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Accident description
Last updated: 22 October 2017
Status:Final
Date:Tuesday 14 June 1960
Time:04:47
Type:Silhouette image of generic CONI model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Lockheed L-749A Constellation
Operator:Pacific Northern Airlines
Registration: N1554V
C/n / msn: 2555
First flight: 1947
Total airframe hrs:30560
Engines: 4 Wright R-3350
Crew:Fatalities: 5 / Occupants: 5
Passengers:Fatalities: 9 / Occupants: 9
Total:Fatalities: 14 / Occupants: 14
Airplane damage: Damaged beyond repair
Location:Mount Gilbert, AK (   United States of America)
Phase: En route (ENR)
Nature:Domestic Scheduled Passenger
Departure airport:Cordova-Mudhole Smith Airport, AK (CDV/PACV), United States of America
Destination airport:Anchorage International Airport, AK (ANC/PANC), United States of America
Flightnumber: 201
Narrative:
Pacific Northern Airlines Flight 201 (PN201), a Lockheed L-749A Constellation, N1554V, departed Seattle/Tacoma International Airport, WA (SEA) at 00:23, for Anchorage International Airport, AK (ANC), with a scheduled stop at Cordova Airport, AK (CDV).
The flight from Seattle to Cordova was routine and the flight landed at 03:46. After a quick turnaround the flight taxied out for takeoff on runway 8 at 04:13 and requested clearance to Anchorage. Clearance was issued with an en route altitude of 10,000 feet.
The crew reported to Anchorage ARTCC that they passed Hinchinbrook at 04:27, at 9,000 feet on instruments. They were estimating Whittier at 04:47. But the flight never reported passing Whittier.
It was found to have flown into the shear face of the 9646 feet high Mount Gilbert at the 9000 feet level. Mount Gilbert was 28nm to the right of the intended track.

Probable Cause:

PROBABLE CAUSE: "The failure of the crew to use all available navigational aids in establishing the aircrafts position on Amber 1 Airway, thereby allowing the aircraft to deviate from course and fly over hazardous terrain. A contributing factor was the failure of Air Defence Radar, which had been tracking the aircraft, to notify either ARTCC or the crew that the aircraft was proceeding on a dangerous course."

Classification:
Navigational error
Controlled Flight Into Terrain (CFIT) - Mountain

Sources:
» CAB Report


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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 Cordova-Mudhole Smith Airport, AK to Anchorage International Airport, AK as the crow flies is 254 km (159 miles).
Accident location: Approximate; accuracy within a few kilometers.

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Lockheed L-749

  • 145 built
  • 22nd loss
  • 15th fatal accident
  • 13th worst accident (at the time)
  • 14th worst accident (currently)
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