Lisa Newland Church always wanted to be a stewardess. "It was her lifelong dream, and she went for it," said her mother, Susan Newland.
At 9:40 a.m. Sunday, Lisa's dream ended tragically when United Airlines Flight 585, on which she was a crew member, plowed into a Colorado Springs park, killing all 25 people aboard.Lisa, a 1988 graduate of West Jordan High School, was remembered fondly for her exuberant attitude toward life.
"She was a real sweetheart and a great student," said Julie Christofferson, the music department chairman at West Jordan High. "She had a lot of leadership qualities. She grew a lot her senior year, working hard for the band and other groups at school."
Lisa was a drum majorette, a flute player and a member of the band council before moving on to Dixie College, where she also played flute in the band.
While playing in the Dixie College Band, she met Troy Church from Kanab.
In two weeks from her death, the couple would have been married a year. Though based out of New York, Lisa and her husband lived in Winter Park, Fla.
One of Lisa's goals was to raise a family, but she had no plans to retire from United Airlines soon. "Flying was her dream," her mother said.
She added that Lisa was never particularly concerned about the dangers of flying. "Quite the opposite," she said. "In fact, she'd get upset when people talked to her about it. When compared to car accidents, she said, it was a lot safer to fly. Only when a plane does go down, it's more tragic."
Investigators are still trying to determine what caused the crash that took Lisa's life. Officials said the pilot was warned of strong wind gusts just before the plane crashed as it attempted to land at Colorado Springs Municipal Airport. Gusts of 32 mph were reported by the National Weather Service.
A Federal Aviation Administration spokesman, Dick Meyer, said the pilot reported no problems before the crash.
The plane, en route from Denver, was on final approach to the airport when it banked sharply and veered into the ground, witnesses said. It went down five miles short of the airport in a narrow park with houses on one side and a big apartment complex on the other, missing homes by no more than an eighth of a mile.
"Lisa was a very giving person," Susan Newland said. "She influenced many people's lives throughout the country because of her job."