Accident Douglas DC-4-1009 HB-ILE, Wednesday 13 December 1950
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Date:Wednesday 13 December 1950
Type:Silhouette image of generic DC4 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different    
Douglas DC-4-1009
Registration: HB-ILE
MSN: 43093
Year of manufacture:1947
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 31
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Destroyed, written off
Location:Sydney Airport, NS (YQY) -   Canada
Phase: Approach
Nature:Passenger - Scheduled
Departure airport:Shannon Airport (SNN/EINN)
Destination airport:Gander Airport, NL (YQX/CYQX)
Confidence Rating: Accident investigation report completed and information captured
The Swissair DC-4 had taken off from Geneva for a flight to New York via Shannon and Gander. Bad weather at Gander forced the crew to divert to Sydney. The aircraft descended too low on finals and struck a number of approach light poles. Full power was added, but no. 1 and 2 prop damage caused the plane to swing to the left. The DC-4 struck the ground in a left-wing-low attitude.
The wing was sheared off. Small fires broke out on the left hand side, but were controlled by the crew. About 30 minutes later fire again broke out which destroyed the forward fuselage.

PROBABLE CAUSE: "The impact of the aircraft with the ground while out of control due to failure on the part of the captain to maintain sufficient height to clear the approach light poles, three of which were struck by the aircraft. After striking the approach light poles, the captain and first officer were unable to maintain control of the aircraft due to the malfunctioning of numbers 1 and 2 engines and structural damage to the left wing and flap."


ICAO Circular 18-AN/15 (20-22)


photo (c) ETH-Bibliothek Zürich, Bildarchiv; Zürich-Dübendorf Airport; 1948; (CC:by-nc-nd)

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