Southern Airways Flight 242 crash site
Crash Site Location in New Hope, Georgia
This is the location where Southern Airways Flight 242 crashed.
The crash site is situated on the Dallas-Acworth Highway in New Hope, Georgia.
On April 4th, 1977, Southern Airways Flight 242 took off from Huntsville, Alabama, and proceeded to fly southeast towards Atlanta, Georgia.
Although the flight crew had been warned about the presence of thunderstorms along their route, they were not told that the weather conditions had significantly worsened.
When the pilots encountered the storm, they attempted to find a safe path through it. However, they were misled by their radar system, which had been negatively impacted by the heavy rainfall. As a result, they flew directly into a thunderstorm cell that was producing large amounts of rain and hail.
The result was disastrous, as the severe precipitation damaged both of the aircraft's jet engines. To make matters worse, the windshield was also cracked by the hailstones.
When the engines suffered a flameout and lost power, the aircraft began to slowly glide downward.
Realizing the severity of the situation, the crew immediately started searching for locations to make an emergency landing. Unfortunately, it was soon determined that both of the nearest options were out of reach.
As they continued to lose altitude, the pilots saw State Route 381 below and decided that it was their only hope of making a forced landing.
Despite their best efforts, the landing was not a success, as the two-lane highway was too narrow for the Douglas DC-9. Moments after touching the ground, the aircraft struck a gas station, veered to the left, and then crashed into a wooded area that was filled with pine trees.
The impact and subsequent fire killed 72 people. The death toll included 61 passengers, 9 people on the ground, and both pilots.
Among the ground fatalities were seven members of the Griffin-Gamel family, who died after the aircraft struck their Toyota compact while they were parked outside of a grocery store.
R&B singer Annette Snell was one of the many passengers who lost their lives in the crash, as she had been flying back to Florida via Atlanta.
22 people survived thanks to the heroic efforts of the townspeople of New Hope, many of whom responded to the accident with makeshift stretchers, blankets, and bandages that they had made out of everyday items.
To this day, Flight 242 remains the worst aircraft disaster in Georgia's history.
Further information is available in the "Photos" section below.
Flight 242 crash site location
Below, you will find the address and the GPS coordinates for this location.
Dallas-Acworth Highway, New Hope, Georgia, GA 30132, USA
To view directions on how to get there, you can use the Google Maps shortcut below:
The latitude and longitude coordinates for the site are:
Flight 242 crashed on the Dallas-Acworth Highway in New Hope, Georgia. At the time, it was called State Route 381 (SR 381). The aircraft touched down at the intersection of the Dallas-Acworth Highway and Due West Road. It then continued northward for about 500 yards before crashing into a wooded area on the left.
Details about the general area
New Hope is a small town in Paulding County, which is situated in the northwest of Georgia.
Photos of the site and other related images.
Image source: Google Maps
This aerial map shows the path that Southern Airways Flight 242 took before it crashed.
The aircraft landed at the intersection of Dallas-Acworth Highway and Due West Road in New Hope. It then proceeded north along the highway until it struck a gas station and veered into a wooded area on its left.
The Google Street View image above was captured in May 2022.
It was taken close to the entrance of Bickers Road, which is just 270 feet south of the crash site.
The red circle highlights the general area where the aircraft crashed into the woods.
The Douglas DC-9 broke into several parts after it collided with the pine trees. Both of the pilots died almost instantly after the cockpit separated from the aircraft and landed upside down.
Some of the passengers who survived the initial impact died because they were too badly injured to escape the smoke and fumes.
An investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) concluded that the jet engines had lost all thrust due to a massive intake of water. They also placed the blame on Southern Airways' dispatching system for not providing updated weather information.
One of the NTSB board members dissented from the others by blaming the captain for not avoiding the severe weather. However, he also acknowledged that the Federal Aviation Administration's traffic control system was partially at fault, as it lacked the ability to provide pilots with real-time information about hazardous weather.
Rhythm and blues singer Annette Snell was on board Flight 242 when it crashed. At the time, the 32-year-old was traveling back to Orlando, Florida, via Atlanta, Georgia.
Snell was a former member of the girl group the Fabulettes. In the days leading up to her death, she had been recording songs for her latest solo album in Muscle Shoals, Alabama.
Flight 242 memorial
A memorial for Flight 242 was built at the southern end of the New Hope Cemetery. It is roughly 720 yards (660 meters) south of the crash site.
The large stone monument in the middle lists the names of each fatality and survivor.
Coordinates: 33.957774, -84.790535
This is a north-facing aerial image of the Dallas-Acworth Highway. Back in 1977, this stretch of road belonged to Georgia State Route 92.
When the aircraft landed, its left wing struck a gas station on the southern corner of Route 92 and Bickers Road. This caused it to veer off into the wooded residential area on the left.
Google Street View
The Google Street View image above shows the wooded area where the Douglas DC-9 crashed.
As you can see, there are no visible signs that such a tragedy ever occurred at this location.
Newman's grocery store sat on this corner beside Bickers Road.
Seven members of the Griffin-Gamel family were killed when the plane's wing struck a gas tank beside the store.
Newman's was completely gutted by the ensuing explosion and fire. Fortunately, many staff members and customers were able to escape via a back door before the building was engulfed in flames.
Coordinates: 33.961630, -84.787407
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