Narrative:TWA's Constellation "Cairo Skychief" departed Paris-Orly at 23:16 on a flight to New York via Shannon and Gander. The en route portion of the flight was uneventful and at 02:00 Shannon control tower cleared the aircraft for approach to runway 14. At 02:06 the flight reported over the range station at 1,200 feet at which time Shannon Tower advised it that Shannon was reporting 10/10 cloud cover at 400 feet, 4/10 at 250 feet, visibility 1 mile, wind 120 degrees, 5 knots. While turning to the left for final approach to runway 14, the aircraft passed behind a low hill which blocked the airport lights from the pilot's vision.
|Date:||28 DEC 1946|
|Type:||Lockheed L-049 Constellation|
|Operator:||Transcontinental & Western Air - TWA|
|C/n / msn:|| 2026|
|First flight:|| |
|Total airframe hrs:||1098|
|Crew:||Fatalities: 4 / Occupants: 9|
|Passengers:||Fatalities: 5 / Occupants: 14|
|Total:||Fatalities: 9 / Occupants: 23 |
|Airplane damage:|| Written off|
|Airplane fate:|| Written off (damaged beyond repair)|
|Location:||1,5 km (0.9 mls) WNW of Shannon Airport (SNN) (Ireland)
|Phase:|| Approach (APR)|
|Nature:||International Scheduled Passenger|
|Departure airport:||Paris-Orly Airport (ORY/LFPO), France|
|Destination airport:||Shannon Airport (SNN/EINN), Ireland|
At the end of a left hand turn to finals. During this turn the aircraft lost at least 150 feet of altitude and the left wing tip struck the ground. The plane crashed and caught fire.
PROBABLE CAUSE: "An error in altimeter indication, the primary reason for which was the reversal of the primary and alternative static source lines which led the pilot to conduct his approach to the airport at a dangerously low altitude. A contributing factor was the negligence of maintenance personnel in certifying to the satisfactory functioning of the static system although the tests required to determine such a condition were not accomplished. A further contributing factor was the restriction of vision from the cockpit resulting from fogging of the unheated windshield panels."
» Air Britain Casualty compendium (pt. 45)
» CAB File No. 6127-46
This map shows the airport of departure and the intended destination of the flight. The line between the airports does not
display the exact flight path.
Distance from Paris-Orly Airport to Shannon Airport as the crow flies is 901 km (563 miles).