Dallas Love Field

Dallas Love Field
Dallas Love Field
USGS aerial photo as of February 19, 1995
DAL airport map.PNG
FAA airport diagram
DAL is located in Texas
Location of the Dallas Love Field
Airport type Public
Operator City of Dallas
Serves Dallas–Fort Worth–Arlington
Location Dallas (Texas, USA)
Elevation AMSL 487 ft / 148 m
Coordinates 32°50′50″N 096°51′06″W / 32.84722°N 96.85167°W / 32.84722; -96.85167Coordinates: 32°50′50″N 096°51′06″W / 32.84722°N 96.85167°W / 32.84722; -96.85167
Website www.dallas-lovefield.com
Direction Length Surface
ft m
13L/31R 7,752 2,363 Concrete
13R/31L 8,800 2,682 Concrete
18/36 6,147 1,874 Asphalt
Statistics (2007, 2010)
Aircraft operations (2007) 247,235
Based aircraft (2007) 693
Passengers (2010) 7,960,809
Source: Federal Aviation Administration[1]

Dallas Love Field (IATA: DALICAO: KDALFAA LID: DAL) is a city-owned public-use airport located 6 miles (10 km, 5 nautical miles) northwest of the central business district of Dallas, Texas, United States.[1]

Love Field was the primary airport for Dallas until 1974, when Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport opened. Love Field is now Dallas's secondary airport and serves as a major focus city for Southwest Airlines, which has its corporate headquarters on airport grounds. Continental Express, Delta Connection, and United Express also offer service from Love Field.



Prior to 1957

Love Field was opened as an Army flying field on October 19, 1917, constructed just southeast of Bachman Lake. It was named after First Lieutenant Moss Lee Love, who died in an airplane crash in San Diego, California. Love Field was opened to civilian use in 1927 when the city of Dallas purchased the land with National Air Transport (forerunner of United Airlines) starting the first passenger service.[2]

On April 9, 1932, the first paved runways at the airfield were completed.[3]

During World War II, the airport was used by the United States Army Air Forces for flying training, with the Dallas Texas Aviation School providing basic (level 1) flight training, equipped with Fairchild PT-19s as the primary trainer used. Also had several PT-17 Stearmans and a few P-40 Warhawks assigned. Love Field was also used as a sub-depot of the San Antonio Air Service Command for aircraft overhauls. Air Force facilities were closed at the end of the war in August 1945.[4][5]

In September 1943, construction was completed on a new north-south runway (18/36) and northwest-southeast runway (13/31). On March 9, 1947, Love Field's Lemmon Avenue Terminal Building opened on the east side of the airfield. The city adopted an amended Master Plan for Love Field in 1948 guiding future expansion.[3]

On November 29, 1949, American Airlines Flight 157, a Douglas DC-6 en route from New York City to Mexico City with 46 passengers and crew, slid off Runway 36 after the flight crew lost control on final approach to Love Field for a routine stopover. The airliner struck a parked airplane, a hangar, and a flight school before crashing into a business across from the airport,[N 1] killing 28. This was the deadliest air disaster in Texas history at the time[6] and, according to modern reference sources,[7] remains the deadliest crash to take place at the airfield itself.

Pioneer Airlines moved its base from Houston to Love Field in 1950.[3]

On March 26, 1952, work was completed to extend Runway 13/31[N 2] to its current length of 7,752 ft (2,363 m). Soon afterwards, on June 1, 1954, the east/west crosswind Runway 7/25 was permanently closed;[3] it was later removed to accommodate new terminal construction. This left Love Field with only two runways: Runway 13/31, the longer primary runway, and the shorter Runway 18/36.

1957 to 1974

Love Field's new terminal building (the third and current terminal) was dedicated on October 20, 1957, and opened to airline service on January 20, 1958.[3] The complex opened with three one-story concourses equipped with 26 ramp-level gates and connected to the terminal by the world's first airport moving walkways.[8] Airlines serving the airport at the time included American, Braniff, Central (which was based in Fort Worth), Continental, Delta and Trans Texas (later Texas International).

Jet-powered operations began on April 1, 1959, when Continental Airlines introduced the Vickers Viscount turboprop. Turbojet operations began on July 12, 1959, when American Airlines initiated Boeing 707 flights to New York.

The 1960s brought tremendous growth to Love Field. In 1961, Mr. and Mrs. Earle Wyatt made a gift of a large bronze statue bearing the inscription "One Riot, One Ranger" for display in the airport's new terminal. Famed Texas born sculptress Waldine Tauch created the piece. The inscription refers to an incident in which a single Texas Ranger was dispatched to quell a riot.[3] Beginning October 2010, the "One Riot, One Ranger" statue is temporarily moved for display to the nearby Frontiers of Flight Museum, until completion of the first phase of airport terminal renovation in early 2013.[9]

On November 22, 1963, President John F. Kennedy arrived at Love Field on board Air Force One, and was assassinated in Dealey Plaza while his motorcade was traveling from Love Field to the Dallas Trade Mart. Hours later, Lyndon B. Johnson was sworn in as president aboard Air Force One before its departure from Love Field.

On April 2, 1965, the 8,800 ft (2,682 m) long parallel Runway 13R/31L was opened to relieve traffic on congested Runway 13/31 (which was renamed Runway 13L/31R).[10] The project had been vexed by extensive legal wrangling; safety concerns were raised regarding its proximity to schools[11] and its minimal safety areas,[12] while nearby residents attempted to stop the anticipated increase in jet noise and the removal of homes and businesses adjacent to the airport to accommodate the project.[13][14]

Several terminal expansion programs were fueled by the boom in air travel during the 1960s. American Airlines expanded their concourse in 1968. In the same year, Braniff opened its "Terminal of the Future." The expansion, showcasing Alexander Girard, Herman Miller and Ray and Charles Eames designs, featured the first rotunda concourse, jet bridges and several airport innovations. Braniff connected their new terminal to new remote parking lots with the Jetrail monorail system in 1970.[15] Texas International expanded their concourse in 1969, and Delta's concourse was expanded in 1970.[3]

In 1972, Love Field was the site of a notable hijacking incident. On 12 January, Billy Gene Hurst, Jr., a resident of Houston, Texas, hijacked Braniff Flight 38, a Boeing 727 airliner, as it departed William P. Hobby Airport in Houston bound for Dallas. After the plane landed at Love Field, Hurst allowed all 94 passengers to deplane, but continued to hold the 7 crewmembers hostage. Hurst insisted on flying to South America and made a variety of other demands, including food, cigarettes, parachutes, jungle survival gear, US $2 million, and a handgun. After a 6-hour standoff, police gave Hurst a package containing parachutes and some other items, and the hostages escaped while he was distracted examining the package's contents. Police officers stormed the craft soon afterwards and arrested him without serious incident. He was later sentenced to 20 years in prison.[16][17][18][19]

With the need for a larger airport, the cities of Dallas and Fort Worth agreed to build Dallas/Fort Worth Regional Airport (the original name of the current Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport). It was agreed that to protect the new airport, each city would restrict its own passenger-service airports from air-carrier operations.

Southwest Airlines, founded in 1971 and headquartered at Love Field, built its business on selling quick, no-frills trips between Dallas, Houston, and San Antonio. The company felt that the notion of a quick trip would be destroyed by a long drive to the new large airport outside of the city. Prior to the opening of DFW, Southwest Airlines sued for the right to remain at Love Field.[citation needed]

In 1973, the courts ruled that the City of Dallas could not restrict Southwest Airlines from operating out of Love Field, so long as it remained open as an airport. This ruling effectively granted Southwest the right to continue to operate its existing intrastate service out of Love Field. The airlines operating from Love Field at the time DFW was conceived executed agreements with DFW stipulating that no airline could operate at the new airport if it continued to operate any flights out of Love Field. Southwest, created after the other carriers had signed on to the DFW operating agreements, was not a signatory and remained as the only airline operating at Love Field.[3]

Prior to completion of DFW, regularly scheduled service from Love Field included: New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Phoenix, Washington, Nashville, Oklahoma City, Tulsa, Cleveland, San Antonio, El Paso and Mexico City (American); Atlanta, New Orleans, Orlando, Shreveport, Birmingham, Jackson, Los Angeles, and San Francisco (Delta); Chicago, Denver, Kansas City, Minneapolis-St. Paul, New York, Washington, Houston, Austin, Lubbock, Amarillo, Oklahoma City, Tulsa, San Antonio and Mexico City (Braniff International); Midland-Odessa, Lubbock, Amarillo, Albuquerque, and El Paso (Continental); New Orleans, Tampa and Miami (Eastern). Trans-Texas Airways provided service to Beaumont-Pt. Arthur, Texarkana, Houston, San Antonio, Laredo, Big Spring, Austin, Abilene, Wichita Falls, and Amarillo among other locales.

1973 saw Love Field, which contained more than 70 gates and saw frequent Boeing 747 service, reach record enplanements at 6,668,398 as the eighth busiest airport in the United States. On January 13, 1974, DFW Airport officially opened, ending most passenger service at Love Field.[3][20]

1974 through 1999

With the drastic reduction in flights and only 467,212 enplanements in 1975,[3] Love Field decommissioned several of its concourses. The city of Dallas attempted to make use of these dormant facilities by leasing some of them to an entrepreneur who opened the "Llove Entertainment Complex" in November 1975. The main lobby at the front of a former terminal was transformed into movie theaters, ice rink, roller rink, huge video arcades, restaurants and bowling alley. Llove seemed especially suited for the pre-teen and teen crowd, who could spend the day for a single admission charge of about $3.50. Llove closed in May 1978.[citation needed] Several of the concourses were remodeled into support and training buildings for Southwest Airlines.

After deregulation of the U.S. airline industry in 1978, Southwest Airlines was able to enter the larger passenger markets and announced plans to start providing interstate service in 1979. This angered the City of Fort Worth and DFW International Airport, which resented expanded air service at Love Field. Therefore, Fort Worth-based U.S. Representative (later Speaker of the House) Jim Wright helped get a "compromise" law through Congress that restricted air service at Love Field. Using the pretext of protecting DFW, the Wright Amendment restricted passenger air traffic out of Love Field in the following ways: Passenger service on regular mid-sized and large aircraft could only be provided from Love Field to locations within Texas and the four neighboring states (Louisiana, Arkansas, Oklahoma, and New Mexico). Long-haul service to other states was possible, but only on commuter aircraft with no more capacity than 56 passengers.[21]

While the Wright Amendment prevented any other major airlines from starting service out of Love Field, it did not deter Southwest. Based on short trips to begin with, Southwest continued to flourish as it used multiple shorthaul flights to build its Love Field operation. Some people managed to "work the system" and get around the Wright Amendment's restrictions. For example, a person could fly from Dallas to Houston or Albuquerque, change planes, and then fly to any city Southwest served — although he or she had, at the time, to do so on two tickets in each direction, since the Wright Amendment specifically barred airlines from issuing tickets that violated the law's provisions. This work around was also problematic due to the fact that between flights checked baggage had to be collected and checked onto the next flight. This had the effect of creating mini-hubs at Houston/Hobby Airport and the Albuquerque International Sunport. Southwest continued to grow and became one of the most successful and profitable airlines in the United States.[citation needed]

Due to the success of Southwest Airlines, other airlines began considering the use of Love Field for short haul trips. Southwest co-founder Lamar Muse started Muse Air, a short haul competitor using DC-9s and MD-80s between Love Field and Houston in 1982. Muse Air was unable to operate profitably against Southwest at Love Field, and was purchased by Southwest in 1985 and renamed TranStar Airlines. Southwest ceased Transtar operations in 1987. Continental Airlines expressed its intent to fly out of Love Field in 1985, which led to years of court battles over the interpretation of the Wright Amendment as Fort Worth and DFW International Airport continued to try to prevent expansion at Love Field. Seeing the benefit of increased air traffic at Love Field, the City of Dallas began to actively lobby for the repeal of the Wright Amendment restrictions in 1992. In 1997, the Shelby Amendment successfully passed through Congress, which amended the Wright Amendment. A compromise of sorts, the Shelby Amendment allowed Love Field flights to three more states, Kansas, Mississippi, and Alabama. In addition, it amended the definition of 56-passenger jets that could fly to other states to include any aircraft weighing less than 300,000 pounds which has been reconfigured to accommodate 56 or fewer passengers.

The passage of the Shelby Amendment caused several airlines to consider flying 56-passenger jets out of Love Field, including Continental, Delta, and a new airline, Legend. The City of Fort Worth immediately sued the City of Dallas to try to prevent the Shelby Amendment from going into effect. American, headquartered at DFW, joined the lawsuits against Dallas, but also said that if other airlines were allowed to fly out of Love Field, it would have no choice but to offer competing service. In 1998, after a year of legal decisions and appeals, Continental Express became the first major airline other than Southwest to fly out of Love Field since 1974. American began service out of Love Field shortly thereafter, but continued to sue to stop the service. Fort Worth and American Airlines eventually sued the DOT to stop allowing more flights out of Love Field.

2000 to Present

KDAL 13L Short Final

In 2000, several federal appeals court decisions finally struck down all lawsuits against the Shelby Amendment. Fort Worth and American Airlines appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court, which refused to review the case. These legal decisions opened the door to increased long haul flights out of Love Field using 56-passenger jets, including new service by Delta and Legend. The majority of this 56-passenger jet market was composed of business travelers making day trips to other cities.

In 2001, the September 11, 2001, attacks and the subsequent recession greatly reduced the demand for air travel in the U.S., especially within the business traveler market. As a result, most of the airlines providing long haul 56-passenger flights stopped service and pulled out of Love Field. By 2003, Southwest and Continental Express were the only two major commercial airlines operating out of Love Field. However, due to Southwest's success and the possibility of other airlines returning in the future, the airport has completed an expansion of its parking facilities and is redeveloping one of its terminals.

New parking facilities in a 2,400-space garage opened in 2002 and 2003, connected to the terminal with a climate controlled walkway. The East Concourse, formerly Braniff's "Terminal of the Future," was demolished as part of the Love Field Master Plan.[3]

Love Field celebrated 85 years in the aviation industry in 2002 and was designated as a Texas State Historical Site in 2003.

The Frontiers of Flight Museum, which had been located inside the airport terminal since 1988, moved to the north side of the airport in a separate facility.

In November 2004, at a breakfast sponsored by the North Dallas Chamber of Commerce, Southwest announced their active opposition to the Wright Amendment, claiming that the law is anti-competitive and outdated. On November 30, 2005, Missouri was added to the list of states exempted from the Wright Amendment by an amendment written by Sen. Kit Bond. Southwest began nonstop flights to Kansas City and St. Louis on December 13. American Airlines and American Eagle began flights from Love to St. Louis, Kansas City, Austin, and San Antonio on March 2, 2006, although American Airlines subsequently pulled out of the market, leaving American Eagle to offer a reduced service to Austin and Kansas City alone. In 2008, American decided to terminate the Austin and Kansas City service and replace it with service to O'Hare International Airport (which Southwest does not serve) using 50-passenger regional jets in compliance with the Wright provisions regarding aircraft size, although American Eagle recently stopped service from Love field altogether.

On June 15, 2006, it was announced that American Airlines, Southwest Airlines, Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport and the cities of Dallas and Fort Worth had all agreed to seek full repeal of the Wright Amendment, with several conditions. Among them: the ban on nonstop flights outside the Wright zone would stay in place until 2014; through-ticketing to domestic airports (connecting flights to long-haul destinations) would be allowed immediately; Love Field's maximum gate capacity would be lowered from 32 to 20 gates; and Love Field would handle only domestic flights non-stop. Southwest will be able to operate from 16 gates, American 2 gates, and Continental 2 gates. JetBlue and Northwest Airlines have claimed that the gate cap will effectively bar any airlines not named in the compromise to ever operate from Love Field, even though the agreement calls for Southwest, American and Continental to share gates with new airlines that desire to serve the airport. The cap of 20 gates would effectively restrict the purpose of the 2014 lifting of the ban on nonstop flights outside the Wright zone.

After extensive negotiations with the House and Senate Judiciary Committees, the compromise bill passed both Houses of Congress on Friday, September 29, just before the 109th Congress adjourned for the November elections. Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison led the effort to pass the bill in the Senate while Rep. Kay Granger led a bipartisan Texas House coalition to see the bill through to a successful conclusion in the House. President George W. Bush signed the bill into law on October 13, 2006.[22] Southwest and American airlines then required approval from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to begin one-stop flights from Love Field to destinations outside the Wright limits.[23]

On October 17, 2006, Southwest Airlines announced that it would begin one-stop or connecting service between Love Field and 25 destinations outside the Wright zone on October 19, 2006.[24] American Airlines made travel between Love Field and locations outside the Wright zone available by October 18, 2006.[25][26]

In 2008 the airport handled 8,060,792 passengers.[1]

The airport became embroiled in a controversy over concessions contracts when Dallas mayor Tom Leppert, during a March 3, 2010, City Council meeting, abruptly withdrew support for no-bid contracts with current airport food vendor Star Concessions Ltd. and newspaper and book vendor Hudson Retail Dallas, insisting that the contracts should be opened to public bidding instead. At a February 22, 2010, meeting, the City Council recommended that the existing contracts, set to expire in June 2011, be extended until 2026 with an additional three-year option and exclusive rights to 54 percent of vending space in a new terminal scheduled to open in 2014.[27] After several abortive attempts to resolve the issue, the City Council voted on August 18, 2010, to open all concessions space in the new terminal for public bidding; city staff would attempt to reach a deal with Star and Hudson to operate existing concessions space from 2011 to 2014, otherwise it would also be opened for public bidding.[28]

At 3:25 PM on August 19, 2010, an hour-long police chase ended at Love Field when Dallas police vehicles rammed a truck driven by carjacking suspect Michael Browne, who had driven through an airport perimeter fence and onto an active runway in an attempt to evade pursuing officers. Flight operations were briefly disrupted but no aircraft were directly endangered. Transportation Security Administration officials announced that a review of airport security measures would be conducted due to the incident.[29]


In early 2009 a plan to modernize Love Field was announced. The $519 million master plan will replace the existing terminals with a new 20-gate concourse and expanded baggage facilities.[20] The project is scheduled to open when the last of the Wright amendment restrictions end in 2014. The project also calls for a $250 million people mover system to connect to Dallas Area Rapid Transit's Burbank Station.[30]

Facilities and aircraft

Dallas Love Field covers an area of 1,300 acres (530 ha) at an elevation of 487 feet (148 m) above mean sea level. It has three runways:[1]

  • Runway 13L/31R: 7,752 by 150 feet (2,363 × 46 m), Surface: Concrete (Built 1943, Extended 1952[3])
  • Runway 13R/31L: 8,800 by 150 feet (2,682 × 46 m), Surface: Concrete (Built 1965[10])
  • Runway 18/36: 6,147 by 150 feet (1,874 × 46 m), Surface: Asphalt (Built 1943[3])

For the 12-month period ending October 31, 2007, the airport had 247,235 aircraft operations, an average of 677 per day: 39% general aviation, 37% scheduled commercial, 23% air taxi and 1% military. At that time there were 693 aircraft based at this airport: 3% single-engine, 4% multi-engine, 93% jet and 1% helicopter.[1]

The City of Dallas Aviation Administration headquarters is on the grounds of the airport.[31]

Airlines and destinations

Love Field's passenger terminals have 19 gates, divided into two terminals: 1 and 2. Southwest's Terminal 2 has 15 gates: 1, 1A–12, 14, 15, while Terminal 1 has four gates: 29–32.

Airlines Destinations Terminal
Continental Connection operated by Colgan Air Houston-Intercontinental 1
Continental Express operated by ExpressJet Airlines Houston-Intercontinental 1
Delta Connection operated by Pinnacle Airlines Memphis 1
SeaPort Airlines El Dorado, Hot Springs
Southwest Airlines Albuquerque, Amarillo, Austin, Birmingham (AL), El Paso, Houston-Hobby, Kansas City, Little Rock, Lubbock, Midland/Odessa, New Orleans, Oklahoma City, St. Louis, San Antonio, Tulsa 2
United Express operated by ExpressJet Airlines Denver 1
United Express operated by SkyWest Airlines Denver, Houston-Intercontinental 1

Top destinations

Top ten busiest domestic routes out of DAL
(June 2010 - May 2011) [32]
Rank City Passengers Carriers
1 Texas Houston, TX 562,000 Southwest
2 Texas San Antonio, TX 321,000 Southwest
3 Texas Austin, TX 272,000 Southwest
4 Missouri Kansas City, MO 215,000 Southwest
5 Missouri St. Louis, MO 211,000 Southwest
6 Louisiana New Orleans, LA 184,000 Southwest
7 New Mexico Albuquerque, NM 183,000 Southwest
8 Texas Lubbock, TX 155,000 Southwest
9 Texas Midland, TX 143,000 Southwest
10 Texas Amarillo, TX 137,000 Southwest

Legend Terminal

The terminal was built by Legend Airlines and was later used by Legend Airlines and Delta Connection/Atlantic Southeast Airlines. Under the terms of lifting the Wright Amendment, the number of gates at the airport is limited thus effectively precluding use of the terminal for scheduled passenger flights. The gates of the former terminal were demolished and the remaining structure converted into a U.S. Customs and Border Protection facility.

Public transit

Currently, DART buses 39 (to downtown Dallas) and 539 (to Mockingbird Station) serve the airport.

The Green Line light rail serves the airport at Inwood/Love Field Station, opened in 2010. When terminal reconstruction is complete, a people mover system will directly link the terminal to DART's Burbank Station.

Charter Service and FBOs

Love Field is also home to a number of charter flight companies and FBOs including:

Accidents and incidents

Airport operations

The following occurred at the airfield itself, immediately after takeoff, during the final landing approach, and/or during an attempted go-around:

  • December 23, 1936: A Braniff Airways Lockheed Model 10 Electra airliner, registration number NC-14905, suffered an engine failure during a go-around while conducting a non-scheduled test flight; the pilot tried to turn back towards Love Field but lost control, causing the craft to spin into the northern shore of Bachman Lake. Its 6 occupants, all Braniff employees, died in the crash and ensuing fire.[33]
  • November 29, 1949: American Airlines Flight 157, a Douglas DC-6, was on final approach to Runway 36 when the flight crew lost control, causing the airliner to slide off the runway and strike a parked airplane, a hangar, and a flight school before crashing into a business across the street from the airport. 26 passengers and 2 flight attendants died in the crash and ensuing fire; the pilot, co-pilot, flight engineer, and 15 others survived.
  • June 28, 1952: A Temco Swift private plane collided with American Airlines Flight 910, a Douglas DC-6 on final approach to Love Field from San Francisco, California; the DC-6 landed safely with no injuries to the 55 passengers and 5 crew, but both occupants of the Swift died on impact with the ground.
  • May 15, 1953: A Braniff International Airways Douglas DC-4 carrying 48 passengers and 5 crew slid off the end of Runway 36, crossed Lemmon Avenue, and plowed into an embankment. Despite reportedly heavy automobile traffic on the busy street, no vehicles were struck, and nobody aboard the airliner was seriously injured. The crash was attributed to poor braking action on the rain-slicked runway.[34]
  • July 9, 1953: A Southern Air Transport Curtiss-Wright C-46 Commando cargo transport, carrying a crew of 2, skidded off the runway and flipped over after a hard landing; the pilot suffered significant injuries but the co-pilot escaped safely.[35]
  • May 14, 1960: The pilot of a Beechcraft Bonanza private plane suffered an apparent heart attack and fell unconscious while en route from Fort Worth to Dallas. The pilot's wife and sole passenger, who was not a trained pilot, managed to guide the Bonanza to Love Field but crashed while attempting to land. Both occupants suffered severe injuries and the pilot was pronounced dead, but it is unclear whether his death resulted from the heart attack or from injuries sustained during the crash.[36][37]
  • September 14, 1960: An airline maintenance inspector lost control of a Braniff International Airways Douglas DC-7 during a taxi text and crashed into a hangar at high speed; the inspector died and 5 of the 6 mechanics aboard were injured.[38]
  • April 18, 1962: A Douglas DC-3 operated by an aviation company affiliated with Purdue University, registration number N3588, crashed immediately after taking off to test a newly-installed engine; the craft exploded into flames, killing all 3 people aboard.[39][40] The crash was attributed to insufficient airspeed at takeoff, and the National Transportation Safety Board noted that the pilot was not properly qualified to fly a DC-3.[41]
  • April 19, 1963: A Beechcraft Bonanza private plane crashed short of the runway on final approach, killing both occupants.[42]
  • January 29, 1966: A Piper Cherokee Six air taxi, registration number N3246W, suffered an engine failure on final approach to Love Field and struck trees while the pilot was attempting an emergency landing on a nearby street.[43] The pilot and 5 passengers were injured; the engine failure was attributed to carburetor icing.[44]
  • February 10, 1967: A Beechcraft D18S, registration number N7388, crashed at Love Field after a propeller blade separated during takeoff; the pilot and both passengers died.[45]
  • September 27, 1967: All 7 occupants of an Aero Commander 560E, registration number N3831C, died after the left-hand wing broke during the landing approach, sending the plane plummeting into Mockingbird Lane in Highland Park, Texas. Wreckage tore through the playground of Bradfield Elementary School, but school was not in session and nobody on the ground was seriously harmed.[46]
  • September 29, 1970: After a scheduled flight from Denver, Colorado, the landing gear of a Braniff International Airways Boeing 720, registration number N7080, collapsed during landing. The automatic gear extension mechanism had failed in flight and the flight crew manually lowered the gear but neglected to lock it in the "Down" position. The airliner slid to a halt on the runway, suffering significant damage, but there were no injuries to the 47 passengers and 7 crew.[47][48]
  • June 7, 1971: A Dallas Police Department Bell 47G-5 helicopter, registration number N2022W, was destroyed when heavy winds blew the craft into an airfield fence during landing; the observer suffered minor injuries and the pilot escaped safely.[49][50]
  • December 26, 1973: The pilot of a Tricon International Airlines Beechcraft C-45H cargo transport, registration number N118X, lost control while circling Love Field for a precautionary landing after being unable to raise the landing gear during takeoff. The C-45 struck 2 houses southeast of the airport, killing the pilot and injuring a person on the ground; the crash was attributed to insufficient airspeed and improper loading.[51][52]
  • April 18, 1975: A Cessna 310F, registration number N5818X, ran off the end of the runway, struck a fence, and burned after losing engine power during takeoff; the craft's 2 occupants, a student pilot and flight instructor, escaped with minor injuries. The crash was attributed to fuel starvation; the student pilot had mishandled the fuel control valve (known as the fuel selector) and taken off with the fuel tanks disconnected from the engines.[53][54]
  • June 8, 1976: The pilot of a Cessna 175, registration number N9259B, executed an emergency landing on nearby Mockingbird Lane soon after takeoff from Love Field, striking a telephone pole and a moving automobile; the aircraft was substantially damaged, but there were no serious injuries to the aircraft's 4 occupants or the driver of the car. The crash was attributed to insufficient airspeed and overloading.[55][56]
  • January 27, 2000: After its tailplane deicing system failed during the landing approach, a Misubishi MU-300 business jet, registration number N900WJ, touched down on Runway 31R at higher-than-normal speed as recommended for such a situation. When it became evident that the aircraft was going to overrun the runway due to the high speed and poor braking action on the slush-covered pavement, the pilot purposefully steered the jet into an embankment to avoid striking light poles past the far end of the runway. There were no injuries to the 4 passengers or 2 crew, but the aircraft was written off.[57][58]
  • March 1, 2009: A Southwest Airlines (SWA) Boeing 737-7H4, registration number N741SA, carrying 132 passengers and 5 crew, was taxiing to a gate after landing when it collided with a stationary SWA Boeing 737-3H4, registration number N652SW, which had just departed from another gate carrying 102 passengers and 5 crew. The winglet of N741SA became embedded in the horizontal stabilizer of N652SW, causing minor damage to both, but there were no injuries; the incident was attributed to the failure of the pilot of N741SA to correctly judge the clearance between the two airliners. The winglet has been framed and prominently displayed at the SWA pilot training center as a visual reminder to exercise caution.[59][60]

Flights departing from or bound for Love Field

The following did not occur near the airfield itself but involved flights originating from or bound for Love Field:

  • October 16, 1942: A US Army Air Force Martin B-26 Marauder was en route to Love Field when bad weather closed the airfield and controllers advised the crew to divert to Fort Worth. The craft was flying at very low altitude to stay in visual conditions under low clouds when its wing struck a guy-wire of the WFAA radio tower near Grapevine, Texas, causing the pilot to lose control; all 6 crewmembers died in the subsequent crash.[61]
  • September 29, 1959: Braniff International Airways Flight 542, a turboprop Lockheed L-188 Electra, suffered a mechanical failure and crashed southeast of Buffalo, Texas, while en route to Love Field from Houston, killing 29 passengers and 5 crewmembers. The Civil Aeronautics Board attributed the crash to the "whirl-mode" prop theory. [2]
  • May 3, 1968: Braniff International Airways Flight 352, a Lockheed L-188 Electra, broke up in a thunderstorm near Dawson, Texas while en route from Houston, Texas to Love Field. All 80 passengers and 5 crewmembers died.
  • November 6, 1972: An Aero Commander 680, registration number N6204D, crashed in a neighborhood near White Rock Lake minutes after takeoff from Love Field, killing both occupants; the crash was attributed to spatial disorientation in densely clouded IFR conditions.[62][63]
  • April 6, 1975: The pilot and passenger of a Bellanca 17-30A Super Viking, registration number N8293R, died on impact with terrain hidden by clouds in the Caprock Escarpment area of the Texas Panhandle while en route from Love Field to Amarillo, Texas; the crash was attributed to the pilot's decision to continue VFR flight into known IFR conditions.[64][65]
  • May 20, 1977: A Bell 47J Ranger helicopter, registration number N6736D, broke up over University Park, Texas while enroute from the operator's North Dallas heliport to Love Field, killing its pilot and sole occupant; the crash was attributed to the failure of the pilot to maintain adequate rotor RPM, causing the rotor blades to strike the tail boom.[66][67]
  • October 1, 1985: All 4 occupants of a Cessna 441, registration number N400BG, and the sole occupant of a Cessna 152, registration number N5522L, were killed when the two aircraft collided nearly head-on over Southeast Dallas. The student pilot of N5522L was practicing solo maneuvers in an area about 14 mi (23 km) southeast of Love Field when air traffic controllers directed the pilot of N400BG to descend through the area inbound to Runway 31R. The collision was attributed to the failure of both pilots to watch for conflicting air traffic during VFR flight.[68][69]
  • December 31, 1985: The cabin of a Douglas DC-3, registration number N711Y, filled with dense smoke after the flight crew attempted to turn on a cabin heater while en route to Love Field from Guntersville, Alabama; the pilot initiated an emergency landing in a field near De Kalb, Texas, but the aircraft struck trees and utility poles, suffering severe damage and bursting into flames. The pilot and co-pilot escaped with serious injuries, but all 7 passengers were killed, including popular singer and actor Ricky Nelson. The NTSB was unable to verify the origin of the smoke, stating in the final report that "... the ignition and fuel source were not determined."[70][71]
  • January 3, 1986: The right-hand engine mount of a Southwest Airlines Boeing 737-2H4, registration number N86SW, broke while the airliner was flying over southern Oklahoma enroute from Love Field to Austin, Texas, causing the engine to hang from the wing at a steep angle; the flight crew shut down the engine and returned to Love Field, landing safely. The incident was attributed to improper installation of the rear engine mount bolt, causing the rear engine mount to fail as the aircraft encountered uneven pavement during the takeoff roll.[72][73]
  • December 5, 1987: After suffering an engine fire en route from Love Field to New York City, the flight crew of a Hawker Siddeley HS.125 business jet, registration number N400PH, touched down short of the runway while attempting an emergency landing at Blue Grass Airport in Lexington, Kentucky. The jet crossed a highway and struck an automobile, utility poles, and 2 fences, killing the pilot and co-pilot, and injuring both passengers in the aircraft and 2 people in the automobile. The accident was attributed to the crew's inadvertent retraction of the aircraft's flaps, causing the jet to suddenly lose altitude.[74][75]
  • July 17, 1992: A Piper PA-28R-201T Arrow III, registration number N6959C, bound for Love Field from New Iberia, Louisiana, broke up in the thunderstorm near Tool, Texas, killing its pilot and sole occupant.[76][77]
  • October 25, 1999: In the 1999 South Dakota Learjet crash, a Learjet 35 private jet suffered an apparent loss of cabin pressure after departing Orlando, Florida bound for Love Field; the jet then drifted off course, running out of fuel and crashing near Aberdeen, South Dakota.[78] Among the six occupants killed were golf star Payne Stewart and Bruce Borland, a highly regarded golf course architect.
  • April 11, 2002: A Bell 206B helicopter, registration number N513FD, experienced a sudden loss of power over north Dallas while carrying 3 radio-station traffic reporters on a local flight from Love Field; the pilot executed a hard landing on nearby Midway Road under autorotation, substantially damaging the aircraft and injuring 1 passenger. The power loss was attributed to improper installation of critical engine parts.[79][80]

See also

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  2. ^ Runway 13/31 was renamed Runway 13L/31R after the 1965 completion of the parallel Runway 13R/31L.
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