Accident Lockheed L-049 Constellation N86511, Friday 1 September 1961
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Date:Friday 1 September 1961
Time:02:05
Type:Silhouette image of generic CONI model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different    
Lockheed L-049 Constellation
Owner/operator:Trans World Airlines - TWA
Registration: N86511
MSN: 2035
Year of manufacture:1945
Total airframe hrs:43112 hours
Fatalities:Fatalities: 78 / Occupants: 78
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Destroyed, written off
Category:Accident
Location:14,5 km W of Chicago-Midway Airport, IL (MDW) -   United States of America
Phase: En route
Nature:Passenger - Scheduled
Departure airport:Chicago-Midway Airport, IL (MDW/KMDW)
Destination airport:Las Vegas-McCarran International Airport, NV (LAS/KLAS)
Investigating agency: CAB
Confidence Rating: Accident investigation report completed and information captured
Narrative:
Lockheed Constellation "Star of Dublin" operated as TWA Flight 529 from Boston, MA (BOS) to San Francisco, CA (SFO) with en route stops at New York, NY, Pittsburgh, PA, Chicago, IL (MDW), Las Vegas, NV (LAS) and Los Angeles, CA (LAX).
The flight to Chicago was routine and the airplane arrived at Midway Airport at 01:18.
Following a crew change and refueling, the aircraft departed the passenger loading gate. During engine runup, Flight 529 was given its air traffic control clearance which was: "cleared to the Las Vegas Airport via Victor 6 Naperville, Victor 8 flight plan route, maintain 5,000 feet. " The clearance was acknowledged and TWA Flight 529 departed on runway 22L at 02:00, making a right turn out of traffic.
Radar contact was. established with the flight one minute and 34 seconds after the flight acknowledged takeoff clearance, and as the aircraft proceeded outbound in a right turn. At 02:04, Flight 529 was observed on radar by the departure controller to be five miles west of Midway Airport proceeding on course.
During the climbout from Midway Airport, a bolt worked its way clear in the elevator boost system. This was followed immediately by full pressure to the up-elevator side of the actuator piston. The airplane pitched up violently and an it entered an accelerated stall. The pilot's immediate response to apply high forward pressure on the control column prevented successful shift of the elevator boost system to the manual position. The pilot lost control of the airplane. Oscillatory loads then caused the separation of a of the horizontal stabilizer to which the right vertical fin is attached.
TWA Flight 529 crashed in an open field near Hinsdale, DuPage County, IL. The aircraft struck the ground in a slightly left-wing-low and nosedown attitude on a heading of approximately true North. The aircraft disintegrated, leaving debris over an area 200 feet wide and 1,100 feet long.

PROBABLE CAUSE: "The loss of an AN-175-21 nickel steel bolt from the parallelogram linkage of the elevator boost system, resulting in loss of control of the aircraft."

Accident investigation:
cover
  
Investigating agency: CAB
Report number: File No. 1-0011
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 1 year and 3 months
Download report: Final report

Sources:


History of this aircraft

Other occurrences involving this aircraft

18 November 1950 NC86511 Trans World Airlines - TWA 0 Long Beach Airport, CA (LGB) sub
Runway excursion

Statistics

  • 2nd worst accident in 1961
  • 4th worst accident of this aircraft type
  • 2nd worst accident of this aircraft type at the time

Location

Revision history:

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