April 4, 1977
New Hope, Georgia
Southern Airways, Flight 242
McDonnell Douglas DC-9-31

The aircraft sustained a broken windshield and loss of power to both engines after
penetrating a thunderstorm and encountering hail. The plane crash landed on a highway
and exploded in flames. Total and unique loss of thrust from both engines while the
aircraft was penetrating an area of severe thunderstorms with heavy precipitation and hail.
Conntributing factor was the company's dispatcher to provide the flight crew with up-to-
date severe weather information. Sixty-two out of 85 aboard were killed.

Capt = Captain
FO = First Officer (flying the plane)
AC = Atlanta Center
AA = Atlanta Approach
CAM = Cockpit area mike

4:03:48 Capt: "Looks heavy, nothing’s going through that."
4:03:54 Capt: "See that?"
4:03:56 FO: "That’s a hole , isn’t it?"
4:03:57 Capt: "It’s not showing a hole; see it?"
4:04:05 CAM: (Sound of rain)
4:04:08 FO: "Do you want to go around that right now?"
4:04:19 Capt: "Hand fly at about two eighty-five knots."
FO: "Two eight five."
4:04:30 CAM: (Sound of hail and rain)
4:04:53 S242: "Southern Two-Forty-Two, we’re slowing it up here a little bit."
4:04:53 AC: "Two-Forty-Two, roger."
4:05:53 FO: "Which way do we go, cross here or go out—I don’t know how we get through there, Bill."
Capt: "I know you’re just gonna have to go out…."
FO: "Yeah, right across that band."
4:06:01 Capt: "All clear left approximately right now; I think we can cut across there now."
4:06:12 FO: "All right, here we go."
4:06:25 FO: "We’re picking up some ice, Bill."
4:06:29 Capt: "We are above 10 degrees."
FO: "Right at 10."
Capt: "Yeah."
4:06:30 AC (to TWA 584): "I show the weather up northwest of that position north of Rome, just on the edge of it—I tell you what, maintain one five thousand."
4:06:38 TWA 584: "Maintain one five thousand; we paint pretty good weather one or two o’clock."
4:06:41 FO: "He’s got to be right through that hole about now."
4:06:42 AC: "Southern Two-Forty-Two descend and maintain one four thousand at this time."
4:06:46 Capt: "Who’s that?"
4:06:48 FO: "TWA."
AC: "Southern Two-Forty-Two, descend and maintain one four thousand."
4:06:53 S242: "Two-Forty-Two down to fourteen."
4:06:55 AC: "Affirmative."
CAM: (Heavy hail or rain sound starts and continues until power interruption.)
4:07:00 AC: "Southern Two-Forty-Two, Atlanta altimeter two-niner-five-six, and cross 40 miles northwest of Atlanta two-five-zero knots."
CAM: (Sound similar to electrical disturbance)
4:07:57 CAM: (Power interruption for 36 seconds)
4:08:33 CAM: (Power restored)
CAM: (Sound of rain continues for 40 seconds)
4:08:34 AC: "Southern Two-Forty-Two, Atlanta."
4:08:37 FO: "Got it, got it back, Bill; got it back, got it back [probably referring to the engines]."
4:08:42 S242: "Uh, Two-Forty-Two, stand by."
4:08:46 AC: "Say again."
4:08:48 S242: "Stand by."
4:08:49 AC: "Roger, maintain one five thousand if you understand me; maintain one five thousand, Southern Two-Forty-Two."
4:08:55 S242: "We’re trying to get it up there."
4:08:57 AC: "Roger."
4:09:15 S242: "Okay, uh, Two-Forty-Two, uh, we just got our windshield busted and, uh, we’ll try to get it back up to fifteen, we’re fourteen."
4:09:24 FO: "Fifteen thousand."
4:09:25 AC: "Southern Two-Forty-Two, you say you’re at fourteen now?"
4:09:27 S242: "Yeah, uh, couldn’t help it."
4:09:30 AC: "That’s OK, uh, are you squawking five-six-two-three?"
4:09:36 FO: "Left engine won’t spool."
4:09:37 S242: "Our left engine just cut out."
4:09:42 AC: "Southern Two-Forty-Two roger, and, uh, lost your transponder, squawk five-six-two-three."
4:09:43  FO: "I am squawking five-six-two-three, tell him I’m level fourteen."
4:09:49 S242: "Five-six-two-three, we’re squawking."
4:09:53 AC: "Say you lost an engine and, uh, busted a windshield?"
4:09:56 S242: "Yes sir."
4:09:59 Capt: "Autopilot’s off."
FO: "I’ve got it; I’ll hand-fly it."
4:10:00 AC: "Southern Two-Forty-Two, you can descend and maintain one three thousand now, that’ll get you down a little lower."
4:10:04 FO: "My (deleted), the other engine’s going, too (deleted)"
4:10:05 S242: "Got the other engine going, too."
4:10:08 AC: "Southern Two-Forty-Two, say again."
4:10:10 S242: "Stand by—we lost both engines."
4:10:14 FO: "All right, Bill, get us a vector to a clear area."
4:10:16 S242: "Get us a vector to a clear area, Atlanta."
4:10:20 AC: "Uh, continue present southeastern bound heading; TWA’s off to your left about 14 miles at fourteen thousand and says he’s in the clear."
4:10:25 S242: "OK."
4:10:27 S242: "Want us to turn left?"
4:10:30 AC: "Southern Two-Forty-Two, contact approach control, one two six point nine, and they’ll try to get you straight into Dobbins."
4:10:35 S242: "One two—."
4:10:36  FO: "Give me—I’m familiar with Dobbins; tell them to give me a vector to Dobbins if they’re clear.
4:10:38 S242: "Give me, uh, vector to Dobbins if they’re clear."
4:10:41 AC: "Southern Two-Forty-Two, one twenty-six point nine, they’ll give you a vector to Dobbins."
4:10:45 S242: "Twenty-six nine, OK."
4:10:50 FO: "Ignition override, it’s gotta work by (deleted)."
4:10:56 CAM: [Power interruption for 2 minutes, 4 seconds]
4:13:00 CAM: [Power restored]
4:13:03 Capt: "There we go."
FO: "Get us a vector to Dobbins."
4:13:04 S242: "Uh, Atlanta, you read Southern Two-Forty-Two?"
4:13:08 AA: "Southern Two-Forty-Two, Atlanta approach control; uh, go ahead.
4:13:11 S242:  "Uh, we’ve lost both engines—how about giving us a vector to the nearest place. We’re at seven thousand feet.
4:13:17 AA: "Southern Two-Forty-Two, roger, turn right heading one zero zero, will be vectors to Dobbins for a straight-in approach Runway One-One, altimeter two niner five two, your position is 15, correction 20 miles west of Dobbins at this time."
4:13:18 FO: "What’s Dobbins’ weather, Bill? How far is it? How far is it?"
4:13:31 S242:  "Okay, uh, one-forty heading and 20 miles."
4:13:35 AA: "Ah, make a heading of one-two-zero, Southern Two-Forty-Two, right turn to one-two-zero."
4:13:40 S242: "Okay, right turn to one-two-zero and, uh, you got us our squawk, haven’t you, on emergency?"
FO: "Declare an emergency, Bill."
4:13:45 AA: "Uh, I’m not receiving it. But radar contact; your position is 20 miles west of Dobbins."
4:14:03 FO: "Get those engines (deleted)."
4:14:24 S242: "All right, listen, we’ve lost both engines, and, uh, I can’t, uh, tell you the implications of this—we, uh, only got two engines and how far is Dobbins now?"
4:14:34 AA: "Southern, uh, Two-Forty-Two, uh, 19 miles."
4:14:40 S242: "OK, we’re out of, uh, fifty-eight hundred, 200 knots."
4:14:44 FO:  "What’s our speed? Let’s see, what’s our weight, Bill? Get me a bug speed."
4:14:45 AA: "Southern Two-Forty-Two, do you have one engine running now?"
4:14:47 FO: "No."
4:14:48 S242: "Negative, no engines."
4:14:50 AA: "Roger."
4:14:59 Capt: "One twenty six." [This probably refers to the final approach speed.]
FO: "One twenty six."
4:15:04 Capt: "Just don’t stall this thing out."
FO: "No, I won’t."
Capt: "Get your wing flaps."
CAM: [Sound of lever movement.]
4:15:11 FO: "Got it, got hydraulics so we got…."
Capt: "We got hydraulics."
4:15:17  FO: "What’s the Dobbins weather?
4:15:18 S242: "What’s your Dobbins weather?"
4:15 AA: "Stand by."
4:15:25  FO: "Get Dobbins on the approach plate."
4:15:42 Capt: "I can’t find Dobbins. Tell me where’s it at? Atlanta?"
FO: "Yes."
4:15:46 AA: Southern Two-Forty-Two, Dobbins weather is two thousand scattered, estimated ceiling three thousand broken, seven thousand overcast, visibility seven miles."
4:15:57 S242:  "OK, we’re down to forty-six hundred now."
4:15:59 FO: "How far is it? How far is it?"
4:16:00 AA: "Roger, and you’re approximately, uh, 17 miles west of Dobbins at this time."
4:16:05 S242:  "I don’t know whether we can make that or not."
4:16:07 AA: "Roger."
4:16:11  FO: "Ah, ask him if there is anything between here and Dobbins?
Capt: "What?"
FO: "Ask him if there is anything between here and Dobbins."
4:16:25 S242: "Uh, is there any airport between our position and Dobbins?"
4:16:29 AA: "Southern Two-Forty-Two, uh, no sir, uh, closest airport is Dobbins."
4:16:34 S242: "I doubt we’re going to make it, but we’re trying everything to get something started."
4:16:38 AA: AA: "Roger, well, there is Cartersville; you’re approximately 10 miles south of Cartersville, 15 miles west of Dobbins."
4:16:44 FO: "We’ll take a vector to that. Yes, we’ll have to go there."
4:16:45 S242: "Can you give us a vector to Cartersville?"
4:16:47 AA: "All right, turn left, heading of three-six-zero be directly, uh, direct vector to Cartersville."
4:16:52 S242: "Three six zero, roger."
FO: "What runway? What’s the heading on the runway?"
4:16:53 S242: "What’s the runway heading?"
4:16:58 AA: "Stand by."
4:16:59 S242: "And how long is it?"
4:17:00 AA: "Stand by."
4:17:08 Capt:  "Like we are, I’m picking out a clear field."
4:17:12  FO: "Bill, you’ve got to find me a highway."
Capt: "Let’s get the next clear open field."
FO: "No (deleted)."
4:17:35 Capt: "See a highway over—no cars."
FO: "Right there, is that straight?"
4:17:39 Capt: "No."
4:17:44 AA: "Southern Two-Forty-Two, the runway configuration…"
FO: "We’ll have to take it."
4:17:55  AA:  "…at Cartersville is, uh, three six zero and running north and south and the elevation is seven hundred fifty-six feet and, uh, trying to get the length of now—it’s three thousand two hundred feet long."
4:17:58 CAM: [Beep on gear horn.]
CAM: [Gear horn steady for 4 seconds.]
4:18:02 S242:  "Uh, we’re putting it on the highway, we’re down to nothing."
4:18:07 FO: "Flaps."
Capt: "They’re at fifty."
FO: "Oh (deleted), Bill, I hope we can do it."
4:18:14 FO:  "I’ve got it, I got it."
4:18:15 FO: "I’m going to land right over that guy."
4:18:20 Capt:  "There’s a car ahead."
4:18:25  FO: "I got it Bill, I’ve got it now, I got it.
Capt:  "OK."
4:18:30 Capt: "Don’t stall it."
FO: "I gotta bug."
4:18:31  FO: "We’re going to do it right here."
4:18:34 FO: "I got it."
4:18:36 CAM: [Sound of breakup.]
4:18:43 End of tape.

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