KENNER, La. -- Carmella Gudan was pregnant and standing under her mother's carport on the afternoon of July 9, 1982. It was a rainy, gusty day in Kenner's Morningside subdivision.
Nearby, at the New Orleans International Airport, Capt. Kenny McCuller requested clearance for takeoff at about 4 p.m.
He was piloting PanAm Flight 759, bound for Las Vegas.
But the Boeing 727 went down 29 seconds after takeoff -- after reaching an altitude of only 95 to 150 feet.
"The general consensus was is that it crashed because of wind shear -- it's a down draft that pushed the flight down," former Kenner police chief Nick Congemi said.
Congemi was a lieutenant and on-scene commander in 1982. He also worked a second job as a PanAm ticket agent.
Flight 759 officially crashed at 4:09 p.m., killing 146 people onboard and eight people on the ground.
Congemi described the aftermath of the crash as a living hell.
"Flames all over -- people were yelling and screaming. Everything was out of control," he said.
Former Kenner fire chief D.J. Mumphrey was in charge of putting out the flames immediately after the crash.