What Happened When a Southern Airways Flight 242 Crashed in Sadie Burkhalter’s Front Yard

smithsonian.com For years afterward, the scent of jet fuel and scorched hair were powerful sensory cues that transported Sadie Burkhalter Hurst back in time to the day when fire and death invaded her tranquil world. “Most of the time,” she said 40 years later, “you don’t remember it until things trigger those memories.

My photo from the crash illustrates a Smithsonian Magazine story about the impact on the people who lived on the country road where it happened. Still in the first month of my probationary period at The AP and alone in the office, it was the event that signaled “Welcome to The AP” for me. I passed probation this day. Next time you see me ask about the plywood sitting in front of this house. (AP Photo/Gary Gardiner)