Event Details

Title:Landed short, Southern Airways, Inc., DC-9, N97S, Tri-State Airport, Huntington, West Virginia, November 14, 1970
Micro summary:This DC-9 crashed short during a non-precision approach.
Event Time:1970-11-14 at 1936 EST
File Name:1970-11-14-US.pdf
Publishing Agency:National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB)
Publishing Country:USA
Report number:NTSB-AAR-72-11
Site of event:1 mile west of RWY 11
Latitude/Longitude:N3822'27" W08234'42"
Departure:Kinston Regional Jetport, Kinston, North Carolina, USA
Destination:Tri-State Airport (Milton J. Ferguson Field), Huntington, West Virginia, USA
Airplane Type(s):Douglas DC-9
Flight Phase:Landing
Operator(s):Southern Airways
Type of flight:Revenue
Serious Injuries:0
Other Injuries:0
Executive Summary:Southern Airways, Inc. , DC-9, N97S, operating as charter Flight 932, crashed during a landing attempt at the Tri-State Airport, Huntington, West Virginia, at approximately 1936 EST , on November 14, 1970. All 75 occupants, including 71 passengers and four crewmembers, were fatally injured. The aircraft was destroyed.

The flight, chartered to transport the Marshall University football team and boosters from Kinston, North Carolina, to Huntington, West Virginia, was attempting a nonprecision instrument landing approach to Runway 11 at the time of the accident. The crash occurred following impact with trees on a hill approximately 1 mile west of the runway threshold. The elevation of the broken trees at the initial impact site was approximately 922 feet MSL.

The Minimum Descent Altitude, below which descent is not authorized until the runway environment is in sight, for this instrument approach was 1,240 feet MSL.

The weather at the time of the accident was: 300 feet scattered. estimated 500 feet variable broken, 1,100 feet overcast, visibility five miles, light rain, fog, smoke, wind 360 at 4 knots, altimeter setting 29.67, ceiling ragged and variable 400 to 600 feet.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines that the probable cause of this accident was the descent below Minimum Descent Altitude during a nonprecision approach under adverse operating con - ditions, without visual contact with the runway environment. The Board has been unable to determine the reason for this descenbalthough the two most likely explanations are (a) improper use of cockpit instrumentation data, or (b) an altimetry system error.
Learning Keywords:Operations - Airspace - Non-Precision Approach
Operations - Controlled Flight Into Terrain
Operations - Runway Underrun
Systems - Flight Instruments
Consequence - Hull Loss


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