Accident Lockheed L-749A Constellation N6004C, Thursday 31 August 1950
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Date:Thursday 31 August 1950
Time:02:03
Type:Silhouette image of generic CONI model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different    
Lockheed L-749A Constellation
Owner/operator:Trans World Airlines - TWA
Registration: N6004C
MSN: 2636
Year of manufacture:1950
Total airframe hrs:1100 hours
Fatalities:Fatalities: 55 / Occupants: 55
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Destroyed, written off
Category:Accident
Location:near Wadi Natrun -   Egypt
Phase: En route
Nature:Passenger - Scheduled
Departure airport:Cairo-Farouk Airport (CAI/HECA)
Destination airport:Roma-Ciampino Airport (CIA/LIRA)
Investigating agency: CAB
Confidence Rating: Accident investigation report completed and information captured
Narrative:
TWA Flight 903 from Bombay, India to New York was carried out by TWA's Constellation "Star of Maryland". Departure from Bombay was at 08:34, August 30 and arrival at Cairo at 22:17. A complete crew change was made at Cairo and the aircraft was refueled The weather over the route was good and the flight departed Cairo at 23:35, planning to cruise at an altitude of 14,500 feet. A routine position report was received from the flight by the Cairo control tower at 23:55, "off Cairo 23:35 25 miles out of Cairo at 23:43 estimated time of arrival Rome 0530". This message was acknowledged but the flight did not reply. At that moment, while climbing through an altitude of approx 10,000 feet, the plane suffered a no. 3 engine failure. A major fire erupted, forcing the crew to return to Cairo. When the burning engine fell free of the aircraft, a forced landing in the desert became necessary. The aircraft crashed during the attempted night-time emergency landing.

PROBABLE CAUSE: "The failure of the rear row master rod bearing causing an uncontrolled fire which precipitated a crash landing."

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

Sources:

CAB File No. 1-0114
ICAO Aircraft Accident Digest No.2, Circular 24-AN/21 (15-20)

Statistics

  • 4th worst accident in 1950
  • 11th worst accident of this aircraft type
  • worst accident of this aircraft type at the time

Location

Images:


photo (c) Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB); near Wadi Natrun; 1950; (publicdomain)

Revision history:

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