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Last updated: 23 June 2017
Statuts:Enquête Officielle
Date:dimanche 8 décembre 1963
Type/Sous-type:Silhouette image of generic B701 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Boeing 707-121
Compagnie:Pan American World Airways (Pan Am)
Immatriculation: N709PA
Numéro de série: 17588/3
Année de Fabrication: 1958
Heures de vol:15609
Moteurs: 4 Pratt & Whitney JT3C-6
Equipage:victimes: 8 / à bord: 8
Passagers:victimes: 73 / à bord: 73
Total:victimes: 81 / à bord: 81
Dégats de l'appareil: Détruit
Conséquences: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Lieu de l'accident:Elkton, MD (   Etats-Unis d'Amérique)
Phase de vol: En approche (APR)
Nature:Transport de Passagers Nat.
Aéroport de départ:Baltimore/Washington International Airport, MD (BWI/KBWI), Etats-Unis d'Amérique
Aéroport de destination:Philadelphia International Airport, PA (PHL/KPHL), Etats-Unis d'Amérique
Numéro de vol:PA214
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:
investigating agency: Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB) - United States of America
status: Final
number: Final report
released:3 March 1965
duration of investigation: 1 year and 3 months
download report: Pan American World Airways, Inc Boeing 707-121, N709PA near Elkton, Maryland December 8, 1963 (CAB Final report)

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


photo of Boeing 707-121 N709PA
photo of Boeing 707-121 N709PA
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Ce plan montre l'aéroport de départ ainsi que la supposée destination du vol. La ligne fixe reliant les deux aéroports n'est pas le plan de vol exact.
La distance entre Baltimore/Washington International Airport, MD et Philadelphia International Airport, PA est de 144 km (90 miles).

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