November 14, 1970 ... Remembered

Memorial of the 1970 Marshall University Football Team Plane Crash

Photo, with hyperlink, of the official NTSB accident report

The official NTSB Aircraft Accident Report

Southern Airlines Flight 932 left Kinston, North Carolina, at 6:38 p.m., carrying the Marshall University football team, coaching staff and fans to Huntington, West Virginia. After an uneventful flight, the crew contacted Huntington Airport tower at 7:23 p.m. and were cleared for a localizer approach on runway 11. The weather conditions were poor, mist and light rain with broken clouds at 500 feet. The plane descended below the Minimum Descent Altitude, striking trees on a hillside about one mile from the runway. The plane then crashed and burned.

“The National Transportation Safety Board determines that the probable cause was the descent below Minimum Descent Altitude during a non precision approach under adverse weather conditions, without visual contact with the runway environment. The Board has been unable to determine the reason for this descent, although the two most likely explanations are: a) improper use of cockpit instrument data; or b) an altimetry system error” (Aircraft Accident Report, NTSB-AAR-72-11, p. 36).

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