Accident description
Last updated: 21 December 2014
Status:Final
Date:Thursday 31 August 1950
Time:ca 02:03
Type:Silhouette image of generic CONI model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Lockheed L-749A Constellation
Operator:Trans World Airlines - TWA
Registration: N6004C
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) show on map
Phase: En route (ENR)
Nature:International Scheduled Passenger
Departure airport:Cairo-Farouk Airport (CAI/HECA), Egypt
Destination airport:Roma-Ciampino Airport (CIA/LIRA), Italy
Flightnumber: 903
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.

PROBABLE CAUSE: "The failure of the rear row master rod bearing causing an uncontrolled fire which precipitated a crash landing."

Classification:

Engine separation
Forced landing outside airport

Sources:
» CAB File No. 1-0114
» ICAO Aircraft Accident Digest No.2, Circular 24-AN/21 (15-20)


Photos

photo of Lockheed L-749A Constellation N6004C
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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 Cairo-Farouk Airport to Roma-Ciampino Airport as the crow flies is 2112 km (1320 miles).

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Lockheed L-749

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