Causes and Explanations

  • Kelly G. Shaver
Part of the Springer Series in Social Psychology book series (SSSOC)


In the late afternoon of January 13, 1982, during a blinding snowstorm, Air Florida Flight 90 from Washington, D.C. to Tampa and Fort Lauderdale crashed into the Fourteenth Street Bridge just seconds after taking off from National Airport. The airplane had undergone de-icing procedures 45 minutes before take-off, but lumbered down the airport’s 6,870-foot runway, failed to gain altitude, struck the bridge crowded with rush-hour traffic, and plunged into the iced-over waters of the Potomac River. Upon impact the tail section of the plane separated from the main portion of the fuselage, and this forward part of the aircraft quickly sank into the river. Only five of the 79 people aboard the plane were rescued; an additional four people were killed who had been traveling across the bridge at the time of impact.


Activity Theory Regularity Theory Constant Conjunction Psychological Context Attributional Theory 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag New York Inc. 1985

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kelly G. Shaver
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyCollege of William and MaryWilliamsburgUSA

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