Accident Convair CV-440 N4819C, Wednesday 13 March 1974
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Date:Wednesday 13 March 1974
Time:20:28
Type:Silhouette image of generic CVLP model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different    
Convair CV-440
Owner/operator:Sierra Pacific Airlines
Registration: N4819C
MSN: 138
Year of manufacture:1953
Total airframe hrs:41112 hours
Engine model:Pratt & Whitney R-2800-CB16
Fatalities:Fatalities: 36 / Occupants: 36
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Destroyed, written off
Category:Accident
Location:8,3 km SE of Bishop Airport, CA (BIH) -   United States of America
Phase: En route
Nature:Passenger - Non-Scheduled/charter/Air Taxi
Departure airport:Bishop Airport, CA (BIH/KBIH)
Destination airport:Hollywood-Burbank Airport, CA (BUR/KBUR)
Investigating agency: NTSB
Confidence Rating: Accident investigation report completed and information captured
Narrative:
The aircraft was chartered by Wolper Productions Inc. to fly a movie production crew from Bishop (BIH) to Burbank (BUR). The cast and crew of the television series 'Primal Man' was returning from shooting a prehistoric hunting sequence in the snow-covered Sierra. Amongst the crew were director-writer Dennis Azzarella and actor Janos Prohaska.
Flight 802 departed Hollywood-Burbank Airport at 18:14 to pick up the passengers at Bishop. The flight from Burbank to Bishop was conducted under VFR conditions and at 19:10 the crew contacted the Tonopah Flight Service Station (FSS) and cancelled their VFR flight plan. The crew then "air filed" an IFR flight plan for the return trip from Bishop to Burbank. The aircraft landed at Bishop at 19:20. Baggage and equipment were loaded and 32 passengers boarded the flight. The Convair CV-440 departed the gate at about 20:20. The crew then contacted the Tonopah FSS and advised that they were taxiing for departure and requested that their IFR clearance be activated.
After takeoff from runway 12 the flight made a climbing right turn, circled back over, or near, the BIH VOR and then proceeded outbound in an east-southeasterly direction.
At 20:24 Flight 802 again contacted the Tonopah FSS and reported that they were off Bishop at 20:20 and were, "climbing VFR over Bishop, awaiting clearance."
About four minutes later the aircraft struck a foothill in the White Mountain range at an elevation of 6100 feet (1860 m). The aircraft was on a heading of about 175 degrees magnetic and in an approximate 25 degree bank to the right at impact.

PROBABLE CAUSE: "The National Transportation Safety Board is unable to determine the probable cause of this accident. The reason why the flightcrew did not maintain a safe distance from hazardous terrain during night visual flight conditions could not be established."

Accident investigation:
cover
  
Investigating agency: NTSB
Report number: DCA74AZ018
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 10 months
Download report: Final report

Sources:

The Victoria Advocate - May 16, 1974

Statistics

  • 19th worst accident in 1974
  • 8th worst accident of this aircraft type
  • 7th worst accident of this aircraft type at the time

Location

Revision history:

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