Accident description
Last updated: 19 September 2014
Status:Final
Date:Wednesday 20 October 1948
Time:23:32 UTC
Type:Silhouette image of generic CONI model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Lockheed L-049-46-25 Constellation
Operator:KLM Royal Dutch Airlines
Registration: PH-TEN
C/n / msn: 2083
First flight: 1947
Crew:Fatalities: 10 / Occupants: 10
Passengers:Fatalities: 30 / Occupants: 30
Total:Fatalities: 40 / Occupants: 40
Airplane damage: Destroyed
Airplane fate: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:5 km (3.1 mls) E of Glasgow-Prestwick Airport (PIK) (   United Kingdom) show on map
Phase: Approach (APR)
Nature:International Scheduled Passenger
Departure airport:Amsterdam-Schiphol International Airport (AMS/EHAM), Netherlands
Destination airport:Glasgow-Prestwick Airport (PIK/EGPK), United Kingdom
Narrative:
Lockheed Constellation "Nijmegen" departed Amsterdam at 21:11 GMT for a transatlantic flight to New York with an intermediate stop at Prestwick. Arriving near Prestwick the aircraft was vectored for a Ground Controlled Approach to runway 32. Thee crew however wanted to try a visual approach to runway 26. After having overshot runway 32, the aircraft entered the runway 26 downwind leg. At an altitude of 440 feet the aircraft struck high tension cables; the aircraft caught fire and completed a left turn before crashing.

PROBABLE CAUSE: "1) That when the pilot started his landing manoeuvre for runway 26 of Prestwick Airport the weather conditions were already below the limits for this manoeuvre but that from the weather forecasts received this could not be known to him and that this could not be personally judged at the time. 2) That, although the landing on runway 26 under the weather conditions, as far as these were known to the pilot, required the greatest caution, the pilot could not be blamed for having commenced that landing procedure. 3) That flying too long on the downwind-leg of runway 26 caused the accident. 4) That, if no unknown circumstances contributed to the extension of the flight on the downwind-leg of runway 26, the extension was due to the delayed action of the pilot after he lost visual approach. 5) That it was not impossible that a stronger wind that the pilot accounted for contributed to the extension of the flight on the downwind-leg of runway 26. 6) That the possibility of other circumstances as mentioned under 4 could not be ruled out, but that no data was available which could give cause for the supposition that they contributed to the extension of the flight at a low altitude on the downwind-leg of runway 26."

Sources:
» Nederlandse Constallations / H.Dekker (p.22)


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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 Amsterdam-Schiphol International Airport to Glasgow-Prestwick Airport as the crow flies is 702 km (439 miles).

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Lockheed L-049

  • 12th loss
  • 88 built
  • worst accident (at the time)
  • 7th worst accident (currently)
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 United Kingdom
  • worst accident (at the time)
  • 10th worst accident (currently)
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