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Accident description
Last updated: 27 June 2017
Status:
Date:Sunday 10 September 1961
Type:Silhouette image of generic DC6 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Douglas DC-6B
Operator:President Airlines
Registration: N90773
C/n / msn: 44058/365
First flight: 1953
Engines: 4 Pratt & Whitney R-2800
Crew:Fatalities: 6 / Occupants: 6
Passengers:Fatalities: 77 / Occupants: 77
Total:Fatalities: 83 / Occupants: 83
Airplane damage: Destroyed
Airplane fate: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:1,5 km (0.9 mls) S off Shannon Airport (SNN) (   Ireland)
Phase: Initial climb (ICL)
Nature:Int'l Non Scheduled Passenger
Departure airport:Shannon Airport (SNN/EINN), Ireland
Destination airport:Gander Airport, NF (YQX/CYQX), Canada
Narrative:
A Douglas DC-6B passenger plane was destroyed in an accident shortly after takeoff from Shannon Airport (SNN), Ireland. All 77 passengers and six crew members were killed.
The DC-6 operated on a non-scheduled flight from Düsseldorf, Germany to Chicago, IL, USA with refueling stops at Shannon, Ireland and Gander, NF, Canada.
The flight took off from Shannon's runway 24 for the night time transatlantic flight leg to Gander. The crew were cleared for a right-hand turn following takeoff. The plane, however, made a left-hand turn with a bank angle increasing to 90 degrees or more. The plane then fell into the River Shannon, 5000 feet from the runway end.

Probable Cause:

PROBABLE CAUSE: "Failure of the captain to maintain control of the aircraft after becoming airborne due to either: 1) a defective artificial horizon; and/or 2) a fault in the right-hand aileron tabs. Contributory causes could have been unsuitable weather conditions and possible crew fatigue."

Classification:
Loss of control

Sources:
» ICAO Accident Digest No.14 Volume I, Circular 71-AN/63 (7-8)


Photos

photo of Douglas DC-6B N90773
Photo taken one week before the accident.
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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 Shannon Airport to Gander Airport, NF as the crow flies is 3156 km (1972 miles).

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.
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Douglas DC-6

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  • 52nd loss
  • 37th fatal accident
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