KY journalist reflects on the crash of Arrow Air Flight 1285

Dec 12, 2016

[This story originally aired December 14, 2012.]

Gander, Newfoundland isn't much bigger than Mayfield, KY, but since the 1930s, it's been one of the world's more important airports.  It played a pivotal role in World War 2 as a staging area for U.S. and British Commonwealth war planes.  More recently, the people of Gander played host to the more than 66 hundred air travelers stranded there by the closure of North American airspace following the 9-11 attacks.

Gander has, however, been closer to American tragedy.

Early in the morning of December 12th, 1985, Arrow Air Flight 1285 from Gander to Fort Campbell crashed and exploded on take-off, killing all of the 256 passengers and crew aboard.  248 of them were members of the 101st Airborne on their way home after a peacekeeping mission in the Sinai Desert.

The loss profoundly affected not only Fort Campbell and Hopkinsville, but the small Canadian town as well.  Kentucky New Era Opinion Editor Jennifer Brown traveled to Gander to find out why, and she speaks with Todd Hatton about what she found.