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. Flight 843, carrying 143 passengers and 10 crew members, took off around 2:00 pm PST on Monday, June 28, 1965. After going through the pre-flight check-list, Captain Charles Kimes, 44, let his co-pilot, Fred Miller, 47, handle the take-off. As the aircraft climbed to an altitude of approximately 800 feet, the number 4 (outer-right) engine exploded, rupturing the right outboard fuel tank and igniting the fuel inside. The explosion and resulting fire caused the last 25 or so feet of the right wing, along with the damaged engine, to break off from the rest of the aircraft. Captain Kimes radioed the tower "I don't know whether I can keep it in the air or not."
The pilots were able to extinguish the fire, after which they headed for Travis Air Force Base for an emergency landing. During this time, passenger William Richmond and his wife recorded footage of the burning wing with their camera. Finally, about 34 minutes after taking off, and with the landing gear lowered by emergency means, Flight 843 landed safely at Travis. In the end, all 153 people on board survived unharmed. The success of the landing under the circumstances was described as a "miracle" by the news press.