Accident description
Last updated: 28 November 2014
Status:Final
Date:Saturday 28 December 1946
Time:02:09 UTC
Type:Silhouette image of generic CONI model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Lockheed L-049 Constellation
Operator:Transcontinental & Western Air - TWA
Registration: NC86505
C/n / msn: 2026
First flight:
Total airframe hrs:1098
Engines: 4 Wright R-3350 (745C18BA3) Cyclone
Crew:Fatalities: 4 / Occupants: 9
Passengers:Fatalities: 5 / Occupants: 14
Total:Fatalities: 9 / Occupants: 23
Airplane damage: Damaged beyond repair
Location:1,5 km (0.9 mls) WNW of Shannon Airport (SNN) (   Ireland) show on map
Phase: Approach (APR)
Nature:International Scheduled Passenger
Departure airport:Paris-Orly Airport (ORY/LFPO), France
Destination airport:Shannon Airport (SNN/EINN), Ireland
Flightnumber:6963
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.
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."

Classification:
Wrong installation of parts

Controlled Flight Into Terrain (CFIT) - Ground

Sources:
» Air Britain Casualty compendium (pt. 45)
» CAB File No. 6127-46


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Map
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).

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