THURSDAY: 40 years later, families remember victims of fatal Charlotte plane crash

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Forty years ago Thursday, Eastern Airlines flight 212 left Charleston with a crew of four and 78 passengers at 7 a.m.

Just after 7:30 a.m. Sept. 11, 1974, it was on final approach to Charlotte. As the crew was distracted in their conversation, the plane slammed into a cornfield off South Tryon Street at roughly 200 mph, skidded the length of three football fields, then ran into thick woods.

“Even though it was 40 years ago, it's still heartbreaking,” said Mary Lynn Morrill, friend of a person killed on the flight.

Seventy-two people died in the crash about three miles south of the runway at Charlotte-Douglas Airport.

Thursday, hear reporter Greg Suskin’s report after he spoke to two sons who lost their fathers in the crash.

"Certainly there are plenty of times when you're by yourself, and you shed tears still," said son Frank Ford III.

Hear their stories as well as a look back at what caused the crash and how it caused the Federal Aviation Administration to change policies to keep you safer in the air.