A hero dies

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I wonder if his death will get as much attention as Whitney Houston's.


Denny Fitch, the off-duty United Airlines DC-10 instructor who worked
the throttles in the crash landing of Flight 232 at Sioux City, IA on
July 19, 1989 died of brain cancer on May 7. Fitch, along with 184
others survived in a legendary feat of airmanship credited with
initiating the now-standard concept of crew resource management.
"Nobody had a right to walk away from that," Fitch told the Sioux City
Herald just after the accident, in which 111 people died. Fitch was
deadheading from United's training center in Denver to his home near
Chicago when he heard the bang that signalled shards of turbine blades
on the tail-mounted No. 2 engine slicing through lines supplying all
three hydraulic systems on the aircraft. As the engine shook itself to
a final smoking death,the only controls left were the power settings
for the wing-mounted engines. After reassuring a flight attendant that
everything would be alright, Fitch headed for the cockpit.

He arrived to find a crew working desperately to save an aircraft that had no business flying and took the only seat available, on the floor behind the throttle quadrant, and began figuring out what he could do. It wasn't much but the four pilots found they could keep the aircraft under control in a right turn that they broadened for 40 minutes as they headed for the closest available airport in Sioux City. It likely would have looked like a Slinky on FlightAware. Against tremendous odds (no one was able to duplicate the feat on simulators afterward) they got lined up for the runway. The right wing dug in and the plane tore apart but there's never been any question that the crew's skill led to the luck that allowed more than half the people on board to survive. It's something that guided Fitch's life as a line pilot and motivational speaker from that point.

The only sure way to survive a canopy collision is not to have one.

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thanks. it got MY attention.......

i'll never forget that video shot, looking through a chain link fence, as that jet touched down....

guardian angels were working Overtime,, that day.
sad for those who perished, but impressed with the calm and confidence of the flight crew.

heros, sometimes have a way of turning Up .. just when they are needed :|


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"I wonder if his death will get as much attention as Whitney Houston's."

Brother, you should know by now that the life of a hero, in this day and age, never gets the recognition he/she deserves.
"Better to have a short life that is full of what you like doing, than a long life spent in a miserable way." - Alan Watts

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Thanks for posting that, Kallend. Not only were all those men very brave in the face of almost certain death, but they are an inspiration in their resilience to work the problem under pressure, to never give up. I can't tell you how many times I've heard the tapes of Capt. Haynes and the air traffic controllers, but he never lost his sense of humor and was as cool as the other side of the pillow.

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Here's a video about that flight. Mind you, that it's done by a show that may not be up there with technicalities, but it gives a blow by blow sequence of events to include the NTSB investigations:

Flight 232

"The trouble with quotes on the internet is that you can never know if they are genuine" - Abraham Lincoln

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Thanks. He deserves a little bit of remembering.

I remember the event. It was amazing they were able to line up with the runway and amazing anyone survived. RE: Whitney Houston pray for her. She had her own demons but honor this hero!

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