American Flyers Flight 280

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American Flyers Flight 280
Lockheed L-188C Electra, American Flyers Airline (AFA) JP7676494.jpg
An American Flyers L-188 at Lindbergh Field (1963)
Accident summary
Date April 22 1966
Summary Pilot incapacitation
Site 2.4 km northeast of Ardmore Municipal Airport, United States
Passengers 93
Crew 5
Fatalities 83
Survivors 15
Aircraft type Lockheed L-188 Electra
Operator American Flyers Airline
Registration N183H
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.[1] Eighty-three of the 98 passengers and crew on board died as a result of the accident.


The aircraft was a Lockheed L-188C Electra four-engined turboprop airline registered as N183H.[2] It had first flown in January 1961 and was bought by American Flyers Airline in January 1963.[3]


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.[4] A autopsy of Pigman determined his cause of death to either be multiple injuries or coronary artery sclerosis.[5]

It was also determined that Reed Pigman had falsified his application for a first class medical certificate and that he was also suffering from diabetes.[6] Both of these conditions would have been disqualifying factors for issuance of 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.[2]


  1. ^ "Investigators seek cause of air crash fatal to 81." Associated Press at the Eugene Register-Guard. Saturday April 23, 1966. City Edition. 99th Year, No. 192. 1A. Retrieved from Google News (1 of 10) on November 22, 2012.
  2. ^ a b "ASN Aircraft accident Lockheed L-188C Electra N183H Ardmore Municipal Airport, OK (ADM)". 1966-04-22. Retrieved 2012-12-22. 
  3. ^ Eastwood, Tony (1990). Turbo Prop Airliner Production List. The Aviation Hobby Shop. p. 321. ISBN 978-0-907178-32-3. 
  4. ^ "Pilot involved in fatal crash had ailment." United Press International at The Times-News (Hendersonville, North Carolina). Saturday May 14, 1966. Volume 91, No. 115. Page 1. Retrieved from Google Books (1 of 6) on December 22, 2012.
  5. ^ "Autopsy rates heart ailment as advanced." United Press International at The Altus Times-Democrat. Thursday May 26, 1966. Volume 40, No. 101. Page 1. Retrieved from Google Books (1 of 14) on December 22, 2012.
  6. ^ Gero, David (1996). Aviation Disasters Second Edition. Patrick Stephens Limited. p. 70. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 34°19′46″N 96°58′55″W / 34.3294°N 96.9819°W / 34.3294; -96.9819