American Airlines Flight 191 Crash (1979)

One of the biggest stories in Chicago was the crash of American Airlines Flight 191.

This was a flight from O’Hare International Airport in Chicago to Los Angeles International Airport. On May 25, 1979, the McDonnell Douglas DC-10-10 operating the flight crashed moments after takeoff from Chicago. All 258 passengers and 13 crew on board were killed, along with two people on the ground. Until the September 11 attacks, it was the deadliest air disaster in the history of the United States.

What made this such an interesting story, from the perspective of being in the Chicago Tribune newsroom, was the images captured by an amateur photographer who was standing on an airport observation desk.  The crash was also a story the lent itself to informational graphics about how the DC10 engine was bolted onto the wing.