November 14, 1970 ... Remembered

Memorial of the 1970 Marshall University Football Team Plane Crash

Photo of a Southern Airways DC-9


The McDonnell Douglas DC-9 (initially known as the Douglas DC-9) was a family of twin-engine, single-aisle jet airliners. First manufactured in 1965, it subsequently was produced, in greatly modified form, under a succession of different names. It introduced a unique coach seating arrangement of five seats, three on one side and two on the other. It could hold up to one hundred passengers (16 in first class and 84 in coach). Its final version was the Boeing 717. The DC-9 aircraft family ceased production in 2006 after 41 years.

The aircraft (registration number N97S) that carried the Marshall football team and fans was a DC 9-31, purchased by Southern Airways on June 10, 1969. It had been flown over 3,600 hours without incident at the time of its crash.