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The Crash of Flight 1420
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On Late Tuesday night, June 1, 1999, an American Airlines Flight 1420 crashed at Little Rock National Airport, Adams Field, breaking in half and sliding toward the Arkansas River after landing in a thunderstorm. Flight 1420, an American Airlines McDonnell Douglas Super 80, was carrying 139 passengers and six crew members en route from Dallas to Little Rock.
The jetliner came to rest about 150 yards beyond the runway. The nose had separated from the fuselage, and the back of the plane was burned.
The crash lead to numerous stories through the next year as lawsuits wound their way through the courts and survivors attempted to move on with their lives. Those stories are provided here.

A SURVIVOR'S STORY: 'And by the way, I was in a plane crash'

posted: 05/31/2009 1:52 a.m. Comment 1

American Airlines Flight 1420 crashed off the runway at Little Rock National Airport the late night of June 1, 1999. The pilot and 10 other people died. Carla Koen was among the wreck's 134 survivors.

'Forever linked' through Flight 1420

posted: 06/02/2004 4:35 a.m.

Evelyn Soo decided Monday night to let go of a secret she didn't want anymore. So she took out a notecard, wrote a few words and taped a small piece of green metal, a broken Lbracket, to the card.

Flight 1420 survivors to gather

posted: 06/01/2004 4:38 a.m.

It's been a long storm season for the surviving passengers of American Airlines Flight 1420 - five years to the day since the plane crashed off the end of a runway at Little Rock National Airport, Adams Field, in the middle of tornadolike winds, lightning and hail.

Training warns crash teams of likely pitfalls

posted: 04/15/2004 5:51 a.m.

Lt. Col. Jeff Arnold talked about surviving American Airlines Flight 1420 with his buddies in the Alaska Army National Guard, with the schools that invited him to visit, with just about anyone who would listen. He had coped better than most.

11 lawsuits remain in Flight 1420 crash

posted: 07/16/2001 4:44 a.m.

Most of the Flight 1420 lawsuits have been settled, with 11 remaining on U.S. District Judge Henry Woods' docket in Little Rock.

Flight 1420 crash inquiry winding down with airline, pilots' union still at odds

posted: 07/16/2001 4:42 a.m.

The inquiry into what caused American Airlines Flight 1420 to crash in Little Rock on June 1, 1999, is nearly complete. A draft of the final report has been written, and the National Transportation Safety Board expects to announce its findings by September.

Copyright © 2001, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, Inc. All rights reserved.

posted: 06/18/2001 4:47 a.m.

The entertainment console in Lisa Rowe's Cabot living room features Barbies in mint condition, Beanie Babies of all types and Wheaties boxes celebrating the cereal as "breakfast of champions." When she was flying home from Colorado Springs, Colo., in June 1999, a Wheaties box featuring Denver Broncos quarterback John Elway was tucked under her seat, 14A, aboard American Airlines Flight 1420.

Widow of Flight 1420 pilot files suit

posted: 06/05/2001 4:49 a.m.

The widow of American Airlines Flight 1420 pilot Richard Buschmann has sued Arkansas entities contending they failed to upgrade Little Rock's airport before the June 1, 1999, crash, which killed Buschmann and 10 passengers.

Russellville park memorializes 6 killed in crash

posted: 06/02/2001 4:51 a.m.

More than 300 people gathered at the busiest intersection in town Friday to dedicate a park in memory of the six residents who died when American Airlines Flight 1420 crashed while landing in Little Rock in 1999.

American Airlines to appeal awards in 4 crash suits

posted: 05/21/2001 4:54 a.m.

American Airlines will appeal all but one of five jury awards in lawsuits arising from a June 1, 1999, crash in Little Rock of Flight 1420. "We are appealing only because we believe the jury awards are excessive, based on Arkansas case law and the expert testimony presented at these trials," said John Hotard, a spokesman who is based at American's Fort Worth headquarters.

Jurors award Flight 1420 survivor $4.2 million

posted: 05/05/2001 4:56 a.m.

An eight-member federal jury awarded Joe Rustenhaven $4.2 million Friday for damages he sustained in the crash of American Airlines Flight 1420. His wife was awarded $2 million for loss of consortium stemming from the June 1, 1999, Little Rock crash, which killed 11.

Survivor recounts night of plane crash

posted: 05/04/2001 4:58 a.m.

In a halting monotone, Joe Rustenhaven told a federal jury that he was knocked unconscious at least three times when American Airlines Flight 1420 crashed while landing in Little Rock nearly two years ago.

Crash survivor has crying jags, son testifies

posted: 05/03/2001 5:15 a.m.

It would be absurd to suggest that Joe Rustenhaven has "facticious disorder," a malady that would cause him to fake being sick just to get attention, his counselors testified Wednesday on the second day of his federal damages trial against American Airlines.

Trial opens in Flight 1420 lawsuit

posted: 05/02/2001 5:16 a.m.

Because of the head injuries he suffered in the 1999 crash of American Airlines Flight 1420, and the post-traumatic stress that has followed, Joe Rustenhaven's professional life is over at 62, his attorneys and his wife said Tuesday on the opening day of a federal damages lawsuit.

Jury gives mother, 2 girls $3.3 million in jet crash

posted: 04/28/2001 5:18 a.m.

A federal jury awarded a Benton woman and her two children $3.3 million Friday for the injuries they suffered when American Airlines Flight 1420 crashed in Little Rock nearly two years ago.

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