On December 29, 1972, Eastern Flight 401 crashed into the Florida everglades with 163 passengers and 13 crew on board. There were only 75 “miracle” survivors. The Lockheed L1011 was left unmanned and flew itself into the ground. The flight deck crew were busy trying to diagnose a landing gear light that had not illuminated and believed the autopilot was flying the plane. By the time the crew realized what was happening it was too late. The captain pulled back on the yoke and banked the aircraft to the left, causing the wing to contact the ground and the plane to crash.
For more information and stories about those who survived and those who did not, please visit the Miami Herald’s Flight 401 documentary website.
Some quick facts:
– This accident represents the first loss of a Lockheed L1011
– This is the third worst accident involving an L1011
– Currently, this accident is the 16th worst airline accident in US history.
For more information about the investigation, the NTSB’s accident investigation report, and the cockpit voice recorder transcript, please visit the Aviation Safety Network.