Narrative:The Comet aircraft, named "Empress of Hawaii" and on a delivery flight to Canadian Pacific, did not become airborne on takeoff and crashed into the dry bed of a river. CF-CUN was the first passenger jetliner involved in a fatal accident.
Probable Cause:PROBABLE CAUSE: "The accident was caused by the fact that the nose of the aircraft was lifted too high during the takeoff run, resulting in a partially stalled condition and excessive drag. This did not permit normal acceleration and prevented the aircraft from becoming airborne within the prescribed distance. The pilot appears to have realised that the nose was excessively high and took corrective action, but this was done too late to prevent the aircraft striking an obstruction immediately beyond the perimeter fence before it became airborne.
Contributory cause: The pilot, who had only limited experience in the Comet aircraft, elected to takeoff at night at the maximum permissible takeoff for the prevailing conditions. The circumstances required strict adherence to the prescribed takeoff technique, which was not complied with."
This information is not presented as the Flight Safety Foundation or the Aviation Safety Network’s opinion as to the cause of the accident. It is preliminary and is based on the facts as they are known at this time.