Accident description
Last updated: 2 October 2014
Status:Final
Date:Friday 23 November 1962
Time:12:24
Type:Silhouette image of generic VISC model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Vickers 745D Viscount
Operator:United Air Lines
Registration: N7430
C/n / msn: 128
First flight: 1956
Total airframe hrs:18809
Crew:Fatalities: 4 / Occupants: 4
Passengers:Fatalities: 13 / Occupants: 13
Total:Fatalities: 17 / Occupants: 17
Airplane damage: Destroyed
Airplane fate: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:10 km (6.3 mls) WSW of Ellicott City, MD (   United States of America) show on map
Phase: En route (ENR)
Nature:Domestic Scheduled Passenger
Departure airport:Newark International Airport, NJ (EWR/KEWR), United States of America
Destination airport:Washington-National Airport, DC (DCA/KDCA), United States of America
Flightnumber: 297
Narrative:
The Viscount was flying at 6000 feet, en route from Newark to Washington when it penetrated a flock of whistling swans. At least two of which were struck by the aircraft. One swan, which was struck penetrated the leading edge of the left horizontal stabilizer and egressed from the rear surface causing damage to the elevator as it did so.
This so weakened the structure that failure occurred which rendered the plane uncontrollable. The Viscount eventually struck the ground in a nose-low inverted attitude.


PROBABLE CAUSE: "A loss of control following separation of the left horizontal stabilizer which had been weakened by a collision with a whistling swan."

Classification:
Bird strike
Wing failure
Loss of control

Sources:
» ICAO Accident Digest No.14 Volume I, Circular 71-AN/63 (74-79)


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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 Newark International Airport, NJ to Washington-National Airport, DC as the crow flies is 317 km (198 miles).

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Vickers Viscount

  • 41st loss
  • 445 built
  • 10th worst accident (at the time)
  • 39th worst accident (currently)
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 United States of America
  • 110th worst accident (at the time)
  • 206th worst accident (currently)
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