This time of year I start to have memories of a tragic event that happened 28 years ago in Sioux City, Iowa.
It is one of the events in my life that are hard to forget. I was at the Sioux City airport having lunch in the restaurant. I had just dropped off one of my colleagues so that he could fly to Denver. Since we had missed lunch we headed to the restaurant to get a quick meal, Jonathon ordered his meal to go and headed to the gate and I decided to take a break to eat my hamburger and fries before driving home to Omaha.
All of a sudden there was a buzz of activity and people were coming into the restaurant and standing along the plate glass windows looking to the north. They were all talking to each other and I soon found out that a disabled plane was going to try and make an emergency landing at the airport.
I was sitting by the window and was able to watch what was going on. It was not long before we watched the DC-10 make a wobbly approach. Unfortunately the landing did not go well and there was a fireball as the plane exploded on impact. We all watched in shocked silence. I soberly finished my meal and waited to pay. Understandably service was a little slow in the aftermath.
As I was getting ready to leave Jonathon came to the restaurant looking for me. His plane was on the runway waiting to take off and he watched the crash out his window.
We started making some calls to find out what to do for Jonathon as the airport was completely shut down. While waiting we saw some passengers from UA232 walking up to the terminal. They looked dazed and shocked. We were really surprised at the time that anyone had survived.
We were soon on our way to Omaha as Jonathon was booked on a flight from there to Denver. We listened to the news as we headed south. I really admired Jonathon for taking another flight just a few hours after watching the crash in Sioux City.
I had a friend who worked for the Omaha World Herald so I stopped by to see her on the way home and was interviewed by one of the staff writers.
I have many more memories and I wrote more about them in a longer article that I wrote about 8 years ago and updated 5 years ago in a blog post. You can read the post by clicking on UA 232 – Sioux City.
Do you remember this tragic day?