Accident description
Last updated: 25 October 2014
Status:Final
Date:Friday 30 November 1962
Time:21:45
Type:Silhouette image of generic DC7 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Douglas DC-7B
Operator:Eastern Air Lines
Registration: N815D
C/n / msn: 45084/711
First flight: 1956
Total airframe hrs:18411
Crew:Fatalities: 4 / Occupants: 6
Passengers:Fatalities: 21 / Occupants: 45
Total:Fatalities: 25 / Occupants: 51
Airplane damage: Damaged beyond repair
Location:New York-Idlewild International Airport, NY (IDL) (   United States of America) show on map
Phase: Approach (APR)
Nature:Domestic Scheduled Passenger
Departure airport:Charlotte-Douglas Airport, NC (CLT/KCLT), United States of America
Destination airport:New York-Idlewild International Airport, NY (IDL/KIDL), United States of America
Flightnumber: 512
Narrative:
Eastern Flight 512 departed Charlotte (CLT) at 19:41 for an IFR flight to New York-Idlewild. Weather worsened at Idlewild due to ground fog. At 21:45 the aircraft crossed the runway 04R threshold and continued along a flight path of 1,5 degree slope downward and about 6 degrees to the left of runway heading for almost 9 seconds. A rapid deterioration of visual reference forced the crew to abandon the approach. The landing gear was retracted, flaps selected to 20 degrees and slightly more than climb power was applied. The aircraft was 1000 feet past the ILS touchdown point, left of the runway and at an altitude of 25 feet when the missed approach procedure was initiated.
A 9 degree nose up attitude had to be attained in order to compensate for the loss of lift as the flaps were retracted. The aircraft didn't reach this attitude due to a lack of immediate instrument orientation (during transition to instrument reference due to loss of visual reference) and additional power was either not requested or delayed.
At 3460 feet from the threshold the propellers no. 1 and 2 contacted the ground. The aircraft was in a 6 degree left bank, 3-5 degree nose up and had an airspeed of 135 knots. Breakup of the wings and fuselage occurred on a mound of earth about 3 feet high, 3600 feet from the runway 04R threshold.


PROBABLE CAUSE: "The technique employed by the crew during abandonment of the approach under fog conditions not adequately reported."

Sources:
» CAB Aircraft Accident Report File No. 1-0033
» ICAO Accident Digest No.14 Volume I, Circular 71-AN/63 (85-91)


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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 Charlotte-Douglas Airport, NC to New York-Idlewild International Airport, NY as the crow flies is 865 km (540 miles).

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Douglas DC-7

  • 23rd loss
  • 339 built
  • 9th worst accident (at the time)
  • 11th worst accident (currently)
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 United States of America
  • 64th worst accident (at the time)
  • 136th worst accident (currently)
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