News & Politics

40 Years Ago Today, a Passenger Jet Crashed Into the 14th Street Bridge. Here’s the Inside Story of What Happened.

Seventy eight people died when Air Florida Flight 90 plummeted into the frigid Potomac River.

On snowy January 13, 1982, an Air Florida Boeing 737 filled with 74 passengers and five crew members crashed into the 14th Street Bridge just after taking off from Arlington’s National Airport. Seventy eight people died—four were in cars on the bridge—and the wreckage floated in the icy Potomac River as civilians tried to help rescue any survivors.

Read writer Larry Van Dyne’s dramatic account of the disaster from Washingtonian‘s October, 1982 issue.