Braniff 250

Deadly Turbulence Book Cover
Deadly Turbulence (2014)

Documents, Notes, Photos, Ephemera, Research Relating to the Crash of Braniff International Airways Flight 250 near Falls City, NE, on 6-Aug-1966.

[Note: Some files are large and will take longer to access on slower internet connections.]

Presentations and Local Coverage

• 50-Year Commemoration Presentation | Shown in Falls City, 6-Aug-2016.
Slides accompanying a presentation given by Steve Pollock at the Richardson County History Museum.
• View in Web Browser (.html)
• Download PDF (.pdf) [Note: Embedded videos will not play in this version; either view the .html version or download one of the following files.] • Download older Powerpoint (pre-2005) version (.ppt)
• Download current Powerpoint (2005-Present) version (.pptx)
• Download Apple Keynote version (.key)
News Channel Nebraska’s coverage of the 50th Commemoration Event | Falls City, NE, 6-Aug-2016.

• Braniff Internal Documents •

Passenger/Crew Funeral Details. Braniff kept these status reports to track everything from who in the victims’ families were informed and when, to funeral homes, positive identification status, and other miscellaneous details.
[Courtesy University of Texas at Dallas-Richardson Braniff Archives.]

1. Larry J. Bosted, 19; Andrew Dewitt Broadfoot, 54; Nancy Anne Chamblin, 18. | Detailed status update #6a as of 10 a.m. on 10-Aug-1966.
2. Susan Carol Chamblin, 15; Danny R. Cox, 18; Ronald Deines, 19. | Detailed status update #6b as of 10 a.m. on 10-Aug-1966.
3. Jeanae (Jean) Carolyn Duerksen, 22; Ava Dyer, 46; Donald L. Eschbach, 46. | Detailed status update #6c as of 10 a.m. on 10-Aug-1966.
4. Kenneth Eskelinen, 25; Donald Ferrero; Leslie David Foster, 41. | Detailed status update #6d as of 10 a.m. on 10-Aug-1966.
5. Patricia Gilbertson, 21; Lyman Monroe Graeber, 61; Lottie Gummers, 46. | Detailed status update #6e as of 10 a.m. on 10-Aug-1966.
6. Mary Kay Hamm, 16; Susan R. Hamm, 17; Charles E. Howard Jr., 21. | Detailed status update #6f as of 10 a.m. on 10-Aug-1966.
7. Russell Hudson, 19; Patricia Jacobson, 21; William O. Johnson, 23. | Detailed status update #6g as of 10 a.m. on 10-Aug-1966.
8. Cheryl Lyn Sanders Jordan, 21; Bohdan Kowtaliw, 18; Adolph Mayer, 64. | Detailed status update #6h as of 10 a.m. on 10-Aug-1966.
9. Eugene P. McConnell, 18; Opal Mills, 51; William Murphy, 19. | Detailed status update #6i as of 10 a.m. on 10-Aug-1966.
10. John H. Paul, 44; Garrett Redington, 32; Grace Roettger, 56. | Detailed status update #6j as of 10 a.m. on 10-Aug-1966.
11. Donald Smith, 39; Virginia Tejada; Charla Ward, 16. | Detailed status update #6k as of 10 a.m. on 10-Aug-1966.
12. Robert Welter, 19; Frank Wilson, 40; Donald Wright. | Detailed status update #6l as of 10 a.m. on 10-Aug-1966.
13. Ruth Kuhr, Mitchell Kuhr, Capt. Donald Pauly, F/O James Hilliker, Hostesses Sharon Hendricks and Ginger Brisbane. | Detailed status update #6m as of 10 a.m. on 10-Aug-1966.

A Sample of a Funeral Status Update List. This is one of Braniff’s daily recaps of funeral arrangements, presumably created on 8-Aug-1966, and sorted by Date, Time, Passenger, City, and which Braniff representative attended.
[ Courtesy UTD-Richardson Braniff Archives. ]
Part One | 9-12-August.
Part Two | 12-13-August.

Crew Member Details/FBI Letter. Braniff’s internal P.R. documents with background information on all four crew members, as well as a thank you letter from J. Edgar Hoover
25-Oct-1965 Braniff Hostesses Graduating Class | Arrows point to Sharon Hendricks (left) and Ginger Brisbane (right).
Photo caption list | Naming all the BN Hostess grads in the photo above.
Biographical details on all four crew members | Gathered early morning of 7-Aug-1966.
First Officer Jim Hilliker: Braniff positions | The record of his 23 years with MidContinent/Braniff.
Jim Hilliker early photo | Possibly in a Mid-Continent Airlines uniform (?).
A later photo of First Officer Hilliker | In Braniff uniform, probably after the 1964-65 makeover of the airline.
Hostesses’ Detail Sheet | Biographical information on Sharon Hendricks and Ginger Brisbane.
Publicity release form for Ginger Brisbane | A P.R. form used to send any information about Ginger Brisbane to her hometown newspapers.
Publicity release form for Sharon Hendricks | A P.R. form used to send any information about Sharon Hendricks to her hometown newspapers.
A letter from J. Edgar Hoover | After Braniff’s VP of PR sent a thank you note to Mr. Hoover, he sent one back to Braniff.

• Maps, Diagrams •

The gust front of 6-Aug-1966 which destroyed Braniff 250.

• Air Traffic: | Tracks of Flights in the Area when Braniff 250 was destroyed.
1. Tracking Map is an approximation based on NTSB/FAA data.
     On this map you will see:
          • A red line representing the flight track of Braniff flight 250 between KMCI and the crash site near Falls City, NE.
          • A black line representing an American Airlines Convair 580 twin-engine propeller flight between KOMA and KSTJ.
          • A purple Line representing Braniff flight 234, originally travelling KSTL-KDSM, but was diverted down to KMCI when approaching front made weather too hazardous to proceed to Des Moines. The flight landed safely in Kansas City.
          • A blue line representing Braniff flight 255 from KOMA to KMCI. This flight diverted due east after departure, then flew due south to Kansas City. It encountered very rough turbulence and discussed this with flight 250’s flight crew.
2. NTSB graphic representation of the one-mile square area of farmland near Falls City, NE. | This shows how the debris from the in-flight breakup of N1553 was distributed by wind and gravity to the soybean fields below.The Antone Schawang family home is located at the “M” in the word “Main Impact, just across the street from the bulk of the wreckage.
[NTSB diagram. Graphics by Steve Pollock from NTSB and FAA sources.]


• the Crash Site •

The top of the cockpit and scattered passenger seats in Tony Schawang’s soybean field the morning after the crash.
Nebraska State Trooper films the crash site from near the left (#1) engine at the rear of the aircraft.
The BAC 1-11’s empennage lying upside down and almost a mile away from the main crash site.
Different view of the upside down empennage of N-1553.

Photos above copyright by Bill Schock, the Falls City Journal. Used with permission. More photos are listed below:

Photos of British Aircraft Corp. BAC 1-11, N1553 | Braniff International Airways “Braniff One-Eleven, Ship 553”:
N1553 Model | Model of Ship 553 made by Don Brown for the author.
Postcard from Brownsville, TX | Showing a Braniff One-Eleven, which may or may not be N1553, but which was painted in the same color.
Postcard showing a Braniff One-Eleven. | Eppley Field, Omaha, NE.
N1546, the first “Braniff One-Eleven” at BAC in Hurn, England. | Plane and stewardesses wearing the old livery.
Ship 553 taxiing. | Love Field, Dallas, TX.

Ground and Air Images of the Aftermath
[ Various sources, used with permission ]
Stopped watch | A wristwatch found on the ground, stopped at the time of the crash, 11:12 p.m .
Wreckage of the front cabin structure of N1553 | Taken around midnight, one of Schock’s first photos of the scene.
Cockpit roof and front door | One of the first photos Bill Schock took of the crash scene upon his arrival. Cockpit roof and windows, plus the main entryway, leftside .
Daylight revealed an extensive debris field. | N1553’s cockpit windows and roof are seen; a few of the Alexander Girard-designed seat cushions are scattered around; a section of the cabin with a public address speaker is in the foreground .
Daylight also reveals the roof of the cockpit, lying on its side. | The front left entry way is wrapped over with the door missing.
Jumble of the front structure of N1553. | In the background, the top of a National Guard vehicle (the four pillow-like objects are its canvas top), as well as a few of the search team can be seen .
First light shows the wreckage still smoking. | Guardsmen and others are searching for victims to be moved to the temporary morgue at the Prichard Auditorium in Falls City .
Assessing the scene | Rather stunned-looking, those first on the scene look over the wreckage in daylight .
Tailplane angled view. | N1553’s empennage was the first piece of the aircraft to collapse under the sudden gust load of the storm; it ended upside down almost a mile from the main wreckage site.
Sideview of the empennage | An iconic photo of flight 250, one of Schock’s best.
With initial searching almost complete, searchers gather. | At approximately the middle, burned-out section of the aircraft.
Closeup of the previous image. | Burned-out windows/wall section in the foreground.
A Nebraska state trooper takes 16mm film of the site. | Standing near the number one Rolls-Royce Spey enging (left side).
The outer half of the starboard wing. | The right wing collapsed upwards around the same instant as the empennage and also landed upside down in a field to the southeast of the main wreckage Since it shows no fire damage, it is likely it broke away before the fuel ignited.
The outer half of the port wing. | The port wing (left) remained attached to the aircraft until ground impact. Here, it has been dragged away from the wreckage for cutting up and further examination.
Bill Schock’s aerial photo series. | Schock was taken up in an Army helicopter to document the site from the air, as cleanup efforts were underway This image was taken from approximately where the aircraft broke up, looking northwest toward the intersection of 655/714 roads and the Antone Schawang farm. Roads delineate the one-mile-square area where debris fell.
Aerial photo 2 | In the center of the photo are two cars and several men picking up pieces of empennage and the right wing. You can see how far away from the main crash up in the top of the photo they were.
Getting closer to the crash site. | The Schawang farm and debris field can now be made out at the road intersection.
A closer view of the right wing section | You can see how it hit the edge of the crops and kept sliding forward on impact, leaving crushed plants behind it.
Closer view of the team working with the empennage parts. | Not sure how they planned to fit the stabilizer in the truck of that car, but who knows?.
Close aerial view of the main wreckage site | Much of the wreckage has been removed to Kansas City, but some pieces remain, including the port wing pieces.
Looking northeast over the Schawang farm. | Gives a good view of the damage done and how close the family came ot having its home wiped out..
Even closer image of main wreckage site. | Taken near the last of the 12 days of cleanup..
Last aerial image shows cranes and port wing pieces. | The grim work is almost done and Falls City is ready to return to some normality.
Flatbed trucks begin to haul away wreckage to Kansas City. | The lead truck, parked across Harlan Street from the Falls City Journal, carries the upside-down empennage. (If you know any of the five onlookers in this photo, please let me know!).
12 days after the crash, all debris removal is complete. | Left behind is scorched and bulldozed land which will turn up small debris parts for many years.

Current Falls City Scenes | By the Author.
Prichard Auditorium, Falls City, NE. | The site of the temporary morgue set up for flight 250’s passengers and crew..
Braniff Pavilion, Falls City, NE | Braniff donated money to the City of Falls City, which used it to build this pavilion, which is still standing.
The intersection of roads 655 and 714 | The location of the crash site and memorial in rural Richardson County, northeast of Falls City.
The soybean field where flight 250 fell. | Taken in October 2012, looking southeast towards the point where flight 250 broke up at 5,000 feet.
Flight 250 Memorial | Maintained by the Schawang family, the memorial is near the public road, but on private land. If you visit, please be respectful.

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