74 years ago on May 29th, 1947
United Flight 521 crashes during takeoff from LaGuardia Airport, killing 43 and injuring six
The plane was taking off from a shorter north-south runway at LaGuardia that is no longer in use and was to fly to Cleveland, Ohio. After choosing to take off in stormy weather, the pilots aborted the takeoff, applied the plane's brakes, and cut the engines, but the plane continued forward, crashing through a fence at the end of the runway, crossing Grand Central Parkway, and stopping 800 feet past the end of the runway near Vaughn College, which was named the Casey Jones School of Aeronautics at the time. The fiery crash left only five survivors. Although the crash was attributed to a gust of wind at the time, a Civil Aeronautics Board accident investigation released four months later determined that a mechanism had been altered and was locking some of the plane's controls in a neutral position during takeoff, and the Board determined that pilot error was to blame.