Narrative:The Douglas C-54 had been chartered by the UK War Office to transport personnel from Nairobi to the UK. The aircraft departed Khartoum for the leg to Castel Benito. The let down procedure was carried out west of Castel Benito in conditions of heavy rain and low (2 miles) visibility. When at about 700 feet, descending downwind, the no. 4 engine failed, followed immediately by the no. 3 engine. The aircraft lost altitude and crashed into trees.
Probable Cause:PROBABLE CAUSE: "1) Failure of the captain to maintain a safe height, by utilizing the available power of the starboard engines after power failure in the port engine. The reason for this failure by the captain cannot be determined. 2) The power failure in the port engines was caused by fuel starvation brought about by an insufficiency of fuel in the port tanks. This fuel shortage was the result of the wing tanks being allowed to become progressively unbalanced during the last stage of the flight. 3) An attempt by the flight engineer under emergency conditions to cross feed the port engine from the starboard tanks, failed owing to the full operation not having been completed in time."
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 Khartoum-Civil Airport to Tripoli-Castel Benito Airport as the crow flies is 2710 km (1694 miles).
This information is not presented as the Flight Safety Foundation or the Aviation Safety Networkĺs opinion as to the cause of the accident. It is preliminary and is based on the facts as they are known at this time.