Narrative:Weather was poor near Las Vegas with indefinite ceiling at 500 feet, sky obscured, 900m visibility and light snow. Flight 114 was flying a VOR/DME-3 approach when the plane descended below altitude minima. At 9.7 DME, at an elevation of 3575 feet msl the plane struck rising terrain and crashed. The flight should have been at 4300 feet msl at that point. It appeared that the VOR/DME-3 approach procedure was relatively new, having become effective on October 3, 1964. Until November 15 no approaches using this procedure had been flown. The approach chart depiction for the segment of the approach from the 15 mile fix to the 6 mile fix displayed no descent information on the profile section. However, the profile did show a solid horizontal line between the 6 mile fix and the 3 mile fix, with an altitude of 3,100 feet. Further, the solid line was defined in the Chart Legend as "Flight Path," which implied that a descent to 3,100 feet was proper once the fix to which the flight has been cleared is reached.
PROBABLE CAUSE: "The misinterpretation of the approach chart by the captain which resulted in a premature descent below obstructing terrain."
» ICAO Aircraft Accident Digest No.16 - Volume III, Circular 82-AN/69 (103-112)
Follow-up / safety actions
The heirs of the flight- and cabin crew members, brought suits against Jeppesen based on the principle of products liability, in that it was alleged that the chart which the pilots were instructed to use (and used) in landing was faulty and that the deficiencies in it were either the sole cause of the accident, or a proximate cause of the accident. At the request of counsel for the defendant Jeppesen, the Court put the trial of damages over for a couple of days so that the parties could arrive at a settlement. They did arrive at a settlement wherein Jeppesen agreed to and did, pay a total of $ 490,000.00 to the heirs.
This map shows the airport of departure and the intended destination of the flight. The line between the airports does not
display the exact flight path.
Distance from Phoenix-Sky Harbor International Airport, AZ to Las Vegas-McCarran International Airport, NV as the crow flies is 408 km (255 miles).