Accident
Last updated: 29 November 2014
Status:Final
Date:Thursday 20 October 1977
Time:18:52
Type:Convair CV-300
Operator:L & J Company
Registration: N55VM
C/n / msn: 3
First flight: 1948
Total airframe hrs:29013
Engines: 2 Pratt & Whitney R-2800-CB16
Crew:Fatalities: 2 / Occupants: 2
Passengers:Fatalities: 4 / Occupants: 24
Total:Fatalities: 6 / Occupants: 26
Airplane damage: Damaged beyond repair
Location:8 km (5 mls) NE of Gillsburg, MS (   United States of America) show on map
Phase: En route (ENR)
Nature:Domestic Non Scheduled Passenger
Departure airport:Greenville Downtown Airport, SC (GMU), United States of America
Destination airport:Baton Rouge-Ryan Airport, LA (BTR/KBTR), United States of America
Narrative:
While flying the Lynyrd Skynyrd Band from Greenville to Baton Rouge, the crew had to divert to McComb because the aircraft was low on fuel.
Both engines quit before the Convair could reach McComb. A forced landing was made in a wooded area. Band members Ronnie Van Zant, Steve Gaines, Cassie Gaines, and the band's manager Dean Kilpatrick were killed in the accident.


PROBABLE CAUSE: Fuel exhaustion and a total loss of power on both engines due to crew inattention of fuel supply. Contributing to the fuel exhaustion were inadequate flight planning and an engine malfunction of undetermined nature in the right engine which resulted in a higher than normal fuel consumption."

Sources:

Official accident investigation report
investigating agency: National Transport Safety Bureau (NTSB) - United States of America
report status: Final
report number: NTSB/AAR-78-06
report released:19-JUN-1978
duration of investigation:242 days (8.1 months)
download report: L & J Company, Convair 240, N5SW. Gillsburg, Mississippi, October 20, 1977 (NTSB/AAR-78-06)

Photos

photo of Convair CV-300 N55VM
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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 Greenville Downtown Airport, SC to Baton Rouge-Ryan Airport, LA as the crow flies is 946 km (591 miles).

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