Aviation Disasters

Photo: Metropolitan Airports Commission sponsors their annual disaster drill. EMS crews evacuate an airliner as part of a mock crash exercise at Minneapolis/St. Paul International Airport. (Photo by Twin Cities Almanac, Dec. 3, 1992).

Plane crashes are a frequent occurrence, though most are small events with under six victims. Minneapolis and St. Paul are fortunate that few major airliners have crashed here, with minor exceptions. Crashes often occur during take-off or landing.

Major Air Crashes

  • Northwest-Orient Airlines, Flight 307 – March 7, 1950. 13 dead. Struck a Fort Snelling flagpole, and eventually crashed near Minnehaha Parkway and Dupont Ave. S., Mpls. Read More.
  • Military, Northrop F-89 Scorpion – June 5, 1956 – 2 dead. Struck a car on Crosstown Highway 62, just north of the airport.
  • Military, Grumman F9F Panther – June 9, 1956 – 7 dead. Loaded with ordinance, it fell out of the sky and crashed just north of the airport into houses along 46th Ave. S., Mpls.
  • Military, mid-air collision – May 27, 1957 (Memorial Day) – 1 dead. Crash site near Sunset Memorial Cemetery, Northeast Mpls.

List of all Minnesota Statewide Air Crashes


  • May 8, 1977 – Northwest Flight from Toykyo, Japan to Honolulu was boarded by a hijacker; was scheduled to continue to Los Angeles and arrive in Minneapolis, but did not complete flight.
  • Dec 24, 1971 – Northwest Flight 734 to Chicago (Boeing 707), with 29 passengers, was taken over by Everett Leary Holt. He fired a gunshot into the bulkhead. He later was committed to a mental hospital.

Bombs on Board

  • October 22, 1982 – Northwest Flight 200 from LAX to MPS; Northwest Flight 208 from MPS to Boston’s Logan International Airport. Upon arrival at Boston, a suitcase was deplaned which was discovered to contain five sticks of dynamite, detonators, and a timer device. It is believed to resulted from terrorists called “Justice Commandos of the Armenian Genocide.” [Aircraft Hijackings and Other Criminal Acts Against Civil Aviation Statistical and Narrative Reports, May 1983. Federal Aviation Administration.]

Metro Area Airports

  • Minneapolis/St. Paul International Airport
    • Charles Lindbergh Terminal 1
    • Humphrey Terminal 2
  • Flying Cloud Airport (Eden Prairie)
  • Holman Field (St. Paul)
  • Crystal Airport (Crystal)
  • Anoka County–Blaine Airport (Janes Field)
  • Airlake Airport (Lakeville)
  • South St. Paul Municipal Airport (Richard E. Fleming Field)
  • Lake Elmo Airport (Lake Elmo)