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Accident
Last updated: 14 December 2017
Statuts:Enquête Officielle
Date:mardi 25 février 1964
Heure:02:05
Type/Sous-type:Douglas DC-8-21
Compagnie:Eastern Air Lines
Immatriculation: N8607
Numéro de série: 45428/61
Année de Fabrication: 1960
Heures de vol:11340
Moteurs: 4 Pratt & Whitney JT4A-9
Equipage:victimes: 7 / à bord: 7
Passagers:victimes: 51 / à bord: 51
Total:victimes: 58 / à bord: 58
Dégats de l'appareil: Perte Totale
Conséquences: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Lieu de l'accident:30,5 km (19.1 milles) NE de New Orleans International Airport, LA (MSY) (   Etats-Unis d'Amérique)
Phase de vol: En vol (ENR)
Nature:Transport de Passagers Nat.
Aéroport de départ:New Orleans International Airport, LA (MSY/KMSY), Etats-Unis d'Amérique
Aéroport de destination:Atlanta Municipal Airport, GA (ATL/KATL), Etats-Unis d'Amérique
Numéro de vol:EA304
Détails:
Eastern Air Lines (EAL) Flight 304 originated in Mexico City and had intermediate stops scheduled at New Orleans, Atlanta, and Washington prior to the destination of New York City. The DC-8 arrived at Mexico City at 22:12 on February 24, 1964. The captain of the inbound crew reported that "...the only exception to normality was that the PTC (pitch trim compensator) was inoperative, with a fix scheduled for the next morning at Kennedy Airport." An IFR flight plan for New Orleans was filed with a reduced airspeed, in accordance with company procedures for dispatch under these conditions. The airplane landed at New Orleans at 00:51. Takeoff from New Orleans was commenced at 01:59. The airplane appeared to climb normally and the crew contacted the departure controller who instructed them to contact New Orleans Center. At 02:03:15 the crew replied, "OK", this was the last transmission from the flight. During the climb the elevator moved to 2 degrees AND (airplane nose down), which is an abnormal flight condition. Climbing in clouds through 4,000 feet, the DC-8 encountered moderate and probably severe wind shear turbulence. In order to control the airplane under these conditions, the input of the controls probably introduced pilot induced oscillations (PIO) from which the pilot could not recover. Control was lost and the airplane struck the surface of Lake Pontchartrain at a dive angle in excess of 20-degrees. A possible factor was the attitude indicator, which was small with a solid black background and difficult to interpret
at night. Also, the pitch indication of the attitude indicator was "geared-down" but not indexed as to degrees, making it more difficult to assess the exact attitude of the airplane.

Probable Cause:

PROBABLE CAUSE: "The Board determines the probable cause of this accident was the degradation of aircraft stability characteristics in turbulence, because of abnormal longitudinal trim component positions." (CAB report File No. 1-0006)

Sources:
» ICAO Aircraft Accident Digest No.16, Circular 82-AN/69 (39-60)


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Plan
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 New Orleans International Airport, LA et Atlanta Municipal Airport, GA est de 680 km (425 miles).
Accident location: Approximate; accuracy within a few kilometers.

Les informations ci-dessus ne représentent pas l'opinion de la 'Flight Safety Foundation' ou de 'Aviation Safety Network' sur les causes de l'accident. Ces informations prélimimaires sont basées sur les faits tel qu'ils sont connus à ce jour.
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