Braniff International Flight 352
Historical Marker
Dawson, Navarro County, Texas


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Historical Markers || Additional information, photos and and articles on the Braniff Flight 352 Crash

 


Braniff International Flight 352

 

THE TRAGIC CRASH OF bRANIFF INTERNATIONAL FLIGHT 352 TRAVELING FROM HOUSTON'S HOBBY AIRPORT TO DALLAS' LOVE FIELD IN 1968 LEFT A LASTING INFLUENCE ON BRANIFF, THE CITIZENS OF DAWSON AND THE AVIATION INDUSTRY. FLIGHT 352 ORIGINATED AT HOUSTON WITH A FINAL DESTINATION OF MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE, WITH INTERMEDIATE STOPS SCHEDULED IN DALLAS, TULSA, FORT SMITH AND LITTLE ROCK. THE FOUR ENGINE PROPJET-POWERED LOCKHEED L-188 ELECTRA II AIRLINER DEPARTED HOUSTON ON MAY 3, 1968, AT 4:11 P.M. FOR THE FLIGHT TO DALLAS. TWENTY-THREE MINUTES INTO THE FLIGHT, THE AIRCRAFT APPROACHED AN AREA OF DEVELOPING AND INTENSIFYING THUNDERSTORMS.

ATTEMPTING TO BYPASS THE STORM, THE CREW DECIDED TO DESCENT AND DEVIATE TO THE WEST, DESPITE BEING NOTIFIED THAT OTHER FLIGHTS WERE DEVIATING EAST. AT 4:47 P.M., FLIGHT 352 ENCOUNTERED SEVERE WEATHER, INCLUDING HJAIL, AND BEGAN TO MAKE A 180 DEGREE TURN. AT THAT TIME THE PLANE BEGAN TO ROLL WITH THE NOSE PITCHED DOWN. A ROLL RECOVERY MANEUVER WAS INITIATED BUT THE RIGHT WING FAILED, THEN THE TAIL SECTION, CAUSING THE PLANE TO BREAK IN HALF.  AT 4:51 P.M. FORT WORTH AIR  TRAFFIC CONTROL REPORTED THE PLANE MISSING FROM RADAR.

THE CITIZENS OF DAWSON WERE FIRST ON THE SCENE TO OFFER ASSISTANCE. MANY WITNESSED THE HORRIFIC EVENT THAT CLAIMED THE LIVES OF 80 PASSENGERS AND FIVE CREW MEMBERS.  ON JUNE 19, 1969, THE NATIONAL TRANSPORTATION SAFETY BOARD ISSUED THE OFFICIAL ACCIDENT REPORT WHICH DETERMINED THAT PASSAGE INTO A KNOWN AREA OF SEVERE WEATHER WAS THE CAUSE. THE CRASH AND INVESTIGATION LED TO AN UPDATE OF SAFETY AND TRAINING PROGRAMS AND OPERATIONAL PROCEDURES, AS WELL AS NEW FEDERAL REGULATIONS TO ADDRESS HOW PILOTS USE RADAR TO AVOID STORMS, ALL MAKING AIR TRAVEL SAFER

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Edward L. Williams