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Monday, May 25th, 2015
36 Years Ago Today

Here's coverage of the crash of American Airlines Flight 191 at O'Hare Field, the worst air disaster in United States history; this from a special edition of NewsCenter5 with Mike Jackson and Carol Marin (both in the studio and in field reports filed earlier in the day) from the day after the crash. Featuring Tom Korzeniowski, Rich Samuels and Jim Tilmon.

Tom Korzeniowski reported at Touhy Avenue near Mount Prospect Road in Elk Grove Village, as Federal investigators coordinating seven different committees are leading off their look into the cause of the crash. FAA Administrator Langhorne Bond and NTSB Vice Chairman Elwood Driver are interviewed.

Mike Jackson goes into the course of Flight 191, accompanied by a tape report (shot in a helicopter) showing debris that fell off the plane prior to the crash.

Carol Marin mentions the main reason for why the crash was so bad was due to the sheer size of the DC-10, and introduces a live report from Rich Samuels at the crash site where he recounts the DC-10's safety record.

Mike then interviews Jim Tilmon, who in addition to being Meteorologist for WMAQ, worked for American Airlines since 1965, where he became the airline’s third African American commercial pilot and the country’s fifth. Tilmon would go on to spend twenty-nine years with American Airlines before retiring. Tilmon identified the debris found on the runway as rupture of fluid lines and possibly hydraulics, and shows his airplane model to explain the engine falloff. He mentions speculation he heard that hasty maintenance procedures due to a recent strike at United Airlines may have played a factor, which he disputes.

Carol then reports that besides the 272 killed on the plane, as little as one and as many as five may have been killed on the ground and two others seriously injured including 28-year-old Richard Maskeri whom she interviewed in his hospital bed.

Mike then introduces a report he filed where he interviewed trailer park residents about their witness of the crash, and indicating they have no intention to move despite the magnitude of the crash and the close brush with death they had; Ruth Raymond, Ethel Edling and Donna Freer are interviewed.

Carol then teases a report about the grim task of identifying the bodies recovered from the doomed plane, before pausing for a break.

This aired on May 26, 1979.

WMAQ Channel 5 - NewsCenter5 - "The Crash of Flight 191 - The Day After" (Part 1, 1979)

Here's more coverage of the crash of American Airlines Flight 191 at O'Hare Field, the worst air disaster in U.S. history; this is Part 1 of a special edition of NewsCenter5 with Mike Jackson and Carol Marin (both in the studio and in field reports filed earlier in the day) from the day after the crash. Featuring Tom Korzeniowski, Rich Samuels and Jim Tilmon. Includes:

Tape starts in the middle of a report from Tom Korzeniowski at Touhy Avenue near Mount Prospect Road in Elk Grove Village, as Federal investigators coordinating seven different committees are leading off their look into the cause of the crash. FAA Administrator Langhorne Bond and NTSB Vice Chairman Elwood Driver are interviewed.

Mike Jackson goes into the course of Flight 191, accompanied by a tape report (shot in a helicopter) showing debris that fell off the plane prior to the crash.

Carol Marin mentions the main reason for why the crash was so bad was due to the sheer size of the DC-10, and introduces a live report from Rich Samuels at the crash site where he recounts the DC-10's safety record. He mentions that the doomed plane was delivered to American Airlines on February 25th 1972 and logged 19,871 hours, and that the doomed engine logged over 16,000 hours (200 on this aircraft). He mentions American was the first to fly DC-10's, and more than 270 are currently in service; he cites various statistics on its size and build. He then goes into past air disasters involving DC-10's: the November 1973 incident over Albuquerque, NM, where an engine fan assembly disintegrated 39,000 feet in the air; the March 1974 crash outside Paris; the November 1975 aborted takeoff at Kennedy; and the March 1978 Los Angeles tire blowout. He mentions that 15 tire issues were reported of DC-10's in the past six years, and concludes the report by saying that on average, most pilots would rather fly a DC-10 with one engine working than a 747 in similar conditions.

Mike then interviews Jim Tilmon in the studio to discuss the crash; Tilmon identified the debris found on the runway as rupture of fluid lines and possibly hydraulics, and shows his airplane model to explain the engine falloff. He mentions speculation he heard that hasty maintenance procedures due to a recent strike at United Airlines may have played a factor, which he disputes.

Carol then reports that besides the 272 killed on the plane, as little as one and as many as five may have been killed on the ground and two others seriously injured (46-year-old Andrew Bellavia who was critically burned and hospitalized at Loyola Medical Center, and 28-year-old Richard Maskeri who was burned but not as seriously, and being treated at Alexian Brothers Medical Center [which she incorrectly identified as St. Alexis Hospital] in Elk Grove). This leads to a report she filed where she interviewed Maskeri in his hospital bed; he recounted his account of the crash and what happened. He had driven a semi-trailer dump truck for a business whose site was lost in the crash, the Courtney-Velo Excavating Company (another employee, 41-year-old John Craig, was found dead in a company truck; it's possible he is whom Carol referred to as "presumed dead").

Mike then introduces a report he filed where he interviewed trailer park residents about their witness of the crash, and indicating they have no intention to move despite the magnitude of the crash and the close brush with death they had; Ruth Raymond, Ethel Edling and Donna Freer are interviewed.

Carol then teases a report about the grim task of identifying the bodies recovered from the doomed plane, before pausing for a break.

This aired on local Chicago TV on Saturday, May 26th 1979.

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This clip has been viewed 1140 times.
This clip debuted on FuzzyMemories.TV on Tuesday, May 24th 2011.
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Comment posted in WGN Channel 9 - The 1985 Chicago Automobile Show Special (First 10 Minutes, 1985) by ChrisBCritter on Thursday, May 21st, 2015 at 3:34am CT

Check out the technician fleeing the shot at 3:45 as the Camaro comes into view! Lucky his yellow shirt matched the car to help camouflage his exit...


Comment posted in WMAQ Channel 5 - NewsCenter5 - "Mount St. Helens" (1980) by OldTVNut on Wednesday, May 20th, 2015 at 11:26am CT

Am I the only person who thinks that Jerry Taft should be surprised on his next birthday with this clip?


Comment posted in McDonald's - "We Do It All For You" (Commercial, 197?) by T.K. on Friday, May 15th, 2015 at 11:21pm CT

Can't beat the million-dollar sound of a jingle performed by the Ron Hicklin Singers. Even after 40 years, "At McDonaaaald's..." still sticks to the brain. It's been so long since a memorable uptempo jingle has been used in a national ad campaign, using one would stand out against all the maudlin and futuristic aural wallpaper used today.

If I'm not mistaken, that's a billboard for Ronrico rum visible through the window at 0:35. Even though no one at home was going to be putting this spot on "pause" in 1975, it surprises me they let that slip into something so tightly produced.


Comment posted in WGN Channel 9 - The 1985 Chicago Automobile Show Special (First 10 Minutes, 1985) by FuzzyMemories on Friday, May 15th, 2015 at 11:05pm CT

T.K. - You're correct - I hadn't noticed that, but this is the last regular appearance of Frazier Thomas on Family Classics that has yet been found. I don't have the opening for "The Black Swan" but I do have the last half hour or so including the complete ending, some of which you see here. I'll have to give this a proper posting at a later time.


Comment posted in WGN Channel 9 - The 1985 Chicago Automobile Show Special (First 10 Minutes, 1985) by T.K. on Friday, May 15th, 2015 at 10:37pm CT

Less than two months before the death of Frazier Thomas... am I right in that this is the latest of his regular appearances to have surfaced so far? (I'm not counting the clips used in the retrospective stories in April.)

The intro music to the car show sounds like it came from this catchy number used on the CHEK-TV Friday Night Movie in 1981. WGN's recording sounds like it came from someone holding a mic up to a record player in their basement, however. I'd love to hear it in full.


Comment posted in WTTW Channel 11 - Doctor Who - "The Leisure Hive" (Opening & Technical Difficulties Moment, 1983) by Detroit4Chicago on Friday, May 15th, 2015 at 7:00pm CT

She sounds as if she's doing an ad-lib news report on NPR's All Things Considered.


Comment posted in McDonald's - "We Do It All For You" (Commercial, 197?) by Micronaut on Thursday, May 14th, 2015 at 6:07pm CT

Correct me if I am wrong BUT is that Dee Wallace at 0:29??


Comment posted in Coke - "Verbose Challenge" (Commercial, 1977) by Detroit4Chicago on Monday, May 11th, 2015 at 10:43pm CT

Pete: "The guy that does the V/O for Forensic Files?"

Yep. Still going after all these years!


Comment posted in Coke - "Verbose Challenge" (Commercial, 1977) by Pete on Saturday, May 9th, 2015 at 11:49pm CT

The guy that does the V/O for Forensic Files?


Comment posted in Burger King - "The Return of the Whaler" (Commercial, 1983) by Pete on Saturday, May 9th, 2015 at 11:44pm CT

You're correct, Detroit4Chicago. The Ocean Catch was the name.


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