Airplane Crash - Near Gillsburg, Mississippi 10/20/1977

Details of airplane crash/ shootdown - Near Gillsburg, Mississippi


Date10/20/1977
Time18:52
LocationNear Gillsburg, Mississippi
OperatorL & J Company
RouteGreenville - Baton Rouge
TypeConvair CV-300
RegistrationN55VM
Cn/In003
Aboard26
Fatalities6
Ground0
SummaryThe crew diverted to MComb because of low fuel. Both engines quit before the aircraft could land and a forced landing was attempted in a wooded area. The plane struck trees before it could make a forced landing in an open field. Lead singer Ronnie Van Zant, 29, guitarist Stevie Gaines, back up vocalist Cassie Gaines and assistant manager Dean Kilpatrick of the Lynyrd Skynyrd band killed. Several other members of the band were seriously injured. Fuel exhaustion due to crew inattention of the fuel supply. Contributing factors were improper flight planning and a malfunction in the No.2 engine which caused a higher than normal fuel consumption.

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