Accident description
Last updated: 2 October 2014
Status:Final
Date:Friday 1 September 1961
Time:02:05
Type:Silhouette image of generic CONI model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Lockheed L-049 Constellation
Operator:Trans World Airlines - TWA
Registration: N86511
C/n / msn: 2035
First flight: 1945
Total airframe hrs:43112
Crew:Fatalities: 5 / Occupants: 5
Passengers:Fatalities: 73 / Occupants: 73
Total:Fatalities: 78 / Occupants: 78
Airplane damage: Destroyed
Airplane fate: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:14,5 km (9.1 mls) W of Chicago-Midway Airport, IL (MDW) (   United States of America) show on map
Phase: En route (ENR)
Nature:Domestic Scheduled Passenger
Departure airport:Chicago-Midway Airport, IL (MDW/KMDW), United States of America
Destination airport:Las Vegas-McCarran International Airport, NV (LAS/KLAS), United States of America
Flightnumber: 529
Narrative:
Lockheed Constellation "Star of Dublin" operated as TWA Flight 529 from Boston, MA (BOS) to San Francisco, CA (SFO) with en route stops at New York, NY, Pittsburgh, PA, Chicago, IL (MDW), Las Vegas, NV (LAS) and Los Angeles, CA (LAX).
The flight to Chicago was routine and the airplane arrived at Midway Airport at 01:18.
Following a crew change and refueling, the aircraft departed the passenger loading gate. During engine runup, Flight 529 was given its air traffic control clearance which was: "cleared to the Las Vegas Airport via Victor 6 Naperville, Victor 8 flight plan route, maintain 5,000 feet. " The clearance was acknowledged and TWA Flight 529 departed on runway 22L at 02:00, making a right turn out of traffic.
Radar contact was. established with the flight one minute and 34 seconds after the flight acknowledged takeoff clearance, and as the aircraft proceeded outbound in a right turn. At 02:04, Flight 529 was observed on radar by the departure controller to be five miles west of Midway Airport proceeding on course.
During the climbout from Midway Airport, a bolt worked its way clear in the elevator boost system. This was followed immediately by full pressure to the up-elevator side of the actuator piston. The airplane pitched up violently and an it entered an accelerated stall. The pilot's immediate response to apply high forward pressure on the control column prevented successful shift of the elevator boost system to the manual position. The pilot lost control of the airplane. Oscillatory loads then caused the separation of a of the horizontal stabilizer to which the right vertical fin is attached.
TWA Flight 529 crashed in an open field near Hinsdale, DuPage County, IL. The aircraft struck the ground in a slightly left-wing-low and nosedown attitude on a heading of approximately true North. The aircraft disintegrated, leaving debris over an area 200 feet wide and 1,100 feet long.


PROBABLE CAUSE: "The loss of an AN-175-21 nickel steel bolt from the parallelogram linkage of the elevator boost system, resulting in loss of control of the aircraft."

Classification:

Loss of control

Sources:


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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 Chicago-Midway Airport, IL to Las Vegas-McCarran International Airport, NV as the crow flies is 2425 km (1516 miles).

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Lockheed L-049

  • 22nd loss
  • 88 built
  • worst accident (at the time)
  • 2nd worst accident (currently)
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 United States of America
  • 3rd worst accident (at the time)
  • 32nd worst accident (currently)
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