Accident description
Last updated: 24 July 2014
Status:Final
Date:Tuesday 12 July 1949
Time:03:50 UTC
Type:Silhouette image of generic CONI model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Lockheed L-749-79-33 Constellation
Operator:KLM Royal Dutch Airlines
Registration: PH-TDF
C/n / msn: 2558
First flight: 1947
Total airframe hrs:3381
Engines: 4 Wright R-3350 (749C18BD1) Cyclone
Crew:Fatalities: 11 / Occupants: 11
Passengers:Fatalities: 34 / Occupants: 34
Total:Fatalities: 45 / Occupants: 45
Airplane damage: Damaged beyond repair
Location:5 km (3.1 mls) ENE of Bombay-Santacruz Airport (BOM) (   India) show on map
Phase: Approach (APR)
Nature:Domestic Scheduled Passenger
Departure airport:Delhi-Palam Airport (DEL/VIDP), India
Destination airport:Bombay-Santacruz Airport (BOM/VABB), India
Narrative:
The Constellation was on a flight from Batavia (now Jakarta) to Amsterdam when it took off from Delhi at 00:39 GMT after an intermediate stop. At 03:22 GMT the plane arrived over Mumbai (Bombay) at 7000 feet for another intermediate stop. The flight was cleared to descend to 500-600 feet and vectored for a runway 23 approach. At 03:50 GMT the aircraft struck a 674 feet high mist-shrouded hill and crashed.

PROBABLE CAUSE: "The Board was of the opinion that two successive errors of judgment were committed by the pilot. These were as follows: (1) He initiated a landing procedure at an aerodrome with which he was not acquainted, in weather conditions which were lower than the minimum prescribed for landings on that aerodrome; (2) On arrival over the aerodrome, he flew at too low an altitude over a terrain which he must have known to include a hill which constituted a hazard for his aircraft, which hill he was not able to see, on account of the poor visibility and low cloud. The Board further considered that the following factors contributed towards the accident to a considerable extent: a) air traffic control did not advise the pilot to delay his landing until the weather conditions had improved, or otherwise to divert to another aerodrome; b) air traffic control designated a runway for the landing which necessitated the aircraft venturing low over dangerous terrain as indicated in 2) above."

Classification:
Controlled Flight Into Terrain (CFIT) - Mountain

Sources:
» ICAO Circular 18-AN/15 (35-42)
» Uitspraak ongeval PH-TDF / Raad voor de Luchtvaart


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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 Delhi-Palam Airport to Bombay-Santacruz Airport as the crow flies is 1131 km (707 miles).

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Lockheed L-749

  • 3rd loss
  • 145 built
  • worst accident (at the time)
  • 5th worst accident (currently)
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 India
  • worst accident (at the time)
  • 17th worst accident (currently)
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