45 years ago on June 24th, 1975
Eastern Air Flight 66 crashes on approach at JFK Airport, killing 113 people
The flight from New Orleans to New York was approaching the airport to land just after 4pm when it encountered heavy winds from a thunderstorm and was driven down quickly, clipping light towers leading to the runway.
A flight scheduled to land on the same runway before Flight 66 had abandoned its approach and its crew reported being pulled down and to the right by winds, and another flight landed, but radioed the tower to report a tremendous wind shear at the ground and advised that subsequent flights should use a different approach. Flight 66 confirmed with the flight controller that they had heard the report of winds by the previous flight, but still attempted to land just a few minutes later, in weather that eyewitnesses on the ground described as heavy rain and winds. According to two flight attendants who survived the crash, the plane rolled to the left and engine speed increased just before the crash. During their investigation, the NTSB saw heavy damage to the left wing, and just before impact, the first officer could be heard on the cabin voice recorder calling to increase engines to "takeoff thrust". As the plane approached the ground, it clipped multiple light poles leading to runway 22L and came to a rest on Rockaway Boulevard. The impact killed 113 of the 124 people aboard, with survivors suffering burns and fractures from the impact of their seatbelts. Those who survived were in a rear section that was not as severely damaged upon impact as the rest of the airplane, where those killed were in seats that detached and were scattered as the plane tore apart. As a result of the crash, the light poles leading to runways were changed to breakaway designs that would not so severely damage a plane if they were impacted.