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In the early evening of the 2nd of August, 1985, a Lockheed L1011 Tristar is on final approach to land at Dallas Fort Worth International Airport. Delta Airlines flight 191 is a regularly scheduled flight between Fort Lauderdale in the state of Florida and Los Angeles California, with an intermediate stop at Dallas Forth Worth Airport in the state of Texas. Delta Airlines 191 departed from Fort Lauderdale, Florida at 2:10pm, first heading west over the waters of the Gulf of Mexico. The flight to Dallas Fort Worth has been largely uneventful until now. After passing over New Orleans in Louisiana, the aircraft has deviated north in order to avoid a developing weather front. The hot and humid weather of the southern United States in summer is fertile ground for thunderstorms which the flight crew are keen to avoid. The flight crew of Delta Airlines 191 consists of three people. Leading the experienced flight crew is Captain Edward Connors, aged 57. Connors has nearly 30,000 hours of flight experience, 6,000 of which are in command of the Lockheed L1011, spanning a career of over 30 years. In the right seat is First Officer Rudy Price, aged 42, who is flying the aircraft on this leg of the journey. He has 6,500 hours flight experience, 1,200 of which are at the controls of the L1011. Completing the flight crew is Second Officer Nick Nassick, who is acting as the aircraft’s flight engineer. Nassick has 6,500 hours flight experience, 4,500 of which have been in the Lockheed L1011.

Now, just after 6pm, the aircraft is descending steadily towards runway 17L. The runway is currently obscured by a cloud sitting almost at the end of the runway, from which a heavy and continuous downpour of rain is falling. First Officer Price looks at the clouds in front of them and comments “Lightning coming out of that one, right ahead of us”.

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