WNBQ Channel 5 - Flight 529 [Crash] (Part 2, 1961)
This clip made possible by the donations from our generous group of "Fuzzketeers" during the Spring 2012 Tape Transfer Fundraiser.
Here's Part 2, the final part, of a special report on the crash of TWA Flight 529 on WNBQ Channel 5 (which became WMAQ Channel 5 on August 31st 1964), produced by NBC News Chicago. The anchor of this report is Charles McCuen. Also featuring Floyd Kalber. Includes:
Charles reporting on the parade of hearses containing Flight 529's victims heading to the Cook County morgue, with assorted onlookers converging outside and getting so close that police had to set up barricades to keep them out; he mentions that of the victims, only three were actually from the Chicago area. Identification of victims was being done by comparing fingerprints and dental records.
Footage of a mid-afternoon press conference held at Midway Airport by Federal Aviation Administrator N.E. (Najeeb) Halaby (who later became Chairman and CEO of Pan American Airways; and whose daughter, Lisa, later became Queen Noor of Jordan). He explains that it will take "a great deal of work" and "a considerable amount of time" to find out what caused the crash. As Charles notes, Halaby explains it may take weeks to get the answer; this is followed by more footage where Halaby talks about conversations from the tower between the aircraft being taped, and the examination of such tapes for clues. Recordings of pilots' communications with the tower are played for reporters at the press conference by FAA and CAB (Civil Aeronautics Board) officials, but neither that nor transcripts provided any help as to the cause.
Footage of comments at the press conference by CAB Safety Director Melvin N. Gough in which he mentions that eight or nine teams (encompassing such areas as structure, power plants, communications, operations and human factors) will be working on figuring out the cause of the crash. He thanks the CAB and FAA for "excellent cooperation" in working on the case, and also gives thanks to local police and others on the scene. This is followed by closing remarks from Mr. Halaby in which he expressed pride in cooperating with the CAB in the investigation, and remarks that this occurred within one of the highest periods of air traffic in a year (the Labor Day holiday).
Charles introducing a closing sum-up by Floyd (on location at the crash scene which encompasses 300 yards in the Clarendon Hills), and what's left in its aftermath (stakes showing where dead bodies landed; and pieces of the aircraft, one of which he picks up and shows for a bit) - the camera pans from him to shots of investigators on the scene, followed by an ending shot of a set of wheels that were once part of the doomed Flight 529.
Ending credits (accompanied by a haunting guitar piece):
Flight 529 was Produced and Written by Bob Mulholland
Directed by Tony Verdi
Technical Director - Marshall Rife
Audio - Curt Mitchell
Lighting by Harvey Pahnke
Edited by Colman Rusnak
This Has Been a WNBQ Production
NOTE: Parts of this coverage may have originally aired in color (since NBC, which has always owned WNBQ / WMAQ, was a major exponent of color TV and its studios were billed as an "all-color" facility since 1956), but in any case this is presented here in black-and-white kinescope film form.
This aired on local Chicago TV on Friday, September 1st 1961.
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