Accident description
Last updated: 20 December 2014
Status:Final
Date:Saturday 2 May 1953
Time:ca 16:35
Type:de Havilland DH-106 Comet 1
Operator:British Overseas Airways Corporation - BOAC
Registration: G-ALYV
C/n / msn: 06008
First flight: 1952
Total airframe hrs:1649
Engines: 4 de Havilland Ghost 50 Mark I
Crew:Fatalities: 6 / Occupants: 6
Passengers:Fatalities: 37 / Occupants: 37
Total:Fatalities: 43 / Occupants: 43
Airplane damage: Destroyed
Airplane fate: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:32 km (20 mls) NW of Calcutta-Dum Dum Airport (CCU) (   India) show on map
Phase: En route (ENR)
Nature:International Scheduled Passenger
Departure airport:Calcutta-Dum Dum Airport (CCU/VECC), India
Destination airport:Delhi-Safdarjung Airport (VIDD), India
Flightnumber:783/057
Narrative:
A de Havilland DH-106 Comet 1 passenger plane, operated by BOAC, was destroyed in an accident near Calcutta, India. All 43 on board were killed.
The airplane operated on a return flight from London, UK to Singapore.
On its return leg from Singapore it landed at Calcutta-Dum Dum Airport at 15:10 hrs local time. Intermediate stops were made at Bangkok and Rangoon before arriving at Calcutta.
The flight took off from runway 19L at 15:29 and was cleared to climb under Visual Flight Rules and report when passing 7500 feet. The aircraft encountered a severe squall with thunderstorm shortly after take-off when climbing to its cruising altitude, and suffered structural failure in the air which caused fire. The pilots lost control and the Comet crashed.


PROBABLE CAUSE: "Structural failure of the airframe during flight through a thunder squall. In the opinion of the Court, the structural failure was due to overstressing which resulted from either:- (1) Severe gusts encountered in the thunder squall, or (2) Overcontrolling or loss of control by the pilot when flying through the thunderstorm."

Classification:
Turbulence
Fuselage failure
Loss of control

Sources:
» CIVIL AIRCRAFT ACCIDENT Report of the Court Investigation on the Accident to COMET G-ALYV on 2nd May, 1953


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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 Calcutta-Dum Dum Airport to Delhi-Safdarjung Airport as the crow flies is 1297 km (811 miles).

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DH-106 Comet

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  • 112 built
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  • 5th worst accident (currently)
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  • 2nd worst accident (at the time)
  • 19th worst accident (currently)
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