Plane plummeted from the sky in horror deadly crash after propeller fell off

A horror plane crash that killed 23 people was caused by a series of faults including dodgy plane propellers and fatigued pilots running on six hours of sleep.

The tragic deaths of all on board the Atlantic Southeast Airlines Flight 2311 in Georgia, United States happened on this day, March 5, in 1991.

Among the 23 killed were two sleep-deprived pilots, a former astronaut who spent 120 hours in space and a former US Senator travelling with his daughter.

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Investigations into the grim crash found that the pilots had violated the federal aviation regulations regarding their kip, and a propeller malfunction kickstarted what proved to be a fatal crash.

Flight 2311 had deviated from its expected path on the flight from Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport to Brunswick due to poor weather.

Deviating from their expected flight path, ground witnesses say they saw the plane tilting to the left and flying just 100 feet above the ground in the lead-up to the crash.

Diving nose first into the ground, the out-of-control plane, which was discovered to have lost its left propeller, crashed straight into the ground as witnesses reported squealing and whining noises coming from the engine.

The crash tragically killed everyone on board including pilots Captain Mark Friedline, 34, and First Officer Hank Johnston, 36.

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An investigation into the plane crash revealed Atlantic Southeast, who had charted the flight, had been overworking their pilots although the report confirmed their actions had no direct part in the accident.

The duo on-board the flight were said to have received roughly five to six hours of sleep before taking control of the aircraft.

Although the sleep had an impact on the pilot pair, the report ruled that it was solely down to malfunction that control of the flight was lost.

An official probable cause was released by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), which ruled the crash had been caused by a "malfunction of the left engine propeller control unit".

The report added that the design of the "propeller control unit by Hamilton Standard" and the approval of said design from the Federal Aviation Administration, had been factors in the crash.

An NTSB report published on April 28, 1992, read: "The design did not correctly evaluate the failure mode that occurred during this flight".

It added that said failure had resulted in "an uncommanded and uncorrectable movement of the blades of the airplane’s left propeller below the flight idle position."

A similar crash tragically occurred just four years on from the fatal crash of Flight 2311, with the Atlantic Southeast Airlines Flight 529 leaving nine dead and 20 injured in August 1995.

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