Accident description
Last updated: 16 September 2014
Status:
Date:Friday 26 June 1959
Time:ca. 17:35
Type:Lockheed L-1649A Starliner
Operator:Trans World Airlines - TWA
Registration: N7313C
C/n / msn: 1015
First flight: 1957
Crew:Fatalities: 9 / Occupants: 9
Passengers:Fatalities: 59 / Occupants: 59
Total:Fatalities: 68 / Occupants: 68
Airplane damage: Destroyed
Airplane fate: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:32 km (20 mls) NW of Milano (   Italy) show on map
Phase: En route (ENR)
Nature:International Scheduled Passenger
Departure airport:Milano-Malpensa Airport (MXP/LIMC), Italy
Destination airport:Paris-Orly Airport (ORY/LFPO), France
Flightnumber: 891
Narrative:
The TWA Lockheed Starliner departed Milan at 16:20 GMT in weather conditions with scattered thunderstorms. Some 12 minutes later the crew reported climbing through 10000 feet. At 16:35 a structural failure occurred, initiated by a wing separation.

PROBABLE CAUSE: "The breaking-up in flight was due to the explosion of the fuel vapours contained in tank No.7, followed immediately by either an explosion of pressure or a further explosion in tank no.6.
In the absence of other significant concrete evidence, taking into account the stormy weather conditions, with frequent electric discharges, existing in the area at the time of the crash, it may be assumed that the explosion of the fuel vapours contained in tank No.7 was set off, through the outlet pipes, by igniting of the gasoline vapours issuing from these pipes as a consequence of static electricity discharges (streamer corona) which developed on the vent outlets."

Classification:
Lightningstrike

Loss of control

Sources:
» ICAO Accident Digest Circular 62-AN/57 (132-152)
» http://www.olgiateolona26giugno1959.org/indexeng.html


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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 Milano-Malpensa Airport to Paris-Orly Airport as the crow flies is 587 km (367 miles).

This information is not presented as the Flight Safety Foundation or the Aviation Safety Networkĺs opinion as to the cause of the accident. It is preliminary and is based on the facts as they are known at this time.
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