Accident Boeing 727-22 N68650, Wednesday 19 July 1967
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Date:Wednesday 19 July 1967
Type:Silhouette image of generic B721 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different    
Boeing 727-22
Owner/operator:Piedmont Airlines
Registration: N68650
MSN: 18295/4
Year of manufacture:1963
Total airframe hrs:6445 hours
Engine model:Pratt & Whitney JT8D-7
Fatalities:Fatalities: 79 / Occupants: 79
Other fatalities:3
Aircraft damage: Destroyed, written off
Location:Hendersonville, NC -   United States of America
Phase: En route
Nature:Passenger - Scheduled
Departure airport:Asheville Municipal Airport, NC (AVL/KAVL)
Destination airport:Roanoke Municipal Airport, VA (ROA/KROA)
Investigating agency: NTSB
Confidence Rating: Accident investigation report completed and information captured
Piedmont Flight 22, a Boeing 727, took off from runway 16 at Asheville Municipal Airport in North Carolina, USA for an IFR flight to Roanoke in Virginia. The flight crew had to maintain runway heading until reaching 5000 feet. The controller placed this restriction on Flight 22 to keep it on a southeasterly course until a Cessna 310, registration N3121S, had reported over the Asheville VOR. The Cessna, owned by Lanseair, was on a company business flight from Charlotte, North Carolina to Asheville with three occupants on board.
While the Boeing 727 was still on its takeoff roll the pilot of the Cessna reported "Two one Sierra just passed over the VOR, we're headed for the ... ... for .. ah .. Asheville now." The Approach controller then cleared the Cessna to descend and maintain 6000 feet. At 11:59:44 the controller cleared Flight 22 to "... climb unrestricted to the VOR, report passing the VOR". He then cleared the Cessna for an ADF-2 approach to runway 16. The Boeing 727 was in a climbing left turn when both aircraft collided at an altitude of 6132 feet. Just before the collision the Cessna was observed to pull up sharply, with impact occurring between the nose of the Cessna and the left forward fuselage section of the Boeing 727. The jet continued straight ahead momentarily, then nosed over and fell rapidly to the ground. The Cessna disintegrated in flight and crashed.

Weather included a 2500 feet ceiling with broken clouds and 4 miles visibility in haze.

PROBABLE CAUSE: "The deviation of the Cessna from its IFR clearance resulting in a flight path into airspace allocated to the Piedmont Boeing 727. The reason for such deviation cannot be specifically or positively identified. The minimum control procedures utilized by the FAA in handling of the Cessna were a contributing factor."

Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: NTSB
Report number: File 1-0005
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 1 year 1 month
Download report: Final report



  • 8th worst accident in 1967
  • 9th worst accident of this aircraft type
  • 2nd worst accident of this aircraft type at the time



photo (c) NTSB; near Hendersonville, NC; 19 July 1967; (publicdomain)

photo (c) Bob Garrard; New York-La Guardia Airport, NY (LGA/KLGA); May 1967

Revision history:


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