Last revised: April 24, 2019

ATC - 25 Best Years - (1958-83)
Album # 4A.



   January 27, 1967 - Apollo 1, initially designated AS-204, was the first manned mission of the United States Apollo program, which had its ultimate goal a manned lunar landing. The low Earth orbital test of the Apollo Command/Service Module never made its target launch date of February 21, 1967. A cabin fire during a launch rehearsal killed all three crew members: Command Pilot Virgil "Gus" Grissom; Senior Pilot Edward H. White II, and Pilot Roger B. Chaffee, and destroyed the Command Module.

Grissom, Chaffee and White entered the Command Module fully pressure-suited, and were strapped into their seats and hooked up to the spacecraft's oxygen and communication systems. After all the hatches were sealed, the air in the cabin was replaced with pure oxygen, higher than atmospheric pressure. Grissom had a stuck-open microphone - part of a problem with the communications loop connecting the crew with the operations building and the blockhouse control room.

While the crew ran through their checklist again, one of the astronauts yelled "Fire!" Another said "We've got a fire in the cockpit." The intensity of the fired fed by pure oxygen caused the pressure to rise, which ruptured the Command Module's inner wall.

Flames and gases then rushed outside the Command Module through open access panels. Intense heat, dense smoke, and ineffective gas masks designed for toxic fumes rather than heavy smoke hampered the ground crew's attempts to rescue the men.

The review board several factors which combined to cause the fire and the astronauts' deaths: 1. an ignition source related to "vulnerable wiring carrying spacecraft power" and "vulnerable plumbing carrying a combustible and corrosive coolant"  2. A pure oxygen atmosphere at higher than atmospheric pressure.  3. A cabin sealed with a hatch cover which could not be quickly removed at high pressure.  4. An extensive distribution of combustible materials in the cabin.   4. Inadequate emergency preparedness (rescue or medical assistance, and crew escape).

  CV-580 Crash  -Ohio

    March 5, 1967 - Lake Central Flight 527, was a Convair CV-580 from Chicago to Detroit, with stops in Lafayette, IN; Cincinnati,  Columbus, and Toledo, Ohio. During its flight from Columbus to Toledo the flight was cleared to begin its descent from 10,000 feet to 6,000 feet on its approach to Toledo.

A defect in the Convair CV-580 caused the torque cylinder in the right engine to fail. Prop pressure oil was lost and the propeller oversped and all four blades separated. The number 2 blade entered the fuselage, ripping it apart. The failure of the fuselage and engine both caused the plane to crash.        (38 Fatalities)

The cause was the this crash was determined to be the propeller defect and subsequent failure.

April 1, 1967 - The Department of Transportation (DOT), with Alan S. Boyd as the first Secretary of the DOT, began operations. The FAA ceased to be the independent Federal Aviation Agency and became the Federal Aviation Administration within the new Department of Transportation.

Alan Stephenson Boyd was appointed by President Lyndon Johnson as the first U.S. Secretary of Transportation. He served in executive positions with the Civil Aeronautics Board, the U.S. Department of Commerce, and was a president of Amtrak.

He graduated from the University of Florida, and after serving in the U.S. Army Air Forces he returned to college and received his Juris Doctorate from the University of Virginia School of Law.

  (Mid-Air Collision)  -Urbana, Ohio


   March 9, 1967 - Urbana, OH - Mid-Air collision between a TWA DC-9 and a Beechcraft Baron 55TWA was descending to land at Dayton Municipal Airport in uncontrolled airspace, in VFR conditions, and collided with the Beech Baron that was not in contact with air traffic control.

The NTSB determined that, due to the high rate of descent of the DC-9, its pilots were unable to see the other plane in time to avoid a collision. All four crew members and 21 passengers on the DC-9 were killed as was the sole occupant of the Baron. (26 Fatalities)

The FAA now requires all aircraft operating below 10,000 feet to maintain speeds below 250 knots IAS. The FAA also decided to create Terminal Control Areas (TCA) around the busiest airports in the nation.

April 28, 1967 - The McDonnell Douglas Corporation was organized as a result of a merger between the Douglas Aircraft Company and the McDonnell Company. Douglas had been founded in 1920, McDonnell in 1939.

  BAC 1-11 Crash  -Pennsylvania

  June 23, 1967 - Mohawk Airlines Flight 40, a BAC 1-11, from Elmira, New York to Washington, DC suffered a loss of control and crashed, killing all 30 passengers and four crew on board. A valve in the auxiliary power unit had suffered a complete failure, spreading fire to the tail plane, causing loss of pitch control.       (34 Fatalities)

The flight was cleared to climb to 16,000 feet, and 9 minutes later several eyewitnesses saw large pieces of the tail plane break away from the plane, and flames and smoke coming from the fuselage.

The CAB found that a non-return valve in the auxiliary power unit (APU) had suffered a complete failure. This allowed bleed air from the engine to flow through the system in the wrong direction. This air exited at the start of the system at sufficient temperatures to ignite components. The fire quickly spread to the hydraulics and moved along the hydraulic lines to the rear of the plane where it caused heavy damage to the tail, causing a loss of pitch control which sent the plane diving to the ground.

The FAA issued an Airworthiness Directive to prevent heat damage or fire in the airframe plenum of the auxiliary power unit installation.

    1967 - IBM, which wrote the software for the NAS En Route Stage A system, had to double the amount of memory it had originally anticipated before it could deliver the operational prototype of the 9020 IBM Computer which was installed at the Jacksonville ARTCC in 1967.


  (Mid-Air Collision)  -North Carolina

   July 19, 1967 - Hendersonville, NC - Mid-Air collision between a Piedmont Airlines B-727 and a Cessna-310 at 6,000 feet, on approach to the same airport. (82 Fatalities)

The cause was the deviation from IFR clearance by the Cessna pilot and a confusing transmission by ATC.


The FAA recommended a review of minimum pilot skill levels required for instrument flight certification.

New  (Gulfstream-II)  New

October 19, 1967 - The Grumman Gulfstream-II (19 passengers), a two-engine corporate jet with a crew of two was type-certified by the FAA.

The Gulfstream-II has a maximum speed of 580 mph, cruise speed of 480 mph, range of over 4,000 miles and a service ceiling of 45,000'. It's maximum gross weight is 65,000 lbs, and uses two Rolls-Royce Spey 511-8 turbofan engines.

In 1988 a new round-the-world flight record was set by a Gulfstream-IV in 35 hours and 54 minutes (over 23,125 miles).

One of the most beautiful corporate Jets.


On May 3, 1982 a Gulfstream-II from the Algerian government was shot down by a fighter jet in the border area of Iraq, Iran and Turkey. All 15 people on board, including the Algerian foreign minister, Mohammed Seddik Ben Yahia, were killed.  (15 Fatalities)

November 6, 1967 - - Cincinnati, Ohio


  November 6, 1967 - Cincinnati, Ohio -  A TWA B-707 from New York to Los Angeles crashed after an attempt to abort takeoff after having clipped a Delta DC-9 which was reported to have cleared the runway but was not clear. However, the TWA B-707 did not clip the DC-9.

The Delta DC-9 had become stuck in the mud just to the right of the runway. The jet blast from the DC-9 caused a compressor stall in the B-707's No. 4 engine. Hearing the bang, and believing that their plane had impacted the DC-9, the TWA crew aborted the takeoff, but the plane overran an embankment and stopped 420' from the end of the runway. The B-707 overran the runway, struck an embankment and caught fire.  
(1 Fatality initially reported)
However, one passenger, not well and traveling with a private nurse was admitted to a hospital for observation and release. She died of natural causes 4 days later.

Special recognition and thanks to the Copilot on Delta's DC-9 for the following clarity of the events of this crash:


"I was the Copilot on Delta DC-9 (Flight #379) that taxied off RWY 27 and got stuck in the dirt." The morning after the accident Delta and FAA personnel went out to the Delta DC-9 to determine if it was 'clear' of the runway. A plumb line attached to the most outboard trailing edge of the elevator, which is the most rearward structure of the jet, was dropped.

It was determined that the DC-9 was 7.5 feet clear of RWY 27, so 'technically' we were clear of the runway. (Remember, back then, airports did not have 'Hold Short Lines').

"The reason we went off the runway and became mired in the mud (dirt): Our Captain tried to stop the DC-9 in time to make a right turn to exit RWY 27 north onto RWY 36. Back then the terminal was north of RWY 27. We came to a stop about 30' past RWY 36, and he started to make a right 180 degree turn back to RWY 36 from the center of RWY 27. It takes  about 74.5' turn radius to make a 180 degree turn in the DC-9. (RWY 27 is 150' wide)."

"90 degrees into the turn (now pointed north), we came to a stop, and from our view in the cockpit we were above the grass with the nose wheels, which are behind us, still on the runway. The Captain looked at me and asked if I though he could complete the turn. I said I didn't think so. He then started to apply power on BOTH engines (center line thrust) to complete the turn."

"As the DC-9 started to move forward, the nose tires started to 'scuff' side ways, and dropped off the runway into the dirt. The Captain then came in with a lot of power thinking he could make it through the grass to the parallel taxiway. (There had been a lot of rain before our arrival.) The nose gear locked out (90 degrees), and the DC-9 buried itself in the dirt coming to rest at a 05 degree heading perpendicular to RWY 27."

The tower cleared TWA on to RWY 27 for take-off. "Our engines are now at idle thrust. Back then, the tower could not see us because of terrain, and the controller thought we were taxiing up RWY 36 and cleared TWA B-707 for take-off."

"I immediately called the tower and advised that we were off the runway and stuck in the dirt. The controller asked me if we were 'clear' of the runway. I told him we were but would need assistance to get out of the dirt."

The tower re-cleared the TWA B-707 for take-off and asked the crew if they had us in sight. They replied they did.

The TWA Copilot, who was making the take-off on RWY 27 center line, thought they struck us and called for an abort. The captain never called V1, Vr or V2 speeds. "When they went by us they were well above V2 and still on the runway. At V1 the aircraft is still capable of stopping on the remaining runway. The rest is history."

"Delta pulled our DC-9 out of the dirt, and the next day we flew that aircraft to ATL and picked up the rest of our rotation."

                                          -- Dick Hendrickson, ret., DAL

Probable cause: The TWA crew's inability to successfully abort takeoff due to the speed of the jet, and that a runway overrun was unavoidable. The NTSB determined that TWA had an 'accident' and Delta had an 'incident'.

The FAA established and publicized new standards of safe clearance from runway edges for both aircraft and ground vehicles. Previously, there was confusion as to the definition of the phrase "clear of the runway," which also takes into account the exhaust fumes of jet engines.

 They also recommended a re-evaluation of airline training manuals and aircraft procedures in regards to aborted flight procedures.

November 20, 1967 - - Cincinnati, Ohio

    November 20, 1967 - Cincinnati, OH - TWA Flight 128, a  Convair-880 from LAX to BOS (with stops in CIN and PIT) crashed on approach to the Greater Cincinnati Airport. The flight descended too fast and crashed and burned short of the runway. 70 people were killed and 12 were injured. (70 Fatalities)



The NTSB determined the probable cause of the accident to be crew error in attempting a night, visual no glide slope approach during deteriorating weather conditions without adequate altimeter cross reference.

December 10, 1967 - - Madison, Wisconsin


   December 10, 1967 - Madison, Wisconsin

Otis Redding
, four of his band members and the pilot of the Beech 18H, perished en route to a show in Madison, Wisconsin. One band member, Trumpet player Ben Cauley was the only survivor. Photo is the plane being recovered from Lake Monona after they crashed in heavy fog.

 (5 Fatalities)



  "These Arms of Mine"
  "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction"
  "I Can't Turn You Loose"
  "Try A Little Tenderness"
       "I've Been Loving You Too Long"
      "(Sittin' On) The Dock of the Bay"


New  (Boeing-737)  New

The Most Widely Used Airliner in the World
(Boeing has sold over 9,000 B-737's as of December, 2011)


December 15, 1967 - The Boeing 737 (up to 200 passengers), a twin-engine short-to medium-range jet transport with swept wings and wing-mounted twin engines, was type-certified by the FAA for operation with a two-man cockpit crew.

Boeing 737 Original Series

Boeing produced nine different models of the B-737 (-100, -200) with JT8D engines. Only 30 B-737-100's were delivered and none remain in service today.

The B-737-200 had an extended fuselage with improved aerodynamics, automatic wheel brakes, more powerful JT8D engines, and more fuel capacity for longer range. A B-737-200C (Convertible) allowed for conversion between passenger and cargo use. The B-737-200 is capable of operating from unimproved or unpaved landing strips. (A gravel-kit modification permits landing on gravel runways.)

Boeing 737 Classic Series

In the 1980s Boeing built the B-737-300, -400, and -500 models. This Classic Series also added capacity and used CFM56 turbofan engines with significant gains in fuel economy, and reduction in engine noise. Boeing also retrofitted the B-737-300SP (Special Performance) jets with Blended Winglets. Winglets (wing tip extensions) enhanced range, fuel efficiency and takeoff performance while lowering engine maintenance costs and noise.

The B-737-400 was a stretched -300 used by charter airlines. Alaska Airlines converted a B-737-400F to an all cargo aircraft to handle 10 pallets.

Boeing 737 Next Generation

The B-737-600 was designed to compete with the new Airbus A320, and also to replace airlines' DC-9s. This was the only B-737 that didn't include winglets as an option.

The B-737-700ER seats up to 149 passengers in an all economy configuration, with a maximum range of over 5,500 nautical miles. (The longest range for a B-737), A B-737-700C was also produced in which the seats can be removed to carry cargo. (A large cargo door is on the left side of the fuselage)

The B-737-800 is a stretched version and seats up to 189 passengers in one class. When McDonnell Douglas merged with Boeing, this B-737 ended the production of the MD-80 and MD-90 jets.

The B-737-900 is the longest and most powerful B-737. The B-737-900ER has a seating capacity of up to 220 passengers. Additional fuel capacity and standard winglets improved the maximum range.

The Boeing 737 is operated by more than 500 airlines flying to 1,200 destinations in 190 countries.

The Boeing B-737 is the only narrow-body airliner in production, with the B-737-600, -700, -800, and -900ER variants being built. The CFM56 turbofan engine was an engineering challenge because of the low ground clearance of the B-737. The problem was solved by placing the engine ahead of (rather than below) the wing, and by moving engine accessories to the sides (rather than the bottom) of the engine pod, giving the B-737 a distinctive non-circular air intake.

A new re-engined and redesigned version, the B-737 MAX, is set to be available in 2017.


The B-737 is the best-selling jet airliner in the history of aviation. Prior best seller was the B-727. There are an average of over 1,250 B-737s in the air at any given time, with two departing or landing somewhere every five seconds.

Aloha Airlines Flight 243

To show the reliability of the B-737, this incident is included, although it took place on April 28, 1988 (after the timeframe of the "1st and Best 25 years of ATC"). An Aloha Airlines B-737, flying between Hilo and Honolulu at 24,000' suffered extensive damage after an explosive decompression in flight, which tore off a large section of the  top half of the aircraft skin extending from just behind the cockpit to the fore-wing area. The B-737 was still able to land safely at Kahului Airport on Maui.



Both pilots heard a loud "clap" or "whooshing" sound followed by a wind noise behind them. The first officer head was jerked backward and she said that insulation was floating in the cockpit. The Captain observed that the cockpit entry door was missing and saw blue sky where the first-class ceiling had been, and immediately took over the controls of the jet. The crew, and an Air Traffic Controller in the jump seat donned their oxygen masks, as the captain began an emergency descent. Because of the ambient noise, the pilots had to use hand signals to communicate. The first officer set the transponder to emergency code 7700.

The only fatality was a flight attendant who was blown out of the airplane. 65 passengers and crew were injured. (There were 90 passengers and a crew of five on board.)     (1 Fatalitiy)

The NTSB concluded that the accident was caused by metal fatigue exacerbated by crevice corrosion (salt and humidity in a coastal environment). This B-737 was 19 years old at the time of the accident and had sustained the 2nd most takeoff-landing cycles for a plane in the world.

The FAA instituted additional and more through mandatory maintenance checks for aging aircraft.

1st 25 Years:   | Pre-FAA | 1959 | 1962 | 1965 | 1967 | 1968 | 1970 | 1972 | 1974 | 1977 | 1979 | 1981 | 1982

Last revised: April 24, 2019

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