Accident McDonnell Douglas DC-9-31 N97S, Saturday 14 November 1970
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Date:Saturday 14 November 1970
Type:Silhouette image of generic DC93 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different    
McDonnell Douglas DC-9-31
Owner/operator:Southern Airways
Registration: N97S
MSN: 47245/510
Year of manufacture:1969
Total airframe hrs:3667 hours
Engine model:Pratt & Whitney JT8D-7
Fatalities:Fatalities: 75 / Occupants: 75
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Destroyed, written off
Location:1,6 km W of Huntington, WV -   United States of America
Phase: Approach
Nature:Passenger - Non-Scheduled/charter/Air Taxi
Departure airport:Kinston-Stallings Field, NC (ISO/KISO)
Destination airport:Huntington-Tri-State Airport, WV (HTS/KHTS)
Investigating agency: NTSB
Confidence Rating: Accident investigation report completed and information captured
Southern Airlines Flight 932 departed Kinston, North Carolina, USA at 18:38 to return members of the Marshall University football team, coaching staff and other passengers to Huntington, West Virginia. After an uneventful flight, the crew contacted Huntington Approach Control at 19:23. The controller later cleared them for a runway 11 localizer approach. At 19:34 the flight passed the Outer Marker and they were cleared to land. In weather conditions of mist and light rain with low clouds (scattered clouds at 300 feet, broken overcast at 500 feet solid overcast at 1000 feet), the aircraft descended below MDA (1240 ft msl) while the flight crew still not had the runway environment in sight.
The aircraft then and struck trees on a hill at an elevation of 922 ft msl, approximately 1 mile short of the runway. The aircraft then crashed and caught fire.

PROBABLE CAUSE: "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."

Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: NTSB
Report number: DCA71AZ005
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 1 year and 5 months
Download report: Final report




  • 7th worst accident in 1970
  • 11th worst accident of this aircraft type
  • 4th worst accident of this aircraft type at the time



photo (c) NTSB; Huntington, WV; 14 November 1970; (publicdomain)

photo (c) NTSB, remastered by Quin; Huntington, WV; 14 November 1970; (publicdomain)

Revision history:


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