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Eastern Air Lines Flight 212 was a regularly scheduled flight between Charleston, South Carolina and Chicago Illinois with a stop at Charlotte, North Carolina.

The Douglas DC-9-31 carried 78 passengers and four crew members.


The aircraft was a five-year-old McDonnell Douglas DC-9-31 registered as N8984E. The aircraft was delivered to Eastern Air Lines on 30 January 1969.

The captain was 49-year-old pilot James Edward Reeves. He had been a member of Eastern Air Lines since 1956. He had a total of 8,876 flight hours, including 3,856 on the DC-9.

The F/O was 36-year-old James M Daniels Jr. He had been with Eastern Air Lines since 1966, raking up 3,016 flight hours including 2,693 on the DC-9.

Eastern Airlines Flight 212

On Wednesday 11 September 1974, the Douglas DC-9-31 was conducting an instrument approach into Douglas Municipal Airport. The weather was reported to be dense ground fog.

The Douglas DC-9 crashed more than 16,000ft short from runway 36. Thirteen survived the initial impact at 7:34 EDT. However, three died later from severe burn injuries.

Notable People

James William Colbert Jr - Stephen Colbert's father and his two brothers were involved in Eastern Air Lines flight 212. The interview can be viewed here.

Crash Investigations

The NTSB (National Transportation Safety Board) investigated the accident, and after reviewing the CVR, the NTSB found the flight crew engaged in unnecessary and nonpertinent conversation during final approach into runway 36.

In addition, distraction was a key issue. Both pilots were attempting to locate Carowinds amusement park tower. After the aircraft rose to 1,314 feet, the pilots were thought to have been distracted and confused. None of the necessary callouts was made by the pilot.

Crash Coordinates

35°09′14″N 80°55′34″W

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