Narrative:Flight 1808 took off from Boston runway 04L at 21:30 for a flight to Auburn. Clearance was received of 7000 feet and to contact Portland Approach Control.
Portland Approach cleared Flight 1808 at 21:58 for a runway 04 ILS approach. Three minutes later the controller noticed that Flight 1808 was east of course and asked if the it was receiving the Lewiston localizer. The captain replied that they hadn't and were given instructions to turn left heading 340. A left turn to 354deg started and the aircraft passed Lewie Outer Marker (LOM) at 165 knots, 2600 feet (30 knots too fast and 600 feet too high). At 22:02 the aircraft exited the left side of the localizer, still at a 354deg heading. The crew then tried to capture the glide slope and enter the localizer again until it entered the left side of the localizer (22:04:08) and descended through the bottom boundary of the glide slope. At ca 22:04:16 the aircraft struck trees 4007 feet short of the runway and 440 feet right of the extended centreline, continued 737 feet and struck level ground in nearly an inverted attitude.
One of the passengers killed in the crash was American schoolgirl, peace activist and child actress Samantha Smith.
PROBABLE CAUSE: "The captain's continuation of an unstabilized approach which resulted in a descent below glide slope. Contributing to the unstabilized approach was the radar controller's issuance and the captain's acceptance of a non-standard air traffic control radar vector resulting in an excessive intercept with the localizer."
Controlled Flight Into Terrain (CFIT) - Ground
» NTSB Safety Recommendations A-86-98 through -122
Official accident investigation report
Follow-up / safety actions
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 Boston-Logan International Airport, MA to Auburn Airport, ME as the crow flies is 195 km (122 miles).