Accident description
Last updated: 30 September 2014
Status:Final
Date:Saturday 6 August 1966
Time:23:12
Type:BAC One-Eleven 203AE
Operator:Braniff International Airways
Registration: N1553
C/n / msn: 070
First flight: 1965
Total airframe hrs:2307
Cycles:2922
Engines: 2 Rolls-Royce Spey 506-14/15
Crew:Fatalities: 4 / Occupants: 4
Passengers:Fatalities: 38 / Occupants: 38
Total:Fatalities: 42 / Occupants: 42
Airplane damage: Destroyed
Airplane fate: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:12 km (7.5 mls) NNE of Falls City, NE (   United States of America) show on map
Phase: En route (ENR)
Nature:Domestic Scheduled Passenger
Departure airport:Kansas City Downtown Municipal Airport, MO (MKC/KMKC), United States of America
Destination airport:Omaha-Eppley Airfield, NE (OMA/KOMA), United States of America
Flightnumber: 250
Narrative:
One-Eleven N1553 departed New Orleans, LA at 18:35 for a passenger flight to Minneapolis, MO with intermediate stops at Shreveport, LA, Fort Smith, AR, Tulsa, OK, Kansas City, MO and Omaha, NE. Flight 250 departed Kansas City at 22:55 on an IFR clearance to Omaha at FL200. However, the crew asked if they could remain at 5000 feet because of the weather. The flight remained at 6000 feet until permission was received at 23:06 to descend to 5000 feet. At 23:08 the crew contacted a company flight which had just departed Omaha. This flight reported moderate to light turbulence. About four minutes later the aircraft entered an area of an active squall line. The One-Eleven violently accelerated upward and in a left roll. At this time the right tailplane and the fin failed. The aircraft then pitched nose down and within one or two seconds the right wing failed as well. The plane tumbled down in flames until stabilizing into a flat spinning-attitude before impacting the ground.
Braniff regulations prohibit a plane from being dispatched into an area with a solid line of thunderstorms; however the company forecast was somewhat inaccurate with respect to the number and intensity of thunderstorms and the intensity of the associated turbulence.


PROBABLE CAUSE: "In-flight structural failure caused by extreme turbulence during operation of the aircraft in an area of avoidable hazardous weather."

Classification:
Turbulence
Tail failure
Loss of control

Sources:
» NTSB File 1-0008


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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 Kansas City Downtown Municipal Airport, MO to Omaha-Eppley Airfield, NE as the crow flies is 265 km (165 miles).

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BAC One-Eleven

  • 3rd loss
  • 245 built
  • worst accident (at the time)
  • 4th worst accident (currently)
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 United States of America
  • 43rd worst accident (at the time)
  • 81st worst accident (currently)
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