Only known photo of N310EA
Only known photo of N310EA
Accident Perspectives:
Airplane Life Cycle
  • Operational
Accident Threat CategoriesGroupings
  • Crew Resource Management
  • Flight Deck Layout / Avionics Confusion
  • Approach and Landing
  • Automation
  • Controlled Flight Into Terrain
Accident Common Themes
  • Human Error
  • Pre-existing Failures
  • Unintended Effects
  • Organizational Lapses
  • Flawed Assumptions

Eastern Airlines Flight 401, Lockheed Model L-1011, N310EA

Location: Miami, Florida

Date: December 29, 1972


Eastern Airlines Flight 401 crashed into the Florida Everglades while on approach to Miami International Airport. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) determined that the crash was the result of an inadvertent autopilot disconnection that went unnoticed by the flightcrew as they were attempting to correct an unsafe landing gear position indication. The NTSB determined that the uncommanded descent into the Everglades was the result of the flightcrew's failure to monitor the airplane's flight path and an improper division of duties on the flight deck while troubleshooting an anomalous system indication. Of the 163 persons on board 112 were killed in the crash. This accident was one of the precipitating accidents leading to the development and industry-wide adoption of flightcrew resource management philosophies and training.