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Accident description
Last updated: 22 May 2017
Date:Tuesday 16 July 1957
Type:Silhouette image of generic CONI model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Lockheed L-1049C-55-81 Super Constellation
Operator:KLM Royal Dutch Airlines
Registration: PH-LKT
C/n / msn: 4504
First flight: 1953
Total airframe hrs:11867
Crew:Fatalities: 9 / Occupants: 9
Passengers:Fatalities: 49 / Occupants: 59
Total:Fatalities: 58 / Occupants: 68
Airplane damage: Damaged beyond repair
Location:1,2 km (0.8 mls) off Biak-Mokmer Airport (BIK) (   Indonesia)
Phase: En route (ENR)
Nature:International Scheduled Passenger
Departure airport:Biak-Mokmer Airport (BIK/WABB), Indonesia
Destination airport:Manila International Airport (MNL/RPLL), Philippines
The Super Constellation, named "Neutron", departed from Biak runway 10 at 03:32 at night for the first leg of a flight back to Amsterdam. Shortly after takeoff the pilot asked the tower controller to keep the runway lights on and requested permission for a low run over the airfield. Both requests were granted. The aircraft was in a 180deg turn when it lost altitude gradually until it struck the sea and broke apart. The wreckage sank in 250 m of water.

Probable Cause:

PROBABLE CAUSE: "The explanation of the accident lies either in an error on the part of the pilot or in a technical failure. The Board was unable to state whether the accident could have been caused by a combination of both pilot error and technical failure. The Board was of the opinion that low runs should not be made by aircraft on scheduled services. The magnitude of the danger that is inherent in the proximity of the ground on takeoff and landing should not be increased unnecessarily by flying at low altitude."

Controlled Flight Into Terrain (CFIT) - Water

» ICAO Accident Digest No.9, Circular 56-AN/51 (141-145)
» Nederlandse Constallations / H.Dekker
» Vrij Nederland 13.02.1999 (p.18-19)


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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 Biak-Mokmer Airport to Manila International Airport as the crow flies is 2398 km (1499 miles).

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Lockheed L-1049

  • 16th loss
  • 8th fatal accident
  • 564 built
  • 3rd worst accident (at the time)
  • 6th worst accident (currently)
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  • The worst accident (at the time)
  • 13th worst accident (currently)
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