Remembering United 232: The Crew


The Pilots – Al Haynes was the pilot flying United 232 the day it crashed at Sioux Gateway Airport. Times magazine called Haynes heroic, and several passengers credit him with their lives. Haynes fought to keep the aircraft under control, he was flying without hydraulics and could only make right turns. After the crash Haynes continued as a pilot until he retired in 1991.

The Flight Attendants – In a story written by the Associated Press following the crash, survivors praised the flight attendants for their performance. Flight attendants were described as calm and helpful both before and after the plane went down. One passenger said that flight attendants gave instructions on what passengers should do right up to the time the aircraft hit the ground. They also assisted in helping passengers escape from the wreckage. Eight flight attendants were present on the flight, one did not survive the crash.

The Tower Crew – Sioux City Journal staff writer, John Quinlan, wrote a piece about a month after the crash in which he described the teamwork that took place among the air traffic controllers at Sioux Gateway Airport. The seven-man tower crew was in communication with pilot Haynes, emergency crews, and ground control. They were also responsible for directing other air traffic that was coming into Sioux Gateway. The air traffic control crew received much praise for the professionalism they displayed in the handling of Flight 232.

Throughout this week the Chamber blog will remember the crew, passengers, and community response to this tragedy that occurred 20 years ago. You’re invited to share your own memories. Directly comment on any post, or send your story to

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