Sixty Years After The Bombing Of Denver Flight 629, A Look Back

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Mainliner Denver
A 1951 United Airlines postcard showing the "Mainliner Denver," the same plane that was destroyed in the 1955 bombing.

The explosion marked the first bombing of a U.S. commercial airplane and was a watershed moment in aviation history.

Andrew J. Field researched the bombing for his book "Mainliner Denver: The Bombing of Flight 629," which was published in 2005. Field is a former staff attorney for the Colorado Supreme Court and the Colorado Court of Appeals. He spoke with Host Nathan Heffel about the anniversary of the crash.

Read an Excerpt:

At the head of the runway, Hall reapplied the brake and brought the engines up to 60 percent power. After checking the tachometer, Hall released the brake and pushed the throttle fully forward, increasing the speed of the engines to 2,600 r.p.m. The sleek DC-6B responded immediately, hurtling down the lighted runway until Hall eased back the steering yoke and took the plane gently skyward. 
Four minutes later, at 6:56 P.M., Hall radioed the tower and reported that he had passed the Denver omnistation, a radio broadcasting beacon seven miles northeast of the airport.
In seven minutes, the thirty-nine passengers and five crew members would all be gone.


Reprinted from "Mainliner Denver: The Bombing of Flight 629," by Andrew J. Field with permission from Johnson Books, a division of Big Earth Publishing. Copyright (c) Andrew J. Field, 2005.