Accident description
Last updated: 30 October 2014
Status:Final
Date:Monday 18 January 1960
Time:22:19
Type:Silhouette image of generic VISC model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Vickers 745D Viscount
Operator:Capital Airlines
Registration: N7462
C/n / msn: 217
First flight: 1957
Total airframe hrs:9247
Engines: 4 Rolls-Royce Dart 510
Crew:Fatalities: 4 / Occupants: 4
Passengers:Fatalities: 46 / Occupants: 46
Total:Fatalities: 50 / Occupants: 50
Airplane damage: Destroyed
Airplane fate: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:11 km (6.9 mls) ENE of Charles City, VA (   United States of America) show on map
Phase: En route (ENR)
Nature:Domestic Scheduled Passenger
Departure airport:Washington-National Airport, DC (DCA/KDCA), United States of America
Destination airport:Norfolk Municipal Airport, VA (ORF/KORF), United States of America
Flightnumber: 20
Narrative:
En route from Washington to Norfolk at an altitude of 8000 feet in icing conditions, two engines failed. While descending to a lower altitude, the remaining two engines also failed and the propellers autofeathered. The crew tried to restart the engines and put the aircraft into a dive trying to drive the propellers out of the feathered position as they were not able to unfeather them normally. Eventually they managed to restart engine no. 4. Applying full power to this engine caused the Viscount to enter a circling descent until it crashed into trees with almost no forward velocity.

PROBABLE CAUSE: "The accident was attributed to the delayed arming of the engine ice protection systems while flying in icy conditions, resulting in the loss of engine power and attendant electrical energy required to unfeather propellers and relight sufficient engines to maintain flight."

Classification:
Icing
Loss of control

Sources:
» ICAO Circular 64-AN/58 (100-107)


Follow-up / safety actions
Capital Airlines changed the emergency checklist by deleting the phrase 'descend to a warmer climate for relight' and instructed pilots that engine restart could be accomplished at any height, providing that the correct procedures were followed.

Photos

photo of Vickers 745D Viscount N7462
photo of Vickers 745D Viscount N7462
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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 Washington-National Airport, DC to Norfolk Municipal Airport, VA as the crow flies is 228 km (143 miles).

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Vickers Viscount

  • 30th loss
  • 445 built
  • worst accident (at the time)
  • 9th worst accident (currently)
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 United States of America
  • 13th worst accident (at the time)
  • 57th worst accident (currently)
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