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Top 10 Sporting Airline Disasters

VanOwensBody . . . Comments

Travel is a fact of life for many athletes, and since the advent of air transportation, many sports teams have chosen to forgo the ship, train or bus and make the trip via air. Over the last 60 years, as air travel became routine, several sports teams failed to arrive at their planned destination. What is inspiring is that in so many of these tragedies, the teams decided to play on, usually with junior team members, volunteers, athletes from other sports and even athletes loaned from opposing teams. Here are the top ten airplane disasters involving sports teams.


Alianza Lima Peru Football Team


The 1987 Alianza Lima air disaster took place on December 8, 1987, when a Peruvian Navy Fokker F27-400M, chartered by Peruvian football club Alianza Lima, plunged into the Pacific Ocean six miles short of its destination. On board the flight were a total of 44 players, managers, staff, cheerleaders and crewmembers, of which only the pilot survived the accident. The team was returning from a Peruvian league match when the aircrew thought they noticed a malfunctioning indicator on the control panel, which appeared to show the planes landing gear had not deployed. The pilot requested a flyby of the control tower so that spotters on the ground could confirm that the plane’s landing gear was down and locked. Upon receiving visual confirmation of safe configuration for landing, the plane went around for another attempt at a landing. The Fokker flew too low and plunged into the Pacific.

Following the crash, the Peruvian Navy shut itself off from the press, and did not release the results of its investigation, nor did it allow private investigations to take place. Allegations were made that the accident had been caused by the aircraft’s shoddy mechanical condition, and the Navy concealed the truth in order to save face. It was not until 2006 that the results of the official inquiry into the cause of the disaster came to light. The investigation cited the pilot’s lack of night flying experience, his misreading of the emergency procedures related to the landing gear issue, and the aircraft’s poor mechanical condition as contributing factors to the accident. The Peruvian Football Federation chose not to end the football season early, despite the loss of what amounted to the majority of Alianza’s team; the club played their last few matches with retired volunteers, players from its youth teams, and players loaned by a Chilean club. The accident was disastrous for Alianza, who lost their most promising squad in a decade.


US Amateur Boxing Team


LOT Polish Airlines Flight 007 crashed near Warsaw, Poland, on March 14, 1980, due to mechanical failure as the crew aborted a landing and attempted to go-around. All 87 crew and passengers died. On board were many members of the 1980 US amateur boxing team, many of whom were contenders to qualify for the 1980 US Olympic Boxing Team (the US subsequently boycotted the 1980 Olympics in Moscow). The team was going to Poland for boxing matches against Polish and Russian amateur boxers. Flight 007 departed New York City at 21:18, and after nine hours of an uneventful flight, it was approaching Warsaw Airport at 11:13 local time. During their final approach, about one minute before the landing, the crew reported that the landing gear indicator light was not operating, and that they would go-around and allow the flight engineer to check if it was caused by a burnt-out fuse or light bulb, or if there was actually some problem with the gears deploying.

Nine seconds after the last voice transmission the aircraft suddenly entered a steep dive. At 11:14:35, after 26 seconds of uncontrolled descent, the aircraft clipped a tree with its right wing and impacted the ice-covered moat of a 19th-century military fortress. At the last moment the pilot, using nothing but the plane’s ailerons, managed to avoid hitting a correctional facility for teenagers. On impact, the aircraft disintegrated; a large part of the main hull submerged in the moat. The moat had to be drained to allow the air crash investigation team to recover parts of the disintegrated plane. The body of the pilot was found lying on the street about sixty meters from the crash site; other bodies were scattered between the plane parts. According to the Polish government’s Special Disaster Commission, the crash was caused by defects in materials, faults in the manufacturing process of the jet engine’s shaft, and weaknesses in the design of its turbine.

Not on board the plane were other members of the US boxing team, including Johnny “Bump City” Bumphus who made the US Olympic team at 139 pounds. Bumphus would later go on to a successful professional boxing career and earn the title of WBA Light Welterweight Champion.


University of Evansville Basketball Team


On December 13,1977, a chartered DC-3 carrying the entire University of Evansville basketball team crashed in a field near the Evansville Regional Airport. Every member of the team and coaching staff on the plane was killed. One player was not able to attend the game and thus was not on the plane; however, soon afterward, he was killed in an automobile accident. The team was on its way to Nashville, Tennessee, for a game against Middle Tennessee University when it crashed in rain and fog about 90 seconds after take off from the Evansville Airport. Twenty-nine people died in the crash including fourteen members of the basketball team and its coach. Three people did survive the crash but died shortly thereafter. The NTSB determined the cause of the crash was improper weight balance and the failure of the crew to remove external safety locks.


Cal Poly Football Team

03 Teamphoto Large

The Cal Poly football team plane crash occurred on October 29, 1960, when a twin-engine C-46 prop liner, carrying the California Polytechnic State University football team, crashed on takeoff at the Toledo Express Airport in Toledo, Ohio. The World War II vintage aircraft broke in two and caught fire on impact. Twenty-two of the forty-eight people on board were killed, including sixteen players. The follow up investigation concluded that the aircraft had been overloaded by 2,000 lbs above its maximum certificated gross takeoff weight and that there was a partial power loss in the left engine prior to the crash. Prior to takeoff the weather at the airport steadily deteriorated until by the time of the accident the visibility was zero. Because of this crash, the FAA published a notice prohibiting takeoff for commercial aircraft when the visibility is below 1/4 mile, or the runway visual range is below 2000 ft.

The pilot who made the decision to take off was flying on a license that had been revoked, but was allowed to fly pending an appeal. At the time of the crash, Bowling Green State had been the easternmost opposing school that the Cal Poly football team had ever traveled to. The university canceled the final three games of the 1960 season. Cal Poly alumnus and NFL Hall of Fame coach John Madden’s fear of flying is commonly attributed to the crash, although he has said it instead stems from claustrophobia. Madden, who played football for Cal Poly from 1957–58, and was coaching at the nearby Allan Hancock Junior College at the time of the crash, knew many passengers aboard the plane. As a result of the crash, Cal Poly did not play any road games outside California until 1969.


Wichita State Football Team

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On Friday October 2, 1970, the Wichita State University football team was aboard a Martin 4-0-4 aircraft when it crashed into a mountain eight miles west of Silver Plume, Colorado. The airplane carried 36 passengers and a crew of four; 29 were killed at the scene and two later died of their injuries. It was one of two planes carrying the Wichita State University football team to Logan, Utah, for a game against Utah State University. The two aircraft were dubbed “Gold” and “Black”, after the team colors. “Gold”, the plane that would crash, carried the starting players, coaches and boosters, while “Black” transported the backup players and other support personnel. The pilot flying “Gold” had not been rated to flay a Martin 4-0-4. In addition, he planned to take a scenic route, which would depart the normal flight path going over the Rocky Mountains. The crew flying the other team aircraft, “Black”, would adhere to the original flight plan and take a more northerly route towards Wyoming after departing Denver, using a designated airway. This planned route allowed more time to gain altitude for the climb over the Rocky Mountains.

While the aircraft were being refueled and serviced in Denver, the pilot of the Gold Plane purchased a map to use to point out landmarks on the scenic route he planned for the final leg of the journey. After take-off in clear weather, the two planes took divergent paths away from Denver. Having departed the normal flight path, the overloaded Gold plane entered the mountains and became trapped in a box canyon and was unable to escape. At 1:14 p.m. the “Gold” aircraft struck trees on Mount Trelease, 1,600 feet below the summit, and crashed. The NTSB report stated a belief that many on board survived the initial impact, and a few survivors escaped the fuselage before it burst into flames, killing any others who had survived the crash.

The NTSB found the primary cause of the crash was “The intentional operation of the aircraft over a mountain valley route at an altitude from which the aircraft could neither climb over the obstructing terrain ahead, nor execute a successful course reversal. The game was canceled, and the Utah State football team held a memorial service at the stadium where the game was to be played and placed a wreath on the 50-yard line. The remaining Wichita team, with the NCAA allowing freshman players to fill out the squad, decided to continue the 1970 season. Wichita State ended varsity football after the 1986 season. Wichita State University built a memorial for those who had died from the crash called Memorial ’70. Every year on October 2, at 9 am, a wreath is placed at this memorial.


Torino A.C. Football Team


The Superga air disaster took place on Wednesday, 4 May, 1949, when a plane carrying almost the entire Torino A.C. football squad, popularly known as Il Grande Torino, crashed into the hill of Superga, near Turin, killing all 31 aboard, including 18 players, club officials, journalists accompanying the team and the plane’s crew. The Italian Airlines Fiat G212CP airplane carrying the team flew into a thunderstorm on the approach to Turin and encountered conditions of low cloud and poor visibility. They were forced to descend to be able to fly visually. While descending for Turin, the aircraft crashed against the base of the rear wall of the Basilica complex at the top of the hill of Superga. Italian authorities cited low cloud, poor radio aids and an error in navigation as factors contributing to the accident.

The emotional impact the crash made on Italian sports fans was profound, as it claimed the lives of the players of a legendary team which had won the last Serie A title before the league play was interrupted in 1944 by World War II and had then returned after the conflict to win four consecutive titles (1946–1949). At the time of the crash, Torino A.C. was leading Serie A with four games left to play in the season. The club carried on by fielding its youth team (Primavera) and in a sign of respect their opponents in each of these matches (Genoa, Palermo, Sampdoria, and Fiorentina) also fielded their youth sides. The disaster seriously weakened the Italian national team, which had included up to 10 Torino players. Torino itself would not claim another title until 1976. Of the entire squad only one player remained: Sauro Tomà missed the trip to Portugal due to injury.


Manchester United Football Team


On 6 February, 1958, British European Airways Flight 609 crashed on its third attempt to take off from a slush-covered runway at Munich-Riem Airport in Munich, West Germany. On board the plane was the Manchester United football team, nicknamed the “Busby Babes”, along with a number of supporters and journalists. 23 of the 44 people on board the aircraft died in the crash. The team was returning from a European Cup match in Belgrade, Yugoslavia, against Red Star Belgrade, but had to make a stop in Munich for refueling, as a non-stop trip from Belgrade to Manchester was out of the aircraft’s range. After refueling, the pilots attempted to take off twice, but had to abandon both attempts due to problems with the port engine. Fearing that they would get too far behind schedule, the Captain rejected an overnight stay in Munich in favor of a third take-off attempt.

By the time of the third attempt, it had begun to snow, causing a layer of slush to build up at the end of the runway. When the aircraft hit the slush, it lost velocity, making take-off impossible. It ploughed through a fence past the end of the runway, before the port wing hit a nearby house and was torn off. Fearing that the aircraft might explode, the Captain tried to get the survivors as far away as possible. Despite the risk of explosion, goalkeeper Harry Gregg remained behind to pull survivors from the wreckage. An investigation by the West German airport authorities originally blamed the Captain for the crash, claiming that he had failed to de-ice the wings of the aircraft, despite statements to the contrary from eyewitnesses. It was later established that the crash had, in fact, been caused by the build-up of slush on the runway, which had resulted in the aircraft being unable to achieve take-off velocity.


United States Figure Skating Team


On February 15, 1961, Sabena Flight 548, a Boeing 707 bound from New York to Brussels Belgium, crashed during the approach for landing. All 72 on board were killed, as well as one person on the ground. Among the dead was the entire United States Figure Skating team, who were en route to the 1961 World Championships in Prague, Czechoslovakia. There was no indication of trouble on board the plane until it approached the Brussels airport. The pilot had to circle the airport while waiting for a small plane to clear the runway. Then, according to eyewitnesses, the plane began to climb and bank erratically and crashed suddenly in a field near the hamlet of Berg. The wreckage burst into flames. All aboard were killed instantly. A farmer working in the fields was killed by a piece of aluminum shrapnel, and another farmer had his leg amputated by flying debris from the plane.

The exact cause of the crash was never determined beyond reasonable doubt, but investigators suspected that the aircraft might have been brought down by a failure of the stabilizer adjusting mechanism. All 18 athletes of the 1961 U.S. figure skating team and 16 family members, coaches and officials died in the crash. The loss of the U.S. team was considered so catastrophic for the sport that the 1961 World Figure Skating Championships were cancelled. American President, John F. Kennedy, issued a statement of condolence from the White House. He was particularly shocked by the disaster. One of the skaters killed in the crash, Dudley Richards, was a personal friend of President Kennedy and his brother Ted Kennedy, from summers spent at Hyannis Port, Massachusetts. Because the casualties included many of the top American coaches as well as the athletes, the crash was a devastating blow to the U.S. Figure Skating program, which had enjoyed a position of dominance in the sport in the 1950s.


Zambian National Football Team


The Zambian national football team was flying on a military plane on its way to Senegal for a 1994 World Cup qualification match, when the plane crashed in the late evening of April 27, 1993. All 30 passengers and crew, including 18 players, as well as the national team coach and support staff, were lost in the accident. Two other members of the national team, who were playing in other countries and who had made other flight arrangements to attend the game, were not aboard and survived.
The flight from Zambia to Senegal required three refueling stops and at the first stop, in the Congo, engine problems were noted. Despite this, the flight continued and a few minutes after taking off from a second stop in Libreville, Gabon, one of the engines caught fire and failed. The pilot, who was tired from already having flown back from Mauritius earlier that day, then shut down the wrong engine, causing the plane to lose all power during the climb out of Libreville Airport. The plane fell from the sky and crashed into the water 500m offshore.

A new team was quickly assembled and faced up to the difficult task of having to complete Zambia’s World Cup qualifiers and then prepare for the upcoming African Nations Cup, which was only months away. The resurrected team defied the odds and reached the final against Nigeria, only to lose. In spite of the loss, the Zambian side returned home as national heroes. After the crash, Zambia fell into seven days of official mourning. The 18 players, coaches and crew members were buried there with official honors as tens of thousands of fans poured into the capital’s streets and grieved for what many said was one of Africa’s greatest teams. An official report into the plane crash blamed a mechanical fault in the left engine and the pilot inadvertently shutting off fuel to the functioning right engine by mistake because of a “poor indicator light bulb”.


Uruguayan Old Christians Club Rugby Team


Uruguayan Air Force Flight 571, also known as the Miracle in the Andes, was a chartered flight carrying 45 people, including a rugby team and their friends, family and associates that crashed in the Andes on October 13, 1972. The last of the 16 survivors were rescued on December 23, 1972. The story of the Andes Survivors is well known; popularized by the book “Alive” and the 1993 film of the same name. On Friday the 13th of October, 1972, a Uruguayan Air Force twin turboprop Fairchild FH-227D was flying over the Andes carrying members of the Old Christians Club rugby union team from Montevideo, Uruguay, to play a match in Santiago, Chile.

Due to bad weather and limitations of the airplane, the flight could not fly over the Andes Mountains and instead had to proceed through one of the “passes” through the mountains, to reach Chile. The pilots misjudged their position and, thinking they were at the pass, flew instead into a mountain, leading to a controlled flight into terrain. But the plane did not smash head long into the mountain. In a last ditch effort to gain altitude and clear the top of the mountain, the pilots clipped the peak at 4,200 meters (13,800 ft), neatly severing the right wing, which was thrown back with such force that it cut off the tail, leaving a gaping hole in the rear of the fuselage. The plane then clipped a second peak, which severed the left wing and left the plane as just a fuselage flying through the air. The fuselage hit the ground and slid down a steep mountain slope before finally coming to rest in a snow bank.

Of the 45 people on the plane, 12 died in the crash or shortly thereafter; another five had died by the next morning, and one more succumbed to injuries on the eighth day. The remaining 27 faced severe difficulties in surviving high in the freezing mountains. The survivors had little food and no source of heat in the harsh conditions, at over 3,600 meters (11,800 ft) altitude. Faced with starvation and radio news reports that the search for them had been abandoned, the survivors fed on the dead passengers who had been preserved in the snow. Rescuers did not learn of the survivors until 72 days after the crash, when passengers Nando Parrado and Roberto Canessa, after a 12-day trek across the Andes, found a Chilean huaso, who gave them food and then alerted authorities about the existence of the other survivors. Only sixteen would survive. Their survival in the high mountains of the Andes and final rescue just before Christmas 1972 would become known as The Miracle in the Andes.


Marshall University Football Team

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The year 1970 was to prove a grim year for college football program travel. Southern Airways Flight 932 was a chartered commercial jet flight from Kinston, North Carolina, to Ceredo, West Virginia. At 7:35 pm on November 14, 1970, the aircraft crashed into a hill just short of the airport, killing all 75 people on board. The plane was carrying 37 members of the Marshall University Thundering Herd football squad, eight members of the coaching staff, 25 boosters, four flight crew members, and one employee of the charter company. The team was returning home after a 17–14 loss against the East Carolina Pirates. At the time, Marshall’s athletic teams rarely traveled by plane, with most away games within easy driving distance of the campus. The team had originally planned to cancel the flight, but changed plans and chartered the Southern Airways DC-9.

On the return flight to West Virginia the flight crew were informed to descend to 5,000 feet. The controllers had advised the crew that there was “rain, fog, smoke and a ragged ceiling” making landing more difficult but not impossible. The airliner was on its final approach when it collided with the tops of trees on a hillside 5,543 feet (1,690 m) west of runway 12. As a result of the impact, the plane burst into flames and created a swath of charred ground 95 feet (29 m) wide and 279 feet (85 m) long. According to the official NTSB report, the accident was “unsurvivable”. The aircraft had “dipped to the right, almost inverted and had crashed into a hollow ‘nose-first’”. The fire was very intense and the remains of six individuals that were discovered on the plane were never identified.

The National Transportation Safety Board investigation concluded that the crash was either the result of the crew misreading the airplane instrumentation, or a faulty altimeter. Many team boosters and prominent citizens were on the plane. Seventy children lost at least one parent in the crash, with 18 of them left orphaned. The crash of Flight 932 almost led to the discontinuation of the university’s football program. However, students and Thundering Herd football fans convinced the university President to reconsider and the school began rebuilding the program. They brought together a group of players who were on the junior varsity during the 1970 season, other students and athletes from other sports; many of these players had never attempted to play football before, and the team played on.

On November 12, 1972, the Memorial Fountain was dedicated at the campus entrance to the Memorial Student Center. Every year, on the anniversary of the crash, the fountain is shut off at the exact time of the crash, and not activated again until the following spring.

  • rain

    @#8 damn no one escaped DEATH.

    • its0ver9000

      Kinda reminds me of Final Destination.

  • rain

    Good for you!

  • blake honda

    as a sports fan, this made me very sad. :(

    • mrsmarvel

      As a fan of life, this made me very sad. :-(

  • Phillip

    The andies one was so gruesome!

  • oliveralbq

    this list is crazy. vanowensbody always does great research, so i wouldn't question the validity of any of this —- *but* —-

    what immediately pops out in my head?

    list contents:
    4 football clubs and 1 rugby

    6 of the other 7 are amatures — 4 college football (gridiron football), 1 college basketball team, and the u.s. amature boxing team.

    • bluesman87

      agreed .

    • magoopaintrock

      And…so…what does that have to do with the list's validity? Football is a very popular sport and amatuer athletes are a lot more common than professional ones. What's your problem?

      • oliveralbq

        @magoopaintrock: "And…so…what does that have to do with the list's validity?"
        —-it doesnt have anything to do with validity. in fact, the first sentence of my comment was vanowensbody always does great research so i wouldn't question the validity. the operative word here is the contractual "not". would not question.
        i never question his validity, and he's written several lists. he's not quite blogball, but he is quite thorough and always does a great job.
        interesting and valid are different (although this list has both characteristics).

        @magoopaintrock "Football is a very popular sport and amatuer athletes are a lot more common than professional ones."
        —–yep. you have just solidified my point. thanks, man.
        see — the part about amature sports — be it college or olympics or whatever — look at how many people participate. i do not know stats on this topic but i imagine it's around 95% amature to 5% pro.
        why did this: "immediately pops out in my head? ?
        it immediately pops out because it is more of a correct sample than people are used to seeing. see, if an amature athlete gets into a fight on field or on court, we *may* hear about it in a short slot in the evening news. ron artest (former detroit piston) gets in a fight on court? we hear about this bullshit for 3 years. college player gets killed, it gets a few mentions. pro gets killed, he gets a whole segment dedicated, stadiums and streets named after him/her, etc. my whole point of the comment was that the sensationalism around some pro athletes is jack-fucked up. again — a testiment to vanowensbody.
        now—–with the part about football being popular? youre preaching to the choir, dude. i played for 27 years, including in college. but again — im glad you replied beccause it gives me another opportunity to point out how many people did not know a lot of these, and what a tragedy that is.
        this may be van's best list — not that it was superior, so much, but that more people learned more info than normal.

        @magoopaintrock: "What's your problem?"
        —–the funny thing about this is, you concentrated on words and misunderstood the meanings — all

        • magoopaintrock

          I don't know, but to be clear, you said that you "wouldn't" question validity, but then followed that with "—*but*—" which to me sounds like you are about to say the thing that "immediately pops" in your head was a gripe you had about the ratio and its validity. I guess what I "misunderstood" was the conjunction "but" – probably because it was way overemphasized with dashes and asterisks. Oh well.

          • oliveralbq

            @magoopaintrock: "I don't know, but to be clear, you said that you "wouldn't" question validity, but then followed that with "—*but*—" which to me sounds like you are about to say the thing that "immediately pops" in your head was a gripe you had about the ratio and its validity."

            —–haha yeah…. noooooo
            but dont get me wrong — im not saying you were unjustified in thinking that — just not what i intended.
            with your mathematics background, and my statistics background, we're bound to miss each other on semantics, sometime, but ive never crossed swords with you, and i was most surprised that you didnt say somethign anout my inability to count to 11. :)

            as much misspoke as misunderstood.

            if a list of best pan flute players was up, and i said im not gonna question the validity of your pan flute expertise, but it popped in to my head immediately that these are all chicks., i'd be stunned — ive not seen a female pan flute player in a long time. that doesnt mean youre full of shit….it means i'm really surprised.

            —–it was just super interesting (and quite frankly very surrprising) that 8 of 11 were either ncaa football or rugbyor footy football. i dont care how popular or widespread those sports are, that is an unusual stat.

            —truth is, the way that (my initial post) got posted w/o making sense and w/o editing: im in the middle (well, beginnning) of the most interesting, weirdest, and surprising thing i've ever done in my life. i have rushed through a thing here and there to dedicate more time to that.

            –if i had read my first post, i probably would have changed it. but i really dont think i would have changed the numbers…….making "counting single digit numbers" my achillies heal for the day.

  • bluesman87

    knew what no.1 would be . Never heard of the others . The only teams Ive heard of are Manc Utd and the Zambians (and the people eaters) .I'd eat the fuck out of my dead friends to stay alive . I wouldnt give a shit ill eat anything . Preferred the musician plane crash deaths this was quiet boring.

    • baj rojo

      as was reading your comment

      • bluesman87

        everyone's a critic….

    • lalabhaiya

      well, almost the same here. I dont know shit about american football. Knew about the number 1 because I saw the movie when I was a kid. And ya, I had heard about the Man U crash as well. Funny, when I saw the list, the first thing that came to my mind was the crash that killed Ronnie V Zolt (from Lynard Skynard). Maybe someone will do a list of celebrities who dies in plane crashes.

      Also, I don't understand how poeople give thumbs up or down to comments and what is the logic behind it. Your comment has 7 thumb downs. Why? I don't know.

    • suzik

      Your an asshole and I hope your mother, father, siblings, wife and children all die at once in a firey pit of hell and lets see if your tears and angish bore us. You suck!

      • bluesman87

        you right im wrong this list kicked mother fucking ass!!! I love violent plane crashes they are the best!!! thanks for helping me see the light!

  • The Mick

    @bigjimfirst : you are a seriously disturbed individual to want to post a 'first' comment on a topic that is tragic and sad. While I accept the fact that i will see a 'first' comment on a list that is humorous or entertaining, and revel in the wit of the replies the poor sod will get afterwards, your 'first' comment on this list is inappropriate and unfortunately, your grab for 1 minute of fame will leave a bitter taste for a much much longer time.

  • Bizkit702


  • Alia

    This just made me even more scared to fly, especially since i'm flying to New York in 3 days. Thank you listverse!

    • TimC

      Don't worry, the probability of anything going wrong is extremely small, especially with the stringent safety measures in place these days! :)

      I view a fear of flying as almost irrational, as with some peoples fear of sharks for example.

      I live on the SE Coast of Australia & I'm not saying I wouldn't sh!t myself if I came face to face with a sizable shark, I most probably would and in the literal sense too. But I prefer to look at the statistics and not let the small chance of something terrible happening ruin my love for the ocean!

      (This is in no way an attack or attempt to belittle you Alia, get on that plane and enjoy your time in NY! ;) )

      • bluesman87

        is it true if you act terrifed before a flight that they will give you free tranq's if so does this work on cruise ships ?

        • oliveralbq

          unfortunately, nope.
          not here — but south africa may be more lenient
          here, the fda has some weird laws.

          there is a rule at the casino, which comes from the f.d.a. through the mississippi gaming commission, i cant give anyone any kind of drug b/c i serve alcohol – and im aware that gas stations have alcohol and ibuprofin, but theyre selling them both. at the casino, what i can't do is buy it from the gift shoppe lady and then give it to anyone.
          and–yanno what? the flight attendants serve alcohol. hmmm… never thought about that

          anyway—–twiggybaby you are the one person i know that may know the answer to this

          all i know is that they could seriously price gouge if they had xanax machines installed near the gates.

          • fairtwiggy

            At the pharmacy you can buy beer with your meds. I don't know about liquor because utah has some crazy ass liquor laws.

        • oliveralbq

          oh — and i saw this lady freakout on the last cruise i took. they gave her dramamine. which only pissed her off, made her freak out more. and they kicked her off.

          soooo…dont try this shit unless you are at least a decent actor.

          • bluesman87

            oh man that sucks , just gonna have to find a my own way to alleviate my fear of krakens , flying sharks and pirates when i hit this cruise .

    • lalabhaiya

      dude, more people are killed by donkeys each year than in plane crashes. so relax. have a beer. and don't ride your donkey to the airport. that would be pushing your luck.

  • GagaMonstette

    im not the biggest sports fan but death is afwul more so when it occurs in mass numbers

  • plum13sec

    Sports and planes apparently dont mesh to well

  • DogBitez

    Sad list, but fascinating. I hate to fly. I can't help but clutch the arm rests during the entire flight… as though I'm personally holding the plane up in the air. Can't loosen my grip or the plane will fall out of the sky. It's a real burden. Needless to say, I tank up on rum and cokes, before… during… and after. :)

  • elise

    saw a great documentary on the andes one the other day absolute hell they went through

  • pat rice

    altho he was only one 'sportsman', i would have thought roberto clemente would have gotten at least an honorable mention from this article, regarding his death when the plane he was on (personally delivering relief goods) crashed….

    • timmy the dying boy

      Agreed, but maybe there are enough single-athlete accidents to make a list, eg. Thurman Munson, Tim Horton. . . get busy!

  • Stefan

    i really want to post a comment, but i have nothing to say.

    • bluesman87

      that dont stop brock……

      • Stefan

        Well, its much like how society looks upon celebrities

        the stupider they are, the more famous they become

        • lalabhaiya

          i hope Jamie is not reading this.

  • fairtwiggy

    This is so sad. I've actually only heard of number 1. I agree with bluesman I would totally eat my friends to survive. This is so funny I was talking to my dad on sunday about if we were in a situation like this would we eat someone.

    • oliveralbq

      @fairtwiggy: "I would totally eat my friends to survive."

      –this would've been the funniest typo in history if you had accidentally put the word "out" between the words "friends" and "to".

      • fairtwiggy

        Jeez then I would become a brOck. And I *shudder* at the thought of eating my friends out.

      • lalabhaiya

        well, yes. and i don't have a girlfriend otherwise i'd have said 'she won't eat me even if she was starving to death'. i guess you know what i mean.

  • oouchan

    Sad list, but a good one. Well researched and well rounded. Some I knew and some I didn't.

    Good list, VanOwensBody.

  • Carole

    Interesting list

  • I thought the Superga accident would rank higher on the list. I mean, Torino had the best team in Italy (and possibly the best team in the world) back then. They had won 5 championships in 7 years, 4 of then in a row (including the 1949 championship), and almost all the players of the Italian National team played for Torino. Italy could have won the 1950 World Cup, if not for that tragedy. They also just didn't win in 1942 and 1946 because the World Cup stopped due to World War 2.

    I'm not italian, but I do realize how things could be different for Italy and for the world of football if those players had not died on that accident. To me, this accident is the one that had the biggest impact in the history of the sport.

  • FlameHorse

    Yeah I knew the Andes story would be #1. I don't know much about sports, but this was a good list, Van.

  • Marco

    I miss the disaster with Surinam Airways 764 on June 7 1989, during which many players of the Surinam-Dutch Colourful 11 football team were killed.

  • TimC

    I find tales of survival such as 'The Miracle in the Andes' extremely intriguing/fascinating/horrifying/(insert further adjectives here).
    It is impossible for me to be able to fathom the scale of physical and emotional terrors these people must have endured and I can't help but find it ultimately amazing and a testament to those involved when the will to survive is sufficient to overcome the seemingly unconquerable obstacles in their path.

    • Queen Weiner

      I absolutely agree with you. That crash shows you how strong a human beings will to survive is. Made me try to live every day of my life as best as I can. Also makes you question yourself as to how far you would go or do to live. RIP to all those that passed.

  • What the heial?!

    My computer keeps showing the old version of the comments. Once the new website design comes out, will it fix that or what?

  • archangel

    So much potential, so many lives never to get a chance to live out their dreams. Sad list, but well done.

  • oliveralbq

    i kinda did expect to see the crash that killed 19 members of the strongest — the bolivian footy team coming back from a friendly in 1969

  • undaunted warrior 1

    Sad list thinking how jovial players and sportsmen are when they are together and then to end like this.
    Informative and well written list -Thanks.

  • Christian

    Being from Evansville, I got on this list not expecting to see UofE's plane crash on the list due to the fact that it is a relatively small city. Very good research on the list.

  • kennypo65

    Nice list to read just before heading out to the airport(my flight leaves in 2 hours). Thanks for nothing Listverse!

  • Petrovtheprat

    Why do you have a picture of an aircraft from the Air Force of Uruguay attached to the first item on this list? The item concerns the Peruvian Navy.

  • Amy

    Whatever happened to the other guy who did the lists? Maybe I should know this but I don't. Just wondering.

  • tmxicon

    Maybe I missed something, but why was the Marshall incident put on as a bonus? I'm just asking is there something about it that was different from the others that it didn't fit in with the list? Or was it more a matter of having eleven items to post and picking perhaps the most well-known to be the bonus? (I don't know that it IS the most well-known, but it'd either be that or the number one entry)

    • jbjr

      Exactly my thinking! tmxicon.

  • bluesman87

    "people taste like beef,,,,," mmmmm imagine , brown onion gravy and champ and baby marrows on the side .tasty …….. im reluctant to eat a dude tho i dunno if its gay or not . . .. . . . .

    • mom424

      Who said it had to be a dude? maybe it's the team mom eh?
      Seriously if it's eat a dude or die – taboos go right out the window.

      • bluesman87

        true but i bet girls taste better ,(and not in a rude way either mom) , . . .. . . .So anyway you are so pleasant to talk to , I'd just love to have you for dinner at my place…….keen?

        • mom424

          hehe, not so much.

  • Ivan

    Not a single word about Pakhtakor, talented Uzbek soccer team :(
    178 died in plane collision in 1979

  • L'Economa Domestica

    The tragedy of Superga was so shoking here in Italy that italian soccer team went to Brazil for 1950 World Soccer Championship by ship.

  • timmy the dying boy

    Great list, but I'm gonna get picky. The picture for #9 is wrong, it's clearly a 707 tail and the Polish plane was an Il-62. The pic is actually from a 1962 crash in Paris, another particularly sad tragedy.

  • dime79

    "The Fokker flew too low and plunged into the Pacific." CLASSIC!

  • May

    Some of the people who post comment are a farce and no doubt American. Please open your tiny minds and show some pity for a very thorough and tragic list.

  • jumblegirl

    Great list but I have one question. How does John Maddens (No. 7) fear of flying contribute to the crash when he wasn't even on the plane?? Am I missing something there or merely misinterpreting it?

  • chris

    i just finished watching a two hour special about article number 1on this list, then go on listverse and what do i see. a list that contains the exact same incident. needless to say #1 came as little surprise

  • Paul

    How about a crash with a happy ending . . . the Minneapolis Lakers in January 1960.

  • taemokokey

    great list guys

  • In the airplane crashing scene in "Alive", pretend everyone is wanking.

  • Pangea

    Don't you discourage plagiarism?

  • Trent Baysinger
  • vezman71

    Jan. 27, 2001, near Byers, CO; a plane carrying 10 people from Oklahoma State University died when they crashed in a snow storm. 2 players, members of the media, and two pilots. It was a pretty sad accident.

    Before reading this list, I hadn't realized that it had happened so many times. Thanks.

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  • Gakhackigma


  • No.1. “The Miracle In The Andes”. I read the book “Alive” by Piers Paul Reid and was utterly horrified as to what I read and how these 16 men made it out alive. When the dead we’re to be laid out in the snow and the choice of cannibalism was very reluctantly agreed upon, the corpses / remains we’re to be turned upside down because some of the passengers we’re related to one another. Now here’s the problem, one of which many occurred. The bodies we’re frozen stiff and they had nothing to cut into them with. The answer ? Break one of the windows of the fuselage and use the glass to cut into the flesh. Another one, it was very arid at 13,000 feet above sea level, so they devised a metal plate which was put atop the fuselage as they took small portions of flesh (flesh contains fatty oil) and the flesh (defrosting from the sunlight) would dribble down the metal plate with oil to relieve the survivors chapped lips and other areas of their body. The consumption of human flesh also gave them a bad case of very painful constipation. Also, 7 days after they crashed, they we’re smacked by an avalanche which increased the death toll, therefore giving them more “sustenance” to eat. When rescued after 70 days in the mountains, the average weight of the 16 survivors was 120 lbs. and they kept the cannibalism a secret by saying that they we’re heavily supplied with wine and cheese aboard the plane. It didn’t take the media very long to find out the morbid truth of how they survived. If you watch the MOVIE “Alive”, it focuses not on the gruesome part of their ordeal but rather them trying to get the heck out of there. The BOOK however is extremely graphic in its detail of the gruesome part. They ate EVERYTHING !!! So be forewarned when you do read it. For me it was a page turner and hard to put down, but after I read it, it really spooked me and freaked me out every time I saw it on my nightstand and eventually just gave it away to someone to get it out of my apartment. There is actually another movie version of the ordeal called “Survive” which is a “B” rated version in Spanish with English dubbed in. That’s a very hard to find movie, but I saw it and that one really gets into the gruesome part. Seriously, be forewarned before you read the book as it left me very unsettled and disturbed.

  • carlos

    In Spain, Manchester United aerial disaster was very lamented as by then, perhaps as today, this soccer team was the best in the world toghether with Real Madrid and brazilian Santos of Pele. Manchester and Madrid confronted by then several times in Europe Cup and each one won the other sometimes , owing to the actions of Di Stefano or Bobby Charlton, the English forward who saved his life in this terrible accident. Superb football and players.I think They were coming back from East Europe at times of cold war.

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  • neil1953

    I would like to take this opportunity to express something that really is aggravating and is downright a pain in the a*s (and trust me, eveyrtime that I see it on a different LISTVERSE list, I will complain). You will notice that the last comment before mine posted on this list is from somebody who praises and extols the virtues of how this website is “fantastic, informative, the person will bookmark it for future reference, excellent job, helpful, informative, etc. I see this on a daily basis when I am on LISTVERSE. I click on to the subject matter on yahoo and expecting someone’s opinion about the list, you get this pompous garbage which really does not pertain to the list whatsoever. And it comes from numerously different usernames. I think something is up and all they are doing is clogging up one’s computer by virtue of doing this. The other thing that really grinds my gears and pis*es me off to no end is when the author of the list explains the nature of the list he or she has written, and all the person who wants to explain his or her opinion comes up with the answer, “NAME”. Well if that’s the case, then read the fuc*ing list and you won’t have to type in NAME or use your dam* Wikipedia. Its a shame to the website and I find it below non-acceptable. I know that I will receive many a nasty note from some, but I am just practicing my First Right Amendment…………Enough said

  • John

    Wow. The picture from #10 looks like it should belong to the 1972 crash and the “Marshall” picture is really the Cal-Poly team.

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  • neil1953

    In 1949, a Plane crashed in Portugal and one of the passenger’s happened to be the great French Welterweight boxer, Marcel Cerdan, who was considered probably the greatest boxer who came from France. He had a 113-4 record in his professional career….Not too bad if you were to ask me.

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