december 29

Throwback Thursday: Eastern Airlines Flight 401 1972

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Eastern Airlines Lockheed Wikipedia Image One
Image Credit: Wikipedia
Date: March 1972
Author: Jon Proctor
Source: Airline Fan

Fifty years ago, today…

Eastern Air Lines Flight 401 was a scheduled flight from [New York] JFK to [Miami/Wilcox Field] MIA. Shortly before midnight on December 29, 1972, the Lockheed L-1011-1 TriStar crashed into the Florida Everglades, causing 101 total fatalities. Three of the [four] cockpit crew members, two of the [ten] flight attendants and 96 of the 163 passengers were killed. [T]here were 75 survivors.

Flight 401 departed JFK Airport […] at 9:20pm EST. The flight was routine until 11:32pm EST, when the plane began its approach into Miami International Airport. After lowering the [landing] gear, First Officer Stockstill noticed that the landing gear indicator (nose gear is properly locked) had not illuminated (burned out bulb). [Captain] Loft, who was working the radio during this leg of the flight, told the tower that they would discontinue their approach to their airport and requested to enter a holding pattern. The approach controller cleared the flight to climb to 2,000 feet and then hold west over the Everglades.

Fifty seconds after reaching their assigned altitude, Captain Loft instructed First Officer Stockstill to put the L-1011 on autopilot. For the next 80 seconds, the plane maintained level flight. Then, it dropped 100 feet and, then, again, flew level for two more minutes, after which it began a descent so gradual, it could not be perceived by the crew.

Wikipedia Summary

The plane continued to drop, triggering the altitude warning. The CVR did not record any indication that the pilots heard the warning chimes. As Stockstill started another turn [of] 180°, he noticed the discrepancy. The CVR captured the last, confused conversation between Stockstill and Loft. Less than ten seconds later, the plane crashed into the Everglades. ~Vic

Additional:
Giant Jetliner Goes Down (The Bulletin)
Jet’s Fall Cushioned By Swamp (Reading Eagle)
Accident Investigation Report (Aviation Safety Network)
Borman Praises Survivors’ Calm (The Associated Press)

Tune Tuesday: The Light (Disturbed) 2015

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The Light Disturbed Zumic Image
Image Credit: Zumic

Five years ago, today, the #1 song on the Billboard Mainstream Rock Chart was The Light by the heavy metal band Disturbed. Released October 5, 2015, it was the fifth track from their sixth album Immortalized and the second release.

The video is full of powerful imagery. The lyrics deal with tragedy and triumph, being able to find grace in the most extreme and unnerving circumstances.

Joe DiVita
LoudWire
November 20, 2015

“Go figure. Disturbed songs with an air of positivity. Who would have ever thought?

You know, the only way that you get to appreciate the darkness is by contrasting it with light. And it’s been my experience, with people in my life, or friends that I have or have had, that sometimes those periods in our lives that are dark ones can be so daunting and you let them overwhelm you to the extent that you succumb to hopelessness and you succumb to stagnation. And the truth be told, everything is a pathway. Sometimes you have to go through dark periods in your life in order to find the answer that you need, in order to become stronger, in order to see the light… ~David Draiman

Blabbermouth.net
November 20, 2015

Lyrics

Movie Monday: Design For Living 1934

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Design For Living Photo
Photo Credit: criterion.com

Eighty-five years ago, today, the #1 film at the box office was the menage a trois comedy Design For Living. Released on December 29, 1933, it starred Fredric March, Gary Cooper and Miriam Hopkins. It was based, loosely on a play written by Noël Coward in 1932. It was very risqué for its time and, was a pre-code movie produced and released before strict enforcement of the Motion Picture Production Code, the censorship guidelines demanded by American Roman Catholics. Interestingly, the critical response to the film was more about its gutting of the original material than of its questionable morality.

IMDB Summary:

Two Americans sharing a flat in Paris, playwright Tom Chambers and painter George Curtis, fall for free-spirited Gilda Farrell. When she can’t make up her mind which one of them she prefers, she proposes a “gentleman’s agreement”: She will move in with them as a friend and critic of their work but, they will never have sex. When Tom goes to London to supervise a production of one of his plays, leaving Gilda alone with George, how long will their gentleman’s agreement last?

Trivia Bits:
♦ Gary Cooper spoke fluent French and was able to use it for the first time in this film.
♦ Lubitsch [then] asked Douglas Fairbanks Jr. to play George, and he accepted but, he contracted pneumonia just before filming was to start and he was replaced by Gary Cooper.
♦ Writer Ben Hecht and producer-director Ernst Lubitsch retained only one line from the original play by Noël Coward: “For the good of our immortal souls!”
♦ Considerable censorship difficulties arose because of sexual discussions and innuendos, although the Hays Office eventually approved the film for release. However, it was banned by the Legion of Decency and was refused a certificate by the PCA for re-release in 1934, when the production code was more rigorously enforced.

Nominations:
American Film Institute (AFI) 100 Years…100 Passions
American Film Institute (AFI) 10 Top 10: Romantic Comedy