Accident Convair CV-580 N5802, Tuesday 24 December 1968
ASN logo

Date:Tuesday 24 December 1968
Type:Silhouette image of generic CVLT model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different    
Convair CV-580
Owner/operator:Allegheny Airlines
Registration: N5802
MSN: 410
Year of manufacture:1957
Total airframe hrs:29173 hours
Engine model:Allison 501-D13
Fatalities:Fatalities: 20 / Occupants: 47
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Destroyed, written off
Location:4 km SE of Bradford Airport, PA (BFD) -   United States of America
Phase: Approach
Nature:Passenger - Scheduled
Departure airport:Erie International Airport, PA (ERI/KERI)
Destination airport:Bradford Airport, PA (BFD/KBFD)
Investigating agency: NTSB
Confidence Rating: Accident investigation report completed and information captured
Allegheny Airlines Flight 736 departed Detroit, MI for a flight to Washington, DC with intermediate stops at Erie, Bradford and Harrisburg, PA. The Convair CV-580 took off from Erie at 19:46.
At 20:06 Flight 736 reported over the VOR outbound at the beginning of the instrument approach procedure. Erie Approach Control then told the crew to contact the Braford Flight Service Station (FSS). At 20:08 the flight reported that they were doing the procedure turn inbound for runway 32 and Bradford FSS told them wind was 290 degrees at 15 knots. The Convair descended in light snow showers until the aircraft contacted trees along terrain which had an average upslope of 1.5 degrees some 4 km short of the runway. The airplane cut a swath through the trees and impacted the ground at a point 800 feet from the initial tree contact. The fuselage came to rest inverted.

PROBABLE CAUSE: "The continuation of the descent from the final approach fix through the Minimum Descent Altitude and into obstructing terrain at a time when both flight crewmembers were looking outside the aircraft in an attempt to establish visual reference to the ground. Contributing factors were the minimal visual references available at night on the approaches to the Bradford Regional Airport; a small but critical navigational error during the later stages of the approach; and a rapid change in visibility conditions that was not known to the crew."

Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: NTSB
Report number: DCA69A0007
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 1 year and 2 months
Download report: Final report


ICAO Accident Digest Circular 107-AN/81 (303-328)


  • 34th worst accident in 1968
  • 6th worst accident of this aircraft type
  • 2nd worst accident of this aircraft type at the time



photo (c) NTSB; near Bradford Airport, PA (BFD); 24 December 1968

Revision history:


The Aviation Safety Network is an exclusive service provided by:
Quick Links:

CONNECT WITH US: FSF on social media FSF Facebook FSF Twitter FSF Youtube FSF LinkedIn FSF Instagram

©2024 Flight Safety Foundation

1920 Ballenger Av, 4th Fl.
Alexandria, Virginia 22314