United Air Lines, Inc., Flight 266, a Boeing 727-22c, N7434U, crashed into Santa Monica Bay, approximately 11.3 miles west of the Los Angeles International Airport, at 1821 P.s.t. on January 18, 1969. The aircraft was destroyed and the six cremembers and 32 passengers on board were all fatally injured.
Flight 266 departed from Los Angeles Airport at 1817 P.s.t., and 2 minutes later reported to Departure Control that they had experienced a fire warning on the No. 1 engine and wished to return. This was the last communication with the flight. The secondary or transponder target disappeared from the radarscope immediately following the above transmission. Thereafter, movement of the primary target indicated the aircraft continued to track a straight course on the last assigned heading of 2700 for approximately a minute and a half, after which the aircraft commenced a left turn. The target then disappeared from the radarscope.
The Los Angeles weather report in effect at the time of the accident indicated 700 feet scattered, measured ceiling 1,000 feet broken, 2,000 feet overcast, visibility 3 miles in light rain and fog.