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Last updated: 27 November 2021
Date:Monday 9 November 1970
Type:Silhouette image of generic DHC6 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
de Havilland Canada DHC-6 Twin Otter 200
Operator:Mississippi Valley Airlines - MVA
Registration: N956SM
MSN: 203
First flight: 1969
Engines: 2 Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-20
Crew:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 2
Passengers:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 4
Total:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 6
Aircraft damage: Damaged beyond repair
Location:La Crosse Municipal Airport, WI (LSE) (   United States of America)
Phase: Landing (LDG)
Nature:Domestic Scheduled Passenger
Departure airport:Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, MN (MSP/KMSP), United States of America
Destination airport:La Crosse Municipal Airport, WI (LSE/KLSE), United States of America
Flightnumber: 106
Mississippi Valley Airlines Flight 106 departed Minneapolis at 15:25 for a flight to Winona Municipal Airport, MN (ONA) and climbed to its assigned cruising altitude of 5000 feet. Shortly after departure the flight was advised that weather at the destination was below minima. Minneapolis ARTCC then cleared the crew to La Crosse. Weather at La Crosse was reported being indefinite ceiling, 500 feet obscuration, visibility half a mile, light drizzle and fog. Shortly after 4 pm the flight passed the Holman Intersection at 3000 feet msl, descending to the Midway final approach fix which was crossed at 2100 feet. The pilot leveled the plane at 1100 feet. Shortly thereafter, the plane struck trees. Both wings, the engines, the left main landing gear, strut an left horizontal stabilizer separated from the aircraft.

Probable Cause:

PROBABLE CAUSE: "For reasons unknown, the captain failed to maintain altitude at minimum descent altitude and allowed the aircraft to descend below the height of the trees while executing a nonprecision instrument approach in instrument flight conditions."

Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: NTSB
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 177 days (6 months)
Accident number: NTSB/AAR-71-10
Download report: Final report


Follow-up / safety actions

NTSB issued 1 Safety Recommendation

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This map shows the airport of departure and the intended destination of the flight. The line between the airports does not display the exact flight path.
Distance from Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, MN to La Crosse Municipal Airport, WI as the crow flies is 190 km (119 miles).

This information is not presented as the Flight Safety Foundation or the Aviation Safety Network’s opinion as to the cause of the accident. It is preliminary and is based on the facts as they are known at this time.
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