Plane Crash Survivors Reunite in Miami | NBC 6 South Florida

Plane Crash Survivors Reunite in Miami

in 1972, 101 people died when a flight from New York crashed in the Everglades

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    It's a reunion 37 years overdue but one none of the surviving members of Eastern Airlines flight 401 wish they had to attend.

    Seeing each other for the first time will only bring back the harrowing experiences each had to endure that night when their plane crashed in the Everglades in 1972 before it reached Miami International Airport.

    Together they are a dubious part of American history. Passengers on the first jumbo jet to ever crash in the states.

    The reunion, which will be held at 94th Aero Squadron Restaurant near the airport runway the flight was supposed to safely land on, will also be a chance to memorialize the 101 passengers who died that night.

    77 people survived the crash, but two died shortly after because of their injuries.  It's unclear how many will accept the invitation to attend the reunion.

    On Dec. 29, 1972, Eastern Airlines flight left New York for its destination of Miami when the plane dropped out of the sky and into the marshlands of the Everglades only a few miles from the airport.

    Air boaters in the swamp rushed to the wreckage and saved who they could.

    Crash investigators said the pilot and his crew didn't notice the plane's descent because of a landing gear malfunction that never really was.

    It turned out to be a false alarm caused by a busted light bulb, but the distraction proved fatal for many.

    It's a distraction the survivors undoubtedly have discussed repeatedly and will do so as a collective voice tonight for the first time.