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Accident
Last updated: 28 July 2017
Status:Schlussbericht
Datum:Sonntag 8 Dezember 1963
Zeit:20:59
Flugzeugtyp:Silhouette image of generic B701 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Boeing 707-121
Fluggesellschaft:Pan American World Airways (Pan Am)
Kennzeichen: N709PA
Werknummer: 17588/3
Baujahr: 1958
Betriebsstunden:15609
Triebwerk: 4 Pratt & Whitney JT3C-6
Besatzung:Todesopfer: 8 / Insassen: 8
Fluggäste:Todesopfer: 73 / Insassen: 73
Gesamt:Todesopfer: 81 / Insassen: 81
Sachschaden: Zerstört
Konsequenzen: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Unfallort:Elkton, MD (   USA)
Flugphase: Annäherung (APR)
Betriebsart:Inländischer planmäßiger Passagierflug
Flug von:Baltimore/Washington International Airport, MD (BWI/KBWI), USA
Flug nach:Philadelphia International Airport, PA (PHL/KPHL), USA
Flugnummer:PA214
Unfallbericht:
Pan American Flight 214 departed San Juan, Puerto Rico at 16:10 EST for a flight to Philadelphia with an intermediate stop at Baltimore. The aircraft, named 'Clipper Tradewind' arrived at Baltimore at 19:35 and took off again after refueling at 20:24. After contacting Philadelphia Approach Control the crew elected to wait in a holding pattern along with 5 other aircraft because of extreme winds at Philadelphia. Flight 214 entered a holding pattern west of the New Castle VOR on the 270 radial.
At 20:58 the airplane suffered a lightning strike. This caused the initial ignition of flammable fuel vapours inside the left reserve fuel tank. This triggered explosions in the centre and right reserve fuel tanks as well. Fuel spilled and caught fire; the complete left wingtip separated as a result. The aircraft was then seen to crash in flames. A 'Mayday' call was received by Philadelphia Approach as the plane was descending out of control.

Probable Cause:

PROBABLE CAUSE: "Lightning-induced ignition of the fuel/air mixture in the no. 1 reserve fuel tank with resultant explosive disintegration of the left outer wing and loss of control."

Accident investigation:
cover
Investigating agency: CAB
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 1 year and 3 months
Accident number: Final report
Download report: Final report

Informationsquelle:
» ICAO Accident Digest No.15 - Volume II, Circular 78-AN/66 (121-133)


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photo of Boeing 707-121 N709PA
photo of Boeing 707-121 N709PA
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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 Baltimore/Washington International Airport, MD to Philadelphia International Airport, PA as the crow flies is 144 km (90 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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