Accident description
Last updated: 31 October 2014
Status:Final
Date:Wednesday 20 June 1956
Time:01:32
Type:Silhouette image of generic CONI model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Lockheed L-1049E-55 Super Constellation
Operator:Linea Aeropostal Venezolana - LAV
Registration: YV-C-AMS
C/n / msn: 4561
First flight: 1954
Crew:Fatalities: 10 / Occupants: 10
Passengers:Fatalities: 64 / Occupants: 64
Total:Fatalities: 74 / Occupants: 74
Airplane damage: Destroyed
Airplane fate: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:65 km (40.6 mls) SE off New York, NY (   Atlantic Ocean) show on map
Phase: En route (ENR)
Nature:International Scheduled Passenger
Departure airport:New York-Idlewild International Airport, NY (IDL/KIDL), United States of America
Destination airport:Caracas-Simón Bolívar International Airport (CCS/SVMI), Venezuela
Flightnumber: 253
Narrative:
A Lockheed L-1049 Super Constellation, named "Rafael Urdaneta", and operated by Linea Aeropostal Venezolana was destroyed in an accident in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of New York, USA. The airplane carried 64 passengers and ten crew members. All were killed.
Flight 253 took off from New York-Idlewild at 23:06 on June 19, 1956 for a flight to Caracas, Venezuela. Eighty minutes into the flight the crew reported they were returning to Idlewild because the no. 2 engine propeller was running wild. An emergency was declared at 00:50 and a US Coast Guard plane was sent as an escort. At 01:29 the Constellation crew started dumping fuel. Immediately after starting the dump the aircraft burst into flames. A sharp turn to the right was followed by a smooth climb and a tendency to veer to the left. The Super Constellation then disintegrated, turned into a fireball and crashed into the sea.


PROBABLE CAUSE: "Although the accident was observed by witnesses, its cause cannot be determined with absolute certainty. However, it would be logical to assume that the vibration which resulted from the loss of control of propeller no.2 caused one of the inside wing attachments to loosen or break at some point between the fuel tank and the dump chute at the symmetrical point of vibration (behind engine no.3)."

Classification:
Wing failure
Loss of control

Sources:


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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 New York-Idlewild International Airport, NY to Caracas-Simón Bolívar International Airport as the crow flies is 3382 km (2114 miles).

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Lockheed L-1049

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