ASN Aircraft accident Lockheed L-188A Electra N5533 Boston-Logan International Airport, MA (BOS)
ASN logo

Status:Accident investigation report completed and information captured
Date:Tuesday 4 October 1960
Type:Silhouette image of generic L188 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Lockheed L-188A Electra
Operator:Eastern Air Lines
Registration: N5533
MSN: 1062
First flight: 1959-05-23 (1 year 5 months)
Total airframe hrs:3526
Engines: 4 Allison 501-D13
Crew:Fatalities: 3 / Occupants: 5
Passengers:Fatalities: 59 / Occupants: 67
Total:Fatalities: 62 / Occupants: 72
Aircraft damage: Destroyed
Aircraft fate: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:ca 1 km E off Boston-Logan International Airport, MA (BOS) (   United States of America)
Phase: Initial climb (ICL)
Nature:Domestic Scheduled Passenger
Departure airport:Boston-Logan International Airport, MA (BOS/KBOS), United States of America
Destination airport:Philadelphia International Airport, PA (PHL/KPHL), United States of America
An Eastern Air Lines Lockheed L-188A Electra, N5533, crashed into Winthrop Bay immediately following takeoff from runway 9 at Boston-Logan International Airport, Massachusetts.
Eastern Air Lines flight 375 was a domestic flight from Boston to Atlanta, Georgia with en route stops at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Charlotte, North Carolina; and Greenville, South Carolina. The flight taxied to runway 9 where takeoff was commenced at approximately 17:39. A few seconds after taking off from runway 05, the Electra struck a flock of starlings. A number of these birds were ingested in engine no.1, 2 and 4.
The engine number 1 propeller was feathered by an autofeather system, as designed. Engine number 2 and 4 experienced substantial losses of power, but, by design, those propellers were prevented by the airplane’s system from also feathering automatically, since only one propeller is permitted to autofeather when the autofeather system is armed. The abrupt and intermittent loss and recovery of power and associated thrust asymmetry caused the airplane to yaw to the left and decelerate below the speed at which directional control could be maintained. The left wing dropped, the nose pitched up, and the airplane rolled left and fell almost vertically into Winthrop Bay near the end of the runway.

Following the crash, the investigators recovered approximately 75 starling carcasses on/near the presumed area on the runway where the bird encounter occurred.

Probable Cause:

PROBABLE CAUSE: "The unique and critical sequence of the loss and recovery of engine power following bird ingestion, resulting in loss of airspeed and control during takeoff. "

Accident investigation:

Investigating agency: CAB
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 1 year and 10 months
Accident number: final report
Download report: Final report

Bird strike
Loss of control

Follow-up / safety actions
The FAA started a research programme to improve tolerance of turbine engines to bird ingestion.

FAA issued 1

Show all...


photo of Lockheed-L-188A-Electra-N5533
accident date: 04-10-1960
type: Lockheed L-188A Electra
registration: N5533
photo of Lockheed-L-188A-Electra-N5533
accident date: 04-10-1960
type: Lockheed L-188A Electra
registration: N5533
photo of Lockheed-L-188A-Electra-N5533
accident date: 04-10-1960
type: Lockheed L-188A Electra
registration: N5533
photo of Lockheed-L-188A-Electra-N5533

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 Boston-Logan International Airport, MA to Philadelphia International Airport, PA as the crow flies is 447 km (279 miles).
Accident location: Approximate; accuracy within a few kilometers.

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


Lockheed L-188

  • 222 built
  • 5th loss
  • 4th fatal accident
  • 3rd worst accident (at the time)
  • 9th worst accident (currently)
» safety profile

 United States of America
  • 7th worst accident (at the time)
  • 47th worst accident (currently)
» safety profile

The Aviation Safety Network is an exclusive service provided by:
Quick Links:

CONNECT WITH US: FSF on social media FSF Facebook FSF Twitter FSF Youtube FSF LinkedIn FSF Instagram

©2023 Flight Safety Foundation

1920 Ballenger Av, 4th Fl.
Alexandria, Virginia 22314