Accident Martin 4-0-4 N40416, Saturday 19 February 1955
ASN logo
 

Date:Saturday 19 February 1955
Time:07:13
Type:Silhouette image of generic M404 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different    
Martin 4-0-4
Owner/operator:Trans World Airlines - TWA
Registration: N40416
MSN: 14120
Fatalities:Fatalities: 16 / Occupants: 16
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Destroyed, written off
Category:Accident
Location:21 km NE of Albuquerque Municipal Airport, NM (ABQ) -   United States of America
Phase: En route
Nature:Passenger - Scheduled
Departure airport:Albuquerque Municipal Airport, NM (ABQ/KABQ)
Destination airport:Santa Fe Airport, NM (SAF/KSAF)
Investigating agency: CAB
Confidence Rating: Accident investigation report completed and information captured
Narrative:
Flight 260 received an IFR clearance from the tower at 0703 hours: "ATC clears TWA260 for approach at the Santa Fe Airport via Victor 19 climb northbound on the back course of the ILS localizer". The flight departed Albuquerque at 0705 hours. The tower requested the flight to report over-the Weiler Intersection (formerly the Alameda Intersection), however, after taking off there were no further radio contacts with the flight. The aircraft was last seen at an estimated altitude of 3000 feet (8300 feet mean sea level) in a high speed shallow climb continuing its heading towards Sandia Ridge, the upper portion of which was obscured by clouds. The wreckage was sighted the following morning at 9243 feet mean sea level, just below the crest of Sandia Mountain, approximately 13 miles north-east of the Albuquerque Airport and almost directly on a straight line course of 30 degrees magnetic from that airport (elevation 5340 feet mean sea level) to the Santa. Fe Airport (elevation 6 344 feet mean sea level). The accident area is now unofficially called "TWA canyon".
The final accident investigation report on this accident was released on 12 October 1955. This report attributed the cause to 'a lack of conformity with prescribed en route procedures and the deviation from airways..'. Because of controversy over certain elements in the report, further study followed and an amended report, dated 26 August 1957, was issued by the CAB. Owing to further developments, the CAB, on 15 June 1960, released a supplement to its revised report of August 1957.

PROBABLE CAUSE: "A deviation from the prescribed flight path for reasons unknown."

Accident investigation:
cover
  
Investigating agency: CAB
Report number: final report
Status: Investigation completed
Duration:
Download report: Final report

Sources:

ICAO Accident Digest Circular 50-AN/45 (74-76)
ICAO Accident Digest Circular 62-AN/57 (9-15)
ICAO Accident Digest No.8, Circular 54-AN/49 (13-15)

Statistics

  • 18th worst accident in 1955
  • 3rd worst accident of this aircraft type
  • worst accident of this aircraft type at the time

Location

Images:


photo (c) Jeff Mullowney; Sandia Mountain, NM; 23 April 2000


photo (c) Hugh Prather; Sandia Mountain, NM


photo (c) Justin Cole; Sandia Mountain, NM; 30 April 2016


photo (c) anon.; Sandia Mountain, NM; 09 March 2017


photo (c) Jeff Mullowney; Sandia Mountain, NM; 23 April 2000


photo (c) Hugh Prather; Sandia Mountain, NM


photo (c) Hugh Prather; Sandia Mountain, NM


photo (c) Hugh Prather; Sandia Mountain, NM


photo (c) Hugh Prather; Sandia Mountain, NM


photo (c) Hugh Prather; Sandia Mountain, NM


photo (c) Hugh Prather; Sandia Mountain, NM


photo (c) Hugh Prather; Sandia Mountain, NM

Revision history:

Date/timeContributorUpdates

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
www.FlightSafety.org