Accident Lockheed L-188CF Electra N859U, Sunday 18 November 1979
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Date:Sunday 18 November 1979
Type:Silhouette image of generic L188 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different    
Lockheed L-188CF Electra
Owner/operator:Transamerica Airlines
Registration: N859U
MSN: 2016
Year of manufacture:1960
Total airframe hrs:41764 hours
Engine model:Allison 501-D13
Fatalities:Fatalities: 3 / Occupants: 3
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Destroyed, written off
Location:Salt Lake City, UT -   United States of America
Phase: Take off
Departure airport:Ogden-Hill AFB, UT (HIF/KHIF)
Destination airport:Las Vegas-Nellis AFB, NV (LSV/KLSV)
Investigating agency: NTSB
Confidence Rating: Accident investigation report completed and information captured
Flight 3N18 departed Hill AFB for an IFR cargo flight to Nellis AFB. While climbing from FL120 to FL130 the crew reported loss of electrical power and requested no-gyro vectors to visual flight conditions and immediate descent clearance. During the descent the aircraft attained a high airspeed and high rate of descent and disintegrated in flight.

PROBABLE CAUSE: "A progressive failure in the aircraft's electrical system leading to the disabling or erratic performance of some critical flight instruments and flight instrument lighting while the flight was operating in night instrument meteorological condition. As a result of these conditions, the flight crew could not resolve the instrumentation anomalies to determine proper aircraft attitude reference, and became disoriented and lost control of the aircraft. The crew's efforts to regain control of the aircraft imposed aerodynamic loads which exceeded design limits of the aircraft and caused it to break up in flight."

Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: NTSB
Report number: DCA80AA007
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 10 months
Download report: Final report





photo (c) NTSB; Salt Lake City, UT; 18 November 1979

photo (c) Bob Garrard; Wilmington-Airborne Airpark, OH (ILN/KILN); November 1977

photo (c) via Werner Fischdick; New York-John F. Kennedy International Airport, NY (JFK); December 1973

Revision history:


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