft airplane crashed in a pasture just south of Limaburg
January 12, 1955- The first commercial crash in the region occurred when a TWA aircraft departed from the Greater Cincinnati Airport in Hebron
and struck the wing of a privately operated Douglas DC-3. The right propeller of the TWA cut across the top of the DC-3 and caused both planes to crash killing all on board both planes. 15 people died total. Later investigations blamed the DC-3 for not following a proper flight pattern.
September 6, 1957- A single engine plane took off from a private field and soon developed engine problems. The pilot tried to return to their field of origin, but instead crashed in a field just south of Florence
. Both people in the plane, Leroy Abbott and James E. Rhodes, were killed.
November 14, 1961- A cargo plane crashed near Constance
on approach to the Greater Cincinnati Airport. The airplane broke apart and skidded about 400 feet before bursting into flames. Miraculously the two crew members, Calvin Goutier and Richard Brethren, survived and only suffered minor injuries.
November 8, 1965- That evening American Airlines Flight 383 from New York City was making an approach to the Greater Cincinnati Airport in light snow. The pilot misjudged the altimeters during approach and crashed into the hillside near Constance
, killing 58 people and severely injuring 4. The survivors of the crash were Captain Elmer Weekley (not the pilot of the plane, rather an employee of American Airlines), stewardess Toni Ketchell, Israel Horowitz, and Norman Specter
November 6, 1967- TWA Flight 159 ran off the runway while attempting to take off from the Greater Cincinnati Airport. While attempting to take off, the crew thought that they had struck a Delta Airlines plane that was stuck in the mud near the runway and immediately aborted takeoff. Later investigations showed that the TWA plane did not contact the Delta plane. All 29 passengers and 7 crew escaped. 11 were treated from injuries and 1 passenger died four days later.
November 20, 1967- TWA Flight 128 from Los Angeles was making a schedule stop in Cincinnati, and was supposed to proceed to Pittsburgh and then Boston. On approach the airplane struck trees on the Constance
hillside and crashed 6,878 feet short of the runway, killing 70 and injuring 12. Of the 70 killed included Andrew Clark, who was the airport attorney, and his wife. Deteriorating weather conditions and using a night time visual approach without proper cross reference caused the pilots to misjudge and miss the runway. To date this is the deadliest crash in Boone County history.
February 7, 1970- A Beechcraft airplane crashed in Hebron
while attempting to land at the Greater Cincinnati Airport, killing three of four people on board. The plane attempted to land at Lunken Airport but was rerouted because of fog. Pilot error was the source of the crash.
October 8, 1979- A twin engine plane operated by Comair (Flight 444) lost power to one of its engines during takeoff. The loss of power caused the plane to lose control and crashed soon after, killing all 8 aboard.
June 2, 1983- A fire broke out midair on Air Canada Flight 797 over Indianapolis. The plane was rerouted for emergency landing to the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky Airport. The fire continued to rage and produced so much smoke that the pilot could not see his controls during landing; he was guided to the runway by another pilot. The landing was successful, however, 23 people died from smoke inhalation, including Canadian folk musician Stan Rogers. This accident resulted in floor lighting in airplanes, and a reduction in materials that cause toxic fumes.
August 13, 2004- Air Tahoma Flight 185, a DHL Conair 580 twin-engine cargo plane, crashed on approach to the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky Airport. The plane ran out of fuel and crashed on a green at World of Sports Golf Course in Florence
, killing the co-pilot and injuring the captain.