Flight 232 survivors and first responders share experiences at O - KTIV News 4 Sioux City IA: News, Weather and Sports

Flight 232 survivors and first responders share experiences at Orpheum Theatre

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KTIV) - It was a tragic plane crash that put Sioux City on the map for its immediate response.  A crash that went down in aviation history.

Friday night those in the air and on the ground on July 19, 1989 retraced the crash-landing of Flight 232.

It was all about the public getting to hear the first had accounts of those up in the air and on the ground that fateful day.

Emergency landings were common at the 185th and the commander at the time, Denny Swanstrom didn't think much of it when he heard there a plane had to land for a hydraulic problem.

Little did he know, one of the DC-10's engines had failed causing the entire hydraulic system to shut down.

Something Captain Al Haynes says had a one in a billion shot of happening.

But, it happened and Swanstrom quickly realized this plane was in big trouble.

Denny Swanstrom, Former 185th Commander said, "When we saw the billow of black smoke 100 feet in the air, I don't think anyone thought anybody could survive that."

But, 184 passengers did survive, out of 296.

For the man behind the controls that day, Captain Al Haynes, the survivors guilt was difficult to overcome.

He says he's stopped searching for closure.

Captain Al Haynes, Flight 232 Pilot said, "Closure means you're going to forget it. You're not going to forget it, but you do have to accept it. It happened, why me doesn't work, what if doesn't work. It happened, you have to accept it. The best way to accept it is to talk about it."

The 25th anniversary of the crash provided a unique opportunity for crews members to reunite with passengers.

Though the cockpit crew and flight attendants regularly hold reunions, Haynes said today was the first time since the one-year anniversary that the survivors were in the same room as the crew.

Saturday they'll come together once again to remember the victims and honor the legacy of Flight 232 at the MidAmerica Air Museum.

You can see that special ceremony online at KTIV starting at 2:30 Saturday afternoon.

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