Accident description
Last updated: 24 April 2014
Status:Final
Date:Thursday 18 May 1972
Time:15:21 EDT
Type:Silhouette image of generic DC93 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
McDonnell Douglas DC-9-31
Operator:Eastern Air Lines
Registration: N8961E
C/n / msn: 45870/332
First flight: 1968
Engines: 2 Pratt & Whitney JT8D-7B
Crew:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 4
Passengers:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 6
Total:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 10
Airplane damage: Damaged beyond repair
Location:Fort Lauderdale International Airport, FL (FLL) (   United States of America) show on map
Phase: Landing (LDG)
Nature:Domestic Scheduled Passenger
Departure airport:Miami International Airport, FL (MIA/KMIA), United States of America
Destination airport:Fort Lauderdale International Airport, FL (FLL/KFLL), United States of America
Flightnumber: 346
Narrative:
The DC-9 touched down heavily on runway 09L. The main gear collapsed and the tail section separated. The aircraft caught fire.

PROBABLE CAUSE: "The decision of the pilot to initiate and continue an instrument approach under weather conditions which precluded adequate visual reference and the faulty techniques used by the pilot during the landing phase of that approach. The Safety Board also finds that the flight crew's non-adherence to prescribed operational practices and procedures compromised the safe operation of the flight."

Sources:

Official accident investigation report
investigating agency: National Transport Safety Bureau (NTSB) - USA
report status: Final
report number: NTSB/AAR-72-31
report released:13-DEC-1972
duration of investigation:209 days (7 months)
download report: Eastern Air Lines, Inc., DC-9-31, N8961E, Fort Lauderdale, Florida, May 18, 1972. (NTSB/AAR-72-31)

Follow-up / safety actions

NTSB issued 2 Safety Recommendations

Show all AD's and Safety Recommendations

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Map
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 Miami International Airport, FL to Fort Lauderdale International Airport, FL as the crow flies is 34 km (21 miles).

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DC-9-30

  • 11th loss
  • 662 built
  • 11th worst accident (at the time)
  • 38th worst accident (currently)
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 United States of America
  • 779th worst accident (at the time)
  • 1409th worst accident (currently)
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