Upperville, VA TWA 727 Jet Crashes into Mount Weather, Dec 1974

TWA Crash into Mount Weather, Dec 1974 Mount Weather VA plane crash site.jpg Upperville, VA TWA 727 Crash site, photo by Stu Beitler

JOHN L. SOUTHGATE, 34, Indianapolis, insurance agent.
JOHN A. DePEW, 70, Indianapolis, business consultant.
TIM HARLAN, 29, Vienna, Va., freelance television newsman.
DAVID MAHIGIAN, Bloomington, Ind.
DAN W. DUBE, Whiteland, Ind.
MISS LEE GRIFFIN, Indianapolis.
WENDY DISMORE, 10, daughter of Col. And MRS. DISMORE.
CHARLES E. LUNN, early 50's, Marion, Ind., Veterans Administration hospital director.
WENDELL THOMAS, early 50's, Gas City, Ind., VA hospital official.
ROBERT LONG, Franklin, Va.
MARY J. BROWN, 29, Washington.
JAMES CURTIS, 31, Washington.
Pvt. GERALD J. SEYMOUR, Terre Haute, Ind., stationed at Ft. Belvoir, Va.
CHARLES PIERCE, Speedway, Ind.
DR. ALBERT S. GOLDBLATT, Washington, a dentist.
EDWARD KNARTZER, 35, Gary, Ind., FBI agent.
ORVILLE ROE, Lafayette, Ind., area.
MRS. ORVILLE ROE, of the Lafayette, Ind., area, wife of ORVILLE ROE.
MICHEL STOKES, 30, Washington, sales representative.
JAKE APPLEWHITE, 28, Washington, congressional aide.
D. HOLZHUSEN, military.
MATTHEW HARTLEY, Indianapolis.
CARL E. ZISLER, Carmel, Ind.
MARY ZISLER, Carmel, Ind., wife of CARL E. ZISLER.
HERMAN HASENKAMPF, 24, Bloomington, Ind., university student from New Orleans.
DONALD JERGER, Washington, Ind.
R. L. NOXON, Springfield, Va.
MRS. R. L. NOXON, Springfield, Va., wife of R. L. NOXON.

The Anderson Herald Indiana 1974-12-03


TWA Flight 514, registration N54328, was a Boeing 727-231 en route from Indianapolis, Indiana, and Columbus, Ohio, to Washington Dulles International that crashed into Mount Weather, Virginia, on December 1, 1974. All 85 passengers and 7 crew members were killed.

The flight was originally destined for Washington National Airport. However, the plane diverted to Dulles when high crosswinds, east at 28 knots (52 km/h) and gusting to 49 knots (91 km/h), prevented safe operations on the main north-south runway at Washington National. The flight was being vectored for a non-precision instrument approach to runway 12 at Dulles. Air traffic controllers cleared the flight down to 7,000 feet before clearing them for the approach while not on a published segment.

The jetliner began a descent to 1,800 feet shown on the first checkpoint for the published approach. The data recorder indicated there was some confusion in the cockpit over whether they were still under a radar controlled approach segment which would allow them to descend safely. After reaching 1,800 feet there were some 100-to-200-foot (30 to 60 m) altitude deviations which the flight crew discussed as encountering heavy downdrafts and reduced visibility in snow. The plane impacted the west slope of Mount Weather at 1,670 feet above sea level at approximately 230 knots (430 km/h; 260 mph)... Calculations indicated that the left wing went down about 6 degrees as the aircraft passed through the trees and the aircraft was descending at an angle of about 1 degree. After about 500 feet (150 m) of travel through the trees, the aircraft struck a rock outcropping at an elevation of about 1,675 feet (511 m). Numerous heavy components of the aircraft were thrown forward of the outcropping. Numerous intense post-impact fires were located, and extinguished. The mountain's summit is at 1,754 feet (535 m).

The accident investigation board was split in its decision as to whether the flight crew or Air Traffic Control were responsible. The majority absolved the controllers as the plane was not on a published approach segment. The dissenting opinion was that the flight had been radar vectored. Terminology between pilots and controllers differed without either group being aware of the discrepancy. It was common practice at the time for controllers to release a flight to its own navigation with "Cleared for the approach," and flight crews commonly believed that was also authorization to descend to the altitude at which the final segment of the approach began. No clear indication had been given by controllers to Flight 514 that they were no longer on a radar vector segment and therefore responsible for their own navigation. Procedures were clarified after this accident. Controllers now state, "Maintain (specified altitude) until established on a portion of the approach," and pilots now understand that previously assigned altitudes prevail until an altitude change is authorized on the published approach segment the aircraft is currently flying. Ground proximity detection equipment was also mandated for the airlines.



Flight 514

I too had a ticket for 514 as I had gone to my cousin's wedding in Bloomington and spent Sunday with a Roommate from Georgetown who was in Medical School in Indianapolis. We drank too many beers and at5AM I called and changed my ticket tomthenfollowing day. When Imgot up at 9:00 I saw the news. Never did know what happened. When I got to work the following day(pan American Health). Carlos, who,I shared an office with turned white as a ghost as he knew I was on the flight old told everyone in the office I had died. Told this story many times over the years.

1974 TWA Crash at Upperville VA

I was intending to fly to Chicago for Thanksgiving with 3 sons to visit my parents in Indiana. I succeeded in getting reservations on United I think, for DC to O,Hare but there were no seats on any flight available for return. So I reserved TWA out of Indianapolis into Dulles. I went downtown DC to pay for the flights at the TWA office on K street. I had just gotten and cashed my paycheck, so I had the full amount in cash for the round trip for the boys and me in my purse. At the TWA counter I opened my purse, and the money was not there. I even dumped it out on the floor much to the upset of others and could not find the money. I called my parents and told them and said we would cancel the trip and try again Christmas. On the evening we would have been flying into Dulles, we were watching TV and saw the announcement of the crash. I went into my purse to get my address book to make a call, and a money envelope slid out on the bed. It was my fare money. i exploded in tears. I too don't know why God saved us, but I went on to remarry and have three more children. Bless the souls of those who perished. Thank you Jesus for saving me and my sons.

twa flight 514 crash

i had a ticket for that flight. i was visiting a friend in indianapolis for thanksgiving and had to get back to the george washington univ. in d.c. where i was a senior. i awoke that morning to several feet of snow. that and a slight hangover made me want to go back to bed, which i did. my friend was strongly urging me to get on the flight because all other flights that day were booked solid. i told him to leave me alone and told him i would just fly standby on a later flight.

i went back to sleep only to be awakened by a news bulletin on TV 2 or 3 hours later. the reporter said flight 514 had crashed into mt. weather, va, and that there were no survivors.

i still do not know why god spared my life. but i am very grateful. i pray for those who were not spared and hope that their families have found peace.

twa 514 passenger list

Luzille Mosley should be Lucille Mosley from Cicero Illinois by birth, living in Peru, Indiana at time of crash, my mother, Marty Mosley and myself both held tickets to the flight, grandma panicked and wouldn't let my mom on board, told us to go home, and she was not returning, and she didn't, she always kept her word.. they did this on purpose, to get equiptment up on that mountain, to do more building for F.E.M.A., president wasn't there 6 weeks earlier when they lined up the crash originally, wouldn't have been a "National Emergency" with out the president though right?

the NTSB investigation clearly makes reference to the crash 6 weeks previous that was averted, this was an intentional act, I firmly beleive that.