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Grand Canyon Plane-Crash Site Designated National Historic Landmark

June 30, 2014

Arizona Highways

Photo courtesy of Grand Canyon NP Courtesy of National Park Service

On the morning of June 30, 1956, a TWA Super Constellation L-1049 and a United Airlines DC-7 took off from Los Angeles International Airport. The two airplanes flew more or less in the same direction but eventually separated, following their own flight paths. TWA was en route to Kansas City, Missouri, while the United Airlines flight was destined for Chicago. When they crossed the eastern portion of the Grand Canyon, the planes diverted from their path, and at 21,000 feet, the two planes collided in midair, resulting in the most tragic American commercial-airline crash of its time. The TWA plane fell out of the sky and impacted the inner gorge of the Grand Canyon about a mile from where the United flight impacted the inner Canyon. There were no survivors among the 128 people aboard the two planes. Considered the “impossible accident,” the 1956 Grand Canyon crash…

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