Originating at John F. Kennedy Airport in New York, United Airlines Flight 173 stopped in Denver, and continued to Portland on Thursday, December 28, 1978. The pilot reported a problem with the plane’s nose landing gear to the Portland tower, and, according to the National Transportation Safety Board report (pdf), failed to monitor properly the aircraft’s fuel state and to properly respond to the low fuel state. The DC-8 ran out of gas and crashed in Northeast Portland at about 6:15pm.
The Oregonian reported the next day:
The jetliner, reportedly carrying 172 adult passengers, five infants and eight crew members, apparently lost power after circling Portland International Airport and crashed into two vacant houses and a grove of trees at East Burnside Street, five miles southeast of the airport and about 200 feet east of 157th Avenue.
The last known dispatch from the pilot was: “We’re going down. We’re not going to make the airport.”
- The Crash of Flight 173 at Dead Memories Portland
- United Flight 173 Crashed on this Date in 1978 at PDX Retro
- Woman recalls airliner crash in Portland 30 years ago at OregonLive.com