Episode 44: United Airlines Flight 173

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When it comes to aviation, mechanical issues are part of the equation, and there is plenty of troubleshooting that happens at 35,000 feet. When the crew of United Airlines Flight 173 faced a frustrating issue that put a safe landing in jeopardy, they had no idea that their attempts to fix the problem would lead to a whole new set of catastrophic consequences. In this week's episode of Take to the Sky: The Air Disaster Podcast, join Stephanie as she shares how United 173 permanently changed the conversation about the role of communication in aviation safety.

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Show Notes:

This week's episode talks about not one but two Oregon related air disasters! In a mini story, Stephanie tells the tale of a 1995 helicopter crash that took place at Crater Lake in southern Oregon. In the story about United 173, she mentions the iconic view of Mount Hood that is sometimes visible for passengers on a clear day; in this photo, which she took in 2018, you can see what passengers on United 173 might have seen as the plane descended into Portland.

If you enjoyed this week's story and are looking for more, Judy Whipple's book Crash Course is worth a read- you can find it on Amazon as well as many other sites.


Written and produced by: Shelly Price and Stephanie Hubka
Directed and engineered at: Snow Monster Studios
Sound editing by: Stephanie Hubka
Graphic design and website by: Adam Hubka
Music by: Mike Dunn
United Airlines Flight 173

Aerial view of the crash site. Source: offbeatoregon.com

United Airlines Flight 173

Crash site. Source: tailstrike.com

United Airlines Flight 173

United Flight 173 crash site. Source: OregonLive

United Airlines Flight 173

Wreckage at the crash site. Source: Reddit

United Airlines Flight 173

The aircraft involved in the crash, circa 1972. Source: Wikipedia