Accident Convair CV-580 N5825, Monday 6 January 1969
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Date:Monday 6 January 1969
Type:Silhouette image of generic CVLT model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different    
Convair CV-580
Owner/operator:Allegheny Airlines
Registration: N5825
MSN: 386
Year of manufacture:1956
Total airframe hrs:27285 hours
Engine model:Allison 501-D13
Fatalities:Fatalities: 11 / Occupants: 28
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Destroyed, written off
Location:8 km NW of Bradford Airport, PA (BFD) -   United States of America
Phase: Approach
Nature:Passenger - Scheduled
Departure airport:Harrisburg International Airport, PA (MDT/KMDT)
Destination airport:Bradford Airport, PA (BFD/KBFD)
Investigating agency: NTSB
Confidence Rating: Accident investigation report completed and information captured
Allegheny Airlines Flight 737 was a scheduled passenger flight from Washington, DC, to Detroit, MI, with en route stops at Harrisburg, Bradford, and Erie, PA. The flight was uneventful until it arrived in the Bradford area, about 20:22. About 20:23, Erie Approach Control asked flight 737 to report their distance to the airport: "Allegheny seven thirty seven, what are you showing DME from Bradford?". Upon which the crew replied, "Fifteen". Erie Approach Control then instructed, "... descend and cruise four thousand via Victor thirty three and cleared for the VOR thirty two (runway 32) approach to the Bradford Airport, report leaving six and Bradford's current weather sky partially obscured, measured ceiling eight hundred overcast, visibility one and one half and light snow showers, wind one seventy degrees at ten (knots) Bradford altimeter twenty nine point four nine." At ten miles from the airport Flight 737 asked for clearance to make its instrument approach to runway 14 instead of runway 32. The Bradford FSS Specialist obtained approval for this change from Erie Approach Control and so advised the flight. At 20:31 the flight reported completing the procedure turn inbound. The Convair clipped treetops 4,7nm short of the airport and cut a swath through trees bordering a fairway of the Pine Acres Golf Course. The aircraft came to rest inverted.
On Dec.24 1968 another Allegheny CV-580 crashed while approaching Bradford in about the same circumstances.

PROBABLE CAUSE: "The Safety Board is unable to determine precisely the probable cause of this accident. Of some 13 potential causes examined by the Board, three remain after final analysis. They are: 1) misreading of the altimeter by the captain, 2) a malfunction of the captain's altimeter after completion of the instrument approach procedure turn, and 3) a misreading of the instrument approach chart. Of these three, no single one can be accepted or rejected to the exclusion of another based on the available evidence."

Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: NTSB
Report number: DCA69A0011
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 1 year and 6 months
Download report: Final report


ICAO Accident Digest Circular 107-AN/81 (329-347)


  • 62nd worst accident in 1969
  • 7th worst accident of this aircraft type
  • 4th worst accident of this aircraft type at the time



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