Chief Flight Attendant Jan Brown remembers the approximately 40 minutes between engine failure and crash-landing with crystal clarity.
“My plan started as soon as I came out of the cockpit. I made a quick prayer: ‘Can I be somewhere else?’ And I got a very quick response: ‘No.’ And so my first thought was, ‘Well I have to pull myself together. And I have to be calm and my crew has to be calm.’”
Brown was one of 296 people aboard United Flight 232 which was forced to make a crash-landing in Sioux City, Iowa in July of 1989.
With the combined efforts of the flight crew and emergency personnel in Iowa, a miraculous 184 of the 296 people on board survived.
During this River to River interview, Ben Kieffer talks with Brown and Susan White Callender, another flight attendant on board. Laurence Gonzalez, author of “Flight 232: a Story of Disaster and Survival” also joins the conversation.
He says the efforts of Iowans in the area were critical in the aftermath of the crash.
“The people of Sioux City, or Siouxland as the bigger area is called, these people just would do anything to help you, and it was just a tremendously moving experience to know that that’s out in the world today.”