Remembering 29 years later United Airlines Flight 585

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COLORADO SPRINGS — Tuesday marks the 29th anniversary of the day United Airlines Flight 585 crashed into a Widefield Community Park, killing everyone on board.

United Airlines Flight 585 was traveling from Denver to Colorado Springs on March 3, 1991, when it crashed in Widefield, just four miles from the airport. 

In nine seconds, 25 lives were lost, five of them were crew members.

At 09:23 a.m. Flight 585 departed Denver with 20 passengers and 5 crew members on board, and was scheduled to arrive in Colorado Springs at 09:46 a.m. At 09:37 a.m. the aircraft was cleared for a visual approach to runway 35. The aircraft then suddenly rolled to the right and pitched nose down. The crew tried to initiate a go-around by selecting 15-degree flaps and an increase in thrust. The altitude decreased rapidly and acceleration increased to over 4G until the aircraft crashed at a speed of 245 mph. 

Passengers:

  • Bonnie Bachman, Phoenix
  • Dan Birkholz, 35, Colorado Springs
  • Andy Bodnar, Toronto
  • Mildred Brown, Copperas Cove, Tex.
  • Dr. Bill Crabb, 51, Colorado Springs
  • Clay Crawford, 72, Colorado Springs
  • Jo Crawford, 65, Colorado Springs
  • Robert Geissbuhler, 39, Colorado Springs
  • Pam Gerdts, 39, Colorado Springs
  • Fred Hoffman, 40, Colorado Springs
  • Herald Holding, Colorado Springs
  • Maurice Jenks, Littleton, Colo.
  • Michael Kavanagh, Barna, Ireland
  • Kevin Kodalen, Colorado Springs
  • Dr. Andrzej J. Komor, 39, Warsaw, Poland
  • Paula McGilvar, 43, Colorado Springs
  • Vincent Riga, 55, Colorado Springs
  • Lester Ross, Atlanta
  • Dr. Peter J. Van Handel, 45, Colorado Springs
  • Takashi Yoshida, Fukushima, Japan.

Crew Members:

  • Hal L. Green, pilot, based in San Francisco
  • Trish Eidson, first officer, based in San Francisco
  • Anita Lucero, flight attendant, based in San Francisco
  • Lisa Church, flight attendant, based in New York City
  • Monica Smiley, flight attendant, based in New York City

A memorial is in Widefield Community Park near Fontaine Blvd where the plane crashed and 25 trees were planted to remember the lives taken too soon.

Initial investigations believed that wind was the reason for the crash, but after another similar crash happened that killed 132 Boeing came out with the fact that the rudder had malfunctioning. The technical problem caused the plane to flip and then crash, according to the according to an NTSB report.   

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