Heroic United Airlines Flight 232 Pilot Dies

United Airlines Flight 232 DC-10

United Airlines Flight 232 N1819U on its final descent, with visible damage on the horizontal stabilizer and fuselage tail cone (Image: Wikipedia)

A United Airlines pilot who helped crash land a crippled DC-10 in Sioux City, Iowa and in the process saved many lives has died of cancer.

69 year-old Denny Fitch was a passenger aboard United Airlines Flight 232 flying from Denver to Chicago on July 19th, 1989 when the aircraft lost hydraulic power.

Fitch was a United DC-10 training captain and came to the cockpit to assist the pilots in trying to the get plane on the ground safely.

‘The United pilot and DC-10 instructor pulled every aeronautical trick out of the book to help the pilots get the aircraft on the ground, the (Arlington Heights, Ill.) Daily Herald reported Wednesday. The crash killed 111 people but 184 survived.’

United pilot Mike Hamilton said the landing was a legend in the aviation world.

“It became a case study in how a crew could work together in an emergency,” Hamilton said.

“He had survivor’s guilt after the crash because people died,” his wife Rosa said. “It haunted him that he didn’t save everyone.”

Fitch received a commendation by then President George H.W. Bush.

More on United Flight 232 HERE


One word: HERO. RIP :(


  1. Chris says

    Oh no!!! :( I just watched the dedication to this crash on Aircraft Investigation on Thursday… RIP Mr. Fitch- You did a great job.

    • Kenneth Holland says

      I remember when this happened very well. Awful. But thanks to those three pilots, they saved a lot of lives that day.

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