Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Air Canada's Galaxy FLIGHT 621—Toronto’s LARGEST AIR DISASTER

EVER SINCE I WAS A BOY, my first memories of looking at a newspaper were of the July 5, 1970 Flight 621 crash in Toronto-Gore. We got the Toronto Telegram delivered to our door and, Johnny Lynch, my next door neighbour on Blackfriar Avenue in Etobicoke, delivered the Daily Star throughout the rest of the neighbourhood. He always had papers leftover. And when he did—we got one.

I remember all the grim crash photos from both competing papers.

Later, through the years the Toronto SUN, and the Toronto Star, would run articles revisiting the Flight 621 crash, usually when another significant air disaster had just happened.

I always wondered where the 621 crash location actually was. It bugged me that I didn't know.

Oh, well I thought. I guess I'll never know.

How wrong I was.

After a November, 2001 Mike Strobel article appeared in the Toronto SUN which revisited the Flight 621 crash by talking to eyewitnesses, I discovered that the crash site was somewhere less than three miles from where I had just purchased a new home!

Fancy that! I assured myself that now, I could indeed, even 33 years later, find the mysterious crash site.

I was right.

That's all I'll say for now. About that.

With the front page of Carol Parr's (Flight 621 crash eyewitness) Toronto Star in hand, Toronto Daily Star back then, I was able to stake out the crash arena quite accurately—just from that front page photo!

And with a little help from my friends.

Eventually, those friends would be known loosely as the Friends of Flight 621. Comprised of eyewitnesses and the concerned, we would discover a lot of things about the crash. I mean, things other than the human bones of the crash victims that kept popping up, through the years, in the poorly cleaned-up field. It was bad enough discovering someone's skull pieces, finger joints, kneecap, arm or leg bone shards mixed amongst abandoned Douglas Aircraft parts…but then I discovered the truly unexpected!

That the crash didn't have to happen!

That EVEN AS the Air Canada DC-8 was on fire quite spectacularly, and in the early stages of crash sequence…there was still ample time to turn it all around…and save everyone on board! No lives need have been lost!!

Not one!!

'nuff said, for now—

Wait—one more thing—in the lower part of the picture the reader sees the ominous caption, "Pilot faced terrible choice-and nothing could help him".

Well, that's not true.

(this article, as all my articles are in this format, are usually revised several times , even days after posting)


dragonfly888 said...

Just wondering about the "Friends of Flight 621" web site. It is no longer accessible. Is there an alternate address ? Thaks.

Anonymous said...

"Friends of Flight 621" fufilled its mission. I will likely bring it back in a more interactive form just before the book launch.