Flight 232 pilot teaches teamwork during Iowa Aviation Conferenc - KTIV News 4 Sioux City IA: News, Weather and Sports

Flight 232 pilot teaches teamwork during Iowa Aviation Conference


Al Haynes knows a thing, or two, about teamwork. He's worked behind the plate umpiring countless baseball games throughout his in his life. But, it was the teamwork shown on July 19, 1989, that changed his life forever.

Haynes captained United Airlines Flight 232, which crashed at Sioux City's Sioux Gateway Airport. It's an experience that was at the heart of his speech at the Iowa Aviation Conference. "I try my best not to use the word "I because it was not an "I" thing," said Captain Al Haynes. "In fact, I'll say in my talk, tonight, that the days of of "I" solving a problem are over. It has to be "we" solving the problem."

His speech, entitled "Teamwork in Crisis: The story of Flight 232" focused on the importance of the "team" that helped save 184 lives in the Sioux City crash caused by an explosion one of the DC-10's engines. "The team started with the three of us in the cockpit, and the nine flight attendants," Capt. Al Haynes said. Immediately after the blast dozens more got involved. "The team grew with every one of them doing what they thought was best," Haynes said. By the time the crippled plane crash landed in Sioux City, hundreds were ready to respond. Together, Haynes said, the "team" saved more lives than were lost.

Tuesday's speech is one of a dozen Haynes will give this year. He says talking about the crash helps him deal with the disaster more than two-decades later. "The guilt of survival was my biggest problem," Haynes said. "And, to deal with that was not easy. Finally, after much counseling, my psychiatrist and I came to the conclusion that maybe this is why I survived. And, so I do it. And, I think it does some good."

Haynes next trip to Iowa will be to mark the 25th anniversary of the crash of Flight 232. In fact, the whole flight crew will be back. All of them except Denny Fitch, the DC-10 instructor, who worked the throttles in the cockpit to steer the plane to Sioux City. He died of cancer in 2010.

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