NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — This week in Connecticut history, the horrific crash that to this day affects every commercial flight in America.
You’ve heard this announcement before a flight, letting you know where the plane doors are.
“This airplane has two exit doors in the front, four window exits over the wings, and two exit doors in the back.”
That rule was born on June 7, 1971.
A small commuter plane, Allegheny Air Flight 485, carrying 30 people, crashed into some houses while trying to land in thick fog at Tweed-New Haven Airport.
The small commuter prop plane started the day in Washington. New London was the first stop, but the fog was so thick they circled for 30 minutes. It took three tries, but the plane finally landed. They were behind schedule. The pilot took off for New Haven 10 minutes later.
The pilot tried to get under the fog over the Sound to see the runway, but it was too low. The plane clipped three cottages and crashed.
Twenty-eight people died, but only one died on impact. The rest died in the fire because they couldn’t get out.
The investigation ruled the crash resulted from a pilot error and new federal laws were mandated.
Air passengers know where the exits are and are shown how to use them.