GOLDEN (CBS4) – It was a chance for survivors of United Flight 232 to share memories and continue to heal together on Friday night in Colorado.
“It’s a very special day, it’s a memorable day and it’s very comforting to be with other survivors,” said Susan White who organized about a dozen survivors and their families at her house in Golden.
On July 19, 1989, Flight 232 left Stapleton International Airport headed for Chicago. An engine failure on the DC-10 caused the hydraulics to stop working. Four pilots guided the plane to Sioux City, Iowa. The plane wing clipped the ground sending the fuselage tumbling into a cornfield.
“I was in the Sioux City hospital for three and a half, four weeks after the crash,” said Paul Olivier, a Palmer Lake resident. “Every day you think about it and to be able to share stories with other people that were on the aircraft, that’s really helpful.”
Friday was the first time members of the crew and passengers reunited in Denver.
“It’s very comforting to be together,” White said. She’s still a flight attendant for United.
Bill Records, who was the first officer on flight 232, attended. The group watched a ceremony held at the aviation museum in Sioux City.
“It’s always somewhat therapeutic to come out and talk about what happened that day,” Olivier said.
For 30 years, the flight crew from 232 gathered on vacations, bonded by tragedy they leaned on each other to cope.
“We call it our 232 family. We are very close,” White said. “We always remember the 112 passengers that didn’t make it, and we try and live our life for them and honor them.”