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.
|Date:||18 JAN 1960|
|Type:||Vickers 745D Viscount|
|C/n / msn:|| 217|
|First flight:|| 1957|
|Total airframe hrs:||9247|
|Engines:|| 4 Rolls Royce 510 Dart|
|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)
|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|
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."
» ICAO Circular 64-AN/58 (100-107)Sample newspaper article from Newspaperarchive.com
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.
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).