Aircraft Accident Report: United Airlines Flight 389/Synopsis
File No. 1-0030
NATIONAL TRANSPORTATION SAFETY BOARD
DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
AIRCRAFT ACCIDENT REPORT
Adopted: December 19, 1967
UNITED AIR LINES, INC.
BOEING 727-22, N7036U, IN LAKE MICHIGAN
AUGUST 16, 1965
A United Air Lines, Inc., B-727-22, N7036U, Flight 389 crashed into Lake Michigan approximately 19.5 statute miles east of Lake Forest, Illinois, at approximately 2120 c.d.t., August 16, 1965. The 24 passengers and 6 crewmembers died in the crash and the aircraft was destroyed.
Flight 389, en route from La Guardia Airport, New York to O'Hare International Airport, Chicago, Illinois, was descending from a cruising altitude of 35,000 feet to begin a landing approach when its radar target disappeared from the air traffic controller's radarscope. The weather at O'Hare at the time of the accident was: an estimated ceiling of 10,000 feet, visibility 7 miles. Ground witnesses observed a fire and explosion on the lake at approximately 2121. Search vessels discovered the first floating wreckage approximately five hours later.
The Board is unable to determine the reason for the aircraft not being leveled off at its assigned altitude of 6,000 feet.