Narrative:TWA Flight 903 from Bombay, India to New York was carried out by TWA's Constellation "Star of Maryland". Departure from Bombay was at 08:34, August 30 and arrival at Cairo at 22:17. A complete crew change was made at Cairo and the aircraft was refueled The weather over the route was good and the flight departed Cairo at 23:35, planning to cruise at an altitude of 14,500 feet. A routine position report was received from the flight by the Cairo control tower at 23:55, "off Cairo 23:35 25 miles out of Cairo at 23:43 estimated time of arrival Rome 0530". This message was acknowledged but the flight did not reply. At that moment, while climbing through an altitude of approx 10,000 feet, the plane suffered a no. 3 engine failure. A major fire erupted, forcing the crew to return to Cairo. When the burning engine fell free of the aircraft, a forced landing in the desert became necessary. The aircraft crashed during the attempted night-time emergency landing.
|Date:||Thursday 31 August 1950|
Lockheed L-749A Constellation
|Operator:||Trans World Airlines - TWA|
|C/n / msn:|| 2636|
|First flight:|| 1950|
|Total airframe hrs:||1100|
|Crew:||Fatalities: 7 / Occupants: 7|
|Passengers:||Fatalities: 48 / Occupants: 48|
|Total:||Fatalities: 55 / Occupants: 55 |
|Airplane damage:|| Destroyed|
|Airplane fate:|| Written off (damaged beyond repair)|
|Location:||near Wadi Natrun ( Egypt)
|Phase:|| En route (ENR)|
|Nature:||International Scheduled Passenger|
|Departure airport:||Cairo-Farouk Airport (CAI/HECA), Egypt|
|Destination airport:||Roma-Ciampino Airport (CIA/LIRA), Italy|
PROBABLE CAUSE: "The failure of the rear row master rod bearing causing an uncontrolled fire which precipitated a crash landing."
Forced landing outside airport
» CAB File No. 1-0114
» ICAO Aircraft Accident Digest No.2, Circular 24-AN/21 (15-20)
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 Cairo-Farouk Airport to Roma-Ciampino Airport as the crow flies is 2112 km (1320 miles).