Water, Wind, and Fire: The crash of Delta Air Lines flight 191

The tail of Delta flight 191 lies in a field, its seats hanging out into space. (Fort Worth Star-Telegram)
N726DA, the aircraft involved in the accident. (Andrew Thomas)
The route of Delta flight 191. (Google + own work)
A thunderstorm at Dallas-Fort Worth Airport in 2022. (Dallas Morning News)
An artist’s impression of Delta 191 entering the storm. (NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth)
How a microburst affects aircraft. (ASA)
The flight data from the minute before the accident reveals the wild ride to which the occupants were subjected. (NTSB)
The path of flight 191 in its final moments. (James Covington Jr.)
This comprehensive aerial view captures the full extent of the destruction, from highway 114 where the field where the remains of the plane finally came to rest. (UTA Libraries)
The plane’s disintegration on impact was nearly total. (Unknown author)
Bodies are placed under yellow sheets next to the remains of the tail section. (UTA Libraries)
Some 20 survivors found themselves here in the tail section, severed from the rest of the plane. (Fort Worth Star-Telegram)
The front page of the Dallas Morning News after the crash.
Seating chart of the survivors and fatalities. (Public domain image)
William Mayberry’s body is removed from the remains of his Toyota. (Dallas Morning News)
This photo captures how close flight 191 came to striking a FedEx DC-10. (Dallas Morning News)
Another Delta L-1011 flies over the wreckage of flight 191. (Dallas Morning News)
Although people often comment on the experience of the passenger seated in these front-most seats, the seating chart reveals that no one was actually in any of them. (USA Today)
More than half of the total survivors were seated here, aft of the cabin divider in rows 40–46. (NTSB)
It is incredible to imagine something this large spinning around and rolling over at such speed with so many people still inside. (Bureau of Aircraft Accidents Archives)
Much of the nose section was reduced to charred debris, piled in the field near the water tanks. (Bureau of Aircraft Accidents Archives)
Another detailed view of the entire wreckage trail, showing some of the collateral damage that the crash caused along the way. (UTA Libraries)
Pieces of the L-1011 were strewn throughout the parking apron. (Bureau of Aircraft Accidents Archives)
Investigators and others work amid the shattered remains of the plane. (David Woo)
Probably the largest remaining section of the forward two thirds of the plane was this chunk of the wing root, which also still contained one of the main landing gear bogies. (UTA Libraries)
A Boeing 727 flies over the wreckage on approach to runway 17L or 17R. (NOAA)
A view of the remains of a wing and the tail section, apparently taken from just in front of the cargo DC-8 sitting on the apron. (AP)
The National Center for Atmospheric Research. (CBS News Denver)
A map of NEXRAD radar coverage in 2011. (NOAA)
The tail section was later turned back on its side during the recovery and examination process. (Austin American-Statesman)
A Delta 737 flies past the wreckage of Delta 191. (Dallas Morning News)



Analyzer of plane crashes and author of upcoming book (eventually™). Contact me via @Admiral_Cloudberg on Reddit or by email at kylanddempsey@gmail.com.

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