Procuring documents and information about the crash of United Flight 823 at Parrottsville, Tennessee on July 9, 1964 has been difficult, to say the least. The old flight manuals and technical manuals I have purchased on e-bay do not come cheap either. Still, in the final analysis, the project has been extremely interesting and well worth my while.
A few individuals have asked me why I have taken on this project in light of the fact that United States Government agencies were unable to establish the cause of the in-flight fire that was to bring down the aircraft.
To ask “Why?” is quite reasonable. Two answers are readily available.
First, my wife and I have lived in south west Greene County, Tennessee for the last thirty-three years. For twenty-five of those years, we have lived across the Nolichuckey River from Linebaugh Bend; approximately five miles from the crash site of United 823. Our house stands in the general vicinity of the aircraft's final flight path.
It was not until early 2012 that we heard any mention of the Parrottsville disaster that claimed the lives of thirty-nine people. The entire time we have lived, worshiped, and worked in this area, not once was mention made, by our neighbors, of this terrible tragedy.
My wife and I both see the need to make sure the people in both Cocke and Greene Counties are informed as to what took place. The awful fact remains that thirty-nine of our countrymen perished on a steep hillside that is a short drive from where all of us live. These thirty-nine, and their surviving family members, should not be forgotten.
The second reason as to why this project has been undertaken did not become clear until shortly after we began our investigation: there is precious little information about the crash available on the Internet and much of that is not accurate or is incomplete.
We hope to provide as much information as possible that will present a clearer picture as to what occurred that day, if not a definitive answer.
A project such as this also is dependent on insight. We strive to be as fair and accurate as possible in that regard.
As for our experience as individuals: neither my wife nor I have backgrounds in aviation.
As I stated in the first paragraph, it is extremely difficult to gather information. As more information becomes available, there is a tendency for opinions, as to what may have happened, to change or evolve. I ask the reader's indulgence in this respect.
It is my hope that someone who happens upon this site, and who is in possession of helpful additional information, will see fit to contact me so that this project may further inform interested readers.