It was a stormy day in April of 1977 when a DC-9, Southern Airways Flight flying from Huntsville to Atlanta ran into severe hail and rain, causing both engines to flame out and ending in the worst aviation disaster in Georgia history.
Pilots attempted to land the plane on GA 92, now known as GA 381, which runs through the New Hope Community, three miles east of Dallas. A total of 72 people died that day, including nine on the ground.
April 4 marks the 36th anniversary of Flight 242 and a nonprofit organization, New Hope Memorial Flight 242, Inc., is inviting the public to their annual memorial service and survivors reunion, which will be held at 2 p.m. on Sunday, March 24 at the Historic Dallas Theater in downtown Dallas.
Immediately following the service will be a showing of the National Geographic documentary of the Flight 242 crash entitled “Southern Storm.”
Newspaper articles and mementos of the tragedy will be on display at the theatre. Additionally, members of New Hope Memorial Flight 242, Inc. will be on hand to answer questions pertaining to the crash.
"Our mission is to honor and memorialize all of those associated with this tragedy," Cherry Waddell said, a life-long Paulding resident who lost family members in the tragedy.