It was 40 years ago this past November in which Southern Airlines Flight 932 crashed in Ceredo, West Virginia killing all 75 people on board. Those killed included 37 members of the Marshall football team, the 8 members of the Marshall coaching staff, and 25 boosters. It's one of the greatest tragedies in college sports history, and was commemorated in the movie "We Are Marshall."
On Wednesday night, Marshall experienced a rather scary case of deja vu. A plane carrying members of the Marshall coaching staff had to make an emergency landing in Lexington, Kentucky.
Around 6 p.m. on Wednesday, a landing gear malfunction aboard ComAir Flight 5359 diverted a flight bound for Charleston from Atlanta to Lexington. The flight included Marshall’s entire offensive coaching staff and two of its defensive coaches.
Entering into its final descent, the landing gear finally came down on the plane and a crash-landing was averted as the coaches made their way off the flight safe and sound.One of the coaches on the flight was tight ends coach Phil Ratliff, who described the events.
“On our way back, we kept circling flying into Charleston — three times,” Ratliff told the Huntington Herald-Dispatch. “He (the pilot) went back up in the air and we knew something was wrong.
“The crew basically came back and told us that they were diverting us to Lexington. They didn’t say it but if we had to crash land, it was a bigger runway.
“You grow up hearing about this for 40 years. For this to happen 40 years later, it was just unbelievable. We were all praying. It was calm, but we were definitely praying. It was a situation that you never want to go — thinking about your family, having your life go before your eyes. It was just unbelievable.”