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Accident description
Last updated: 22 October 2017
Status:Final
Date:Wednesday 13 December 1950
Time:10:00 UTC
Type:Silhouette image of generic DC4 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Douglas DC-4-1009
Operator:Swissair
Registration: HB-ILE
C/n / msn: 43093
First flight: 1947
Crew:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 11
Passengers:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 20
Total:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 31
Airplane damage: Damaged beyond repair
Location:Sydney Airport, NS (YQY) (   Canada)
Phase: Approach (APR)
Nature:International Scheduled Passenger
Departure airport:Shannon Airport (SNN/EINN), Ireland
Destination airport:Gander Airport, NF (YQX/CYQX), Canada
Narrative:
The Swissair DC-4 had taken off from Geneva for a flight to New York via Shannon and Gander. Bad weather at Gander forced the crew to divert to Sydney. The aircraft descended too low on finals and struck a number of approach light poles. Full power was added, but no. 1 and 2 prop damage caused the plane to swing to the left. The DC-4 struck the ground in a left-wing-low attitude.
The wing was sheared off. Small fires broke out on the left hand side, but were controlled by the crew. About 30 minutes later fire again broke out which destroyed the forward fuselage.

Probable Cause:

PROBABLE CAUSE: "The impact of the aircraft with the ground while out of control due to failure on the part of the captain to maintain sufficient height to clear the approach light poles, three of which were struck by the aircraft. After striking the approach light poles, the captain and first officer were unable to maintain control of the aircraft due to the malfunctioning of numbers 1 and 2 engines and structural damage to the left wing and flap."

Sources:
» ICAO Circular 18-AN/15 (20-22)


Photos

photo of Douglas DC-4-1009 HB-ILE
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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 Shannon Airport to Gander Airport, NF as the crow flies is 3156 km (1972 miles).

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