Event Details

Title:Descent and crash into Everglades, Eastern Air Lines, Inc., L-1011, N310EA, Miami, Florida, December 29, 1972
Micro summary:This Lockheed L-1011 gradually descended into the Everglades while diagnosing a gear problem.
Event Time:1972-12-29 at 2342 EST
File Name:1972-12-29-US.pdf
Publishing Agency:National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB)
Publishing Country:USA
Report number:NTSB-AAR-73-14
Site of event:18.7 miles west-northwest of MIA
Latitude/Longitude:N2552' W08036'
Departure:John F. Kennedy International Airport, Jamaica, New York, USA
Destination:Miami International Airport, Miami, Florida, USA
Airplane Type(s):Lockheed L-1011
Flight Phase:Approach
Operator(s):Eastern Air Lines
Type of flight:Revenue
Serious Injuries:75
Other Injuries:0
Executive Summary:An Eastern Air Lines Lockheed L-1011 crashed at 2342 eastern standard time, December 29, 1972, approximately 18 miles west-northwest of Miami International Airport, Miami, Florida. The aircraft was destroyed. There were 163 passengers and a crew of 13 aboard the aircraft; 94 passengers and 5 crewmembers received fatal injuries. All other occupants received injuries which ranged in severity from minor to critical.

The flight diverted from its approach to Miami International Airport because the nose landing gear position indicating system of the aircraft did not indicate that the nose gear was locked in the down position. The aircraft climbed to 2,000 feet mean sea level and followed a clearance to proceed west from the airport at that altitude. During this time, the crew attempted to correct the malfunction and to determine whether or not the nose landing gear was extended.

The aircraft crashed into the Everglades shortly after being cleared by Miami Approach Control for a left turn back to Miami International Airport. Surviving passengers and crewmembers stated that the flight was routine and operated normally before impact with the ground.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines that the probable cause of this accident was the failure of the flight crew to monitor the flight instruments during the final 4 minutes of flight, and to detect an unexpected descent soon enough to prevent impact with the ground. Preoccupation with a malfunction of the nose landing gear position indicating system distracted the crew's attention from the instruments and allowed the descent to go unnoticed.
Learning Keywords:Operations - Crew Resource Management
Operations - Controlled Flight Into Terrain
Operations - Task Saturation
Systems - Landing Gear
Consequence - Hull Loss


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