An American Flyers L-188 at Lindbergh Field (1963)
|Date||April 22 1966|
|Site||2.4 km northeast of Ardmore Municipal Airport, United States|
|Aircraft type||Lockheed L-188 Electra|
|Operator||American Flyers Airline|
|Flight origin||Monterey Regional Airport, United States|
|Destination||Ardmore Municipal Airport, United States|
American Flyers Flight 280 was a flight operated on a U.S. Military Air Command contract from Monterey Regional Airport in California to Columbus Airport in Georgia, via Ardmore Municipal Airport, Oklahoma. On April 22, 1966, while approaching Runway 8 at Ardmore, the aircraft overshot the runway and crashed into a hill, bursting into flames. Eighty-three of the 98 passengers and crew on board died as a result of the accident.
Investigators found no evidence of mechanical failure or defect. Some days after the crash, it was learned that the pilot, Reed Pigman, who also happened to be the president of American Flyers, was under care for arteriosclerosis. An autopsy of Pigman determined his cause of death to either be multiple injuries or coronary artery sclerosis.
It was also determined that Reed Pigman had falsified his application for a first-class medical certificate. He had not disclosed that he was diabetic or that he had a history of heart issues dating back almost two decades; both of these would have been disqualifying factors for the certificate.
The probable cause for the accident was:
The incapacitation, due to a coronary insufficiency, of the pilot-in-command at a critical point during visual, circling approach being conducted under instrument flight conditions.
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