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Accident Report Detail

Northeast Airlines, Inc., Fairchild Hiller FH-227C, N380NE

Executive Summary

A Northeast Airlines, Inc., Fairchild Hiller FH-227C, N380NE, crashed at approximately 1817 e.d.t., October 25, 1968, near Hanover, Nev Hampshire. The aircraft, Flight 946, had been cleared for an approach to the Lebanon Regional Airport, West Lebanon, New Hampshire, at 1808. The aircraft crashed 3.8 nautical miles northeast of the VOR station at an altitude of approximately 2,231 feet m.s.l. At this point in a standard instrument approach, the aircraft should have been no lower than 2,800 feet m.s.l. Witnesses on the ground and survivors of the accident reported that the mountaintop was shrouded in cloud or fog at the time of the accident.

Of the 39 passengers and three crewmembers aboard the aircraft, nine passengers and one crewmember, the stewardess, survived the accident. The aircraft was destroyed by impact and postimpact fire.

Probable Cause

The Board determines that the probable cause of this accident ws the premature initiation of a descent; towards the Minimum Descent Altitude, based on navigational instrument indications of an impending station passage in an area of course roughness. The crew was not able to determine accurately its position at this time because they had performed a nonstandard instrument approach and there were no supplemental navigational aids available for their use.

Accident Location: Hanover , NH    
Accident Date: 10/25/1968
Accident ID: DCA69A0004

Date Adopted: 4/1/1970
NTSB Number: AAR-70-07
NTIS Number: PB-191201

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