Historical Marker #2343 commemorates American Airlines flight #383, which crashed in Boone County on November 8, 1965, as it was landing at the Greater Cincinnati Airport in Constance.
American Airlines flight 383, a Boeing 727, N1996, was a non-stop flight from LaGuardia Airport (New York) to the Greater Cincinnati Airport. The airplane departed New York at 5:38 p.m. and was scheduled to arrive in Cincinnati around 7:00 p.m. The plane was flown by Captain Dan Teelin, a veteran pilot who had been with American Airlines for more than ten years, and Captain William J. O’Neil, who was being upgraded to captain on the 727.
It was a routine flight. At 6:57 p.m., the flight crew notified Cincinnati that it was on its final approach. The tower notified Captain Teelin that there was rain in the area, and the captain relayed that the visibility was getting bad. The tower told the crew that the runway lights were on high, but the plane crashed into a wooded hillside two miles north of the runway just five seconds later. The plane broke apart and went up in flames. There were two survivors in the front of the plane and two in the back, but the other fifty-eight passengers perished.
After the investigation, the CAB’s "probable cause" finding was an indictment of the two pilots and not the airplane. They decided that the accident was caused by "a failure of the crew to properly monitor the altimeters during a visual approach into deteriorating visibility conditions."
As a result of this accident, the Greater Cincinnati Airport built a new and safer 7,800-foot east-west runway which opened on April 1, 1967. The airport then proceeded with plans for a $1.2 million extension of the only north-south runway (at the time) to a total of 9,500 feet. The new runway system was able to handle any type of aircraft.
The marker reads:
CRASH OF AA FLIGHT 383
American Airlines flight 383, tail #N1996, was making an approach in rain when it crashed into this hillside on November 8, 1965 at 7:01 p.m. The 3-engine Boeing 727 Astrojet was en route from New York to Cincinnati. 58 people perished, four of whom were Kentuckians. One crew member and three passengers survived.
CRASH OF AA FLIGHT 383
(Reverse) This was the second in a series of four 727 crashes within 7 months. The Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB) ruled pilot error as the cause. As a result, all airlines modified their training manuals, and pilots were re-oriented to the characteristics of this safe aircraft. A new and safer 7800-foot east-west runway was completed in April 1967.
This marker was dedicated on May 21, 2011.