"The plane took off from Mexicali airport with six people aboard. The flight plan resembled a fish hook at speeds up to 184 mph and 6,000 feet in altitude. After about 60 miles, the first officer and flight engineer parachuted out, each in tandem with a jump master. After another 20 miles, Capt. Jim Bob Slocum banked the plane into a slow right turn wide to the north.
Slocum and another jump master left the cockpit 8 miles from the crash site, at 4,000 feet in altitude, when Chip Shanle, a former Navy test pilot who works for American Airlines, took over flying by remote control. Shanle then powered down the wing engines to nearly idle and finally, the tail engine to idle, to slam the plane into the desert floor with its wings level."