ASN logo
Accident description
Last updated: 24 April 2017
Date:Monday 20 November 1967
Type:Convair CV-880-22-1
Operator:Trans World Airlines - TWA
Registration: N821TW
C/n / msn: 22-00-27
First flight: 1960
Total airframe hrs:18850
Engines: 4 General Electric CJ805-3A
Crew:Fatalities: 5 / Occupants: 7
Passengers:Fatalities: 65 / Occupants: 75
Total:Fatalities: 70 / Occupants: 82
Airplane damage: Damaged beyond repair
Location:Cincinnati, KY (   United States of America)
Phase: Approach (APR)
Nature:Domestic Scheduled Passenger
Departure airport:Los Angeles International Airport, CA (LAX/KLAX), United States of America
Destination airport:Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky Airport, KY (CVG/KCVG), United States of America
TWA Flight 128 departed Los Angeles at 17:37 for a flight to Greater Cincinnati Airport. The crew reported over the Outer Marker at 20:56 and were cleared to land, straight in, on runway 18. The aircraft contacted trees at a point 9357 feet from the approach end of the runway, 429 feet right of the extended centerline at an elevation of 875 feet msl. The aircraft skidded and disintegrated, ending up 6878 feet short of the runway.
The visibility was 1,5 miles in light snow. The ILS glide slope, runway approach lights and Middle Marker weren't operational due to runway construction work.

Probable Cause:

PROBABLE CAUSE: "An attempt by the crew to conduct night, visual, no-glide-slope approach during deteriorating weather conditions without adequate altimeter cross-reference. The approach was conducted using visual reference to partially lighted irregular terrain which may have been conducive to producing an illusionary sense of adequate terrain clearance."


Controlled Flight Into Terrain (CFIT) - Ground

» ICAO Accident Digest Circular 107-AN/81 (255-273)

Official accident investigation report
investigating agency: National Transport Safety Bureau (NTSB) - United States of America
report status: Final
report number: NTSB/AAR-69-05
report released:27 August 1969
duration of investigation: 1 year and 9 months
download report: Trans World Airlines, Inc., Convair 880, N821TW, Constance, Kentucky, November 20, 1967. (NTSB/AAR-69-05)

Follow-up / safety actions
This accident highlighted the need for action to combat approach-and-landing accidents. The NTSB recommended operational improvements, research in altimetry and in the development of approach and landing aids.


Add your photo of this accident or aircraft

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 Los Angeles International Airport, CA to Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky Airport, KY as the crow flies is 3031 km (1895 miles).

languages: languages


Convair CV-880

  • 6th loss
  • 4th fatal accident
  • 65 built
  • The worst accident (at the time)
  • 2nd worst accident (currently)
» safety profile

 United States of America
  • 12th worst accident (at the time)
  • 38th worst accident (currently)
» safety profile