Accident Fairchild F-27A N745L, Sunday 15 November 1964
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Date:Sunday 15 November 1964
Time:20:25
Type:Silhouette image of generic F27 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different    
Fairchild F-27A
Owner/operator:Bonanza Air Lines
Registration: N745L
MSN: 29
Year of manufacture:1958
Total airframe hrs:14401 hours
Fatalities:Fatalities: 29 / Occupants: 29
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Destroyed, written off
Category:Accident
Location:13 km S of Las Vegas, NV -   United States of America
Phase: Approach
Nature:Passenger - Scheduled
Departure airport:Phoenix-Sky Harbor International Airport, AZ (PHX/KPHX)
Destination airport:Las Vegas-McCarran International Airport, NV (LAS/KLAS)
Investigating agency: NTSB
Confidence Rating: Accident investigation report completed and information captured
Narrative:
Weather was poor near Las Vegas with indefinite ceiling at 500 feet, sky obscured, 900 m visibility and light snow. Flight 114 was flying a VOR/DME-3 approach when the plane descended below altitude minima. At 9.7 DME, at an elevation of 3575 feet msl the plane struck rising terrain and crashed. The flight should have been at 4300 feet msl at that point. It appeared that the VOR/DME-3 approach procedure was relatively new, having become effective on October 3, 1964. Until November 15 no approaches using this procedure had been flown. The approach chart depiction for the segment of the approach from the 15 mile fix to the 6 mile fix displayed no descent information on the profile section. However, the profile did show a solid horizontal line between the 6 mile fix and the 3 mile fix, with an altitude of 3,100 feet. Further, the solid line was defined in the Chart Legend as "Flight Path," which implied that a descent to 3,100 feet was proper once the fix to which the flight has been cleared is reached.

PROBABLE CAUSE: "The misinterpretation of the approach chart by the captain which resulted in a premature descent below obstructing terrain."

Accident investigation:
  
Investigating agency: NTSB
Report number: UNK65X0729
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 1 year
Download report: Final report

Sources:

ICAO Aircraft Accident Digest No.16 - Volume III, Circular 82-AN/69 (103-112)

Statistics

  • 22nd worst accident in 1964
  • 33rd worst accident of this aircraft type
  • 3rd worst accident of this aircraft type at the time

Location

Images:


photo (c) Romy Schnitzer-Cook; 13 km S of Las Vegas, NV; November 1964


photo (c) Romy Schnitzer-Cook; 13 km S of Las Vegas, NV; November 1964


photo (c) Romy Schnitzer-Cook; 13 km S of Las Vegas, NV; November 1964


photo (c) Frank Ellemers; 16m SW of Las Vegas, NV; 15 September 2015

Revision history:

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