02/15/11 117 W, 1 I - + 7 - 3 Charlotte Plane Crash Press Photo, 1974

Unusual item for sale on eBay, press photo from the September 11, 1974 plane crash in Charlotte of Eastern Air Lines Flight 212. We've blogged about that incident before, after finding an Hose & Nozzle article on same. The fatalities totaled 71 of the 82 souls aboard. And what is the origin of the phrase "souls on board?" That's a holdover from maritime tradition. Here's a discussion thread on same. Key quote: "Ships required a term that comprehensively covered everyone who could possibly be on board, in whatever capacity: the officers, the crew, the crew's families, the supercargo, the passengers, the local pilot, native bumboatwomen, etc."

Back in my RDU days, one of the pilots I knew with one of the smaller airlines said ‘souls on board’ meant ‘live’ persons, i.e. no one in a casket was included. I don’t know if there was any truth to it, but that meaning has always stuck with me.
DJ - 02/15/11 - 15:33

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