Narrative:Allegheny Airlines Flight 736 departed Detroit, MI for a flight to Washington, DC with intermediate stops at Erie, Bradford and Harrisburg, PA. The Convair CV-580 took off from Erie at 19:46.
At 20:06 Flight 736 reported over the VOR outbound at the beginning of the instrument approach procedure. Erie Approach Control then told the crew to contact the Braford Flight Service Station (FSS). At 20:08:47 the flight reported that they were doing the procedure turn inbound for runway 32 and Bradford FSS told them wind was 290 degrees at 15 knots. The Convair descended in light snow showers until the aircraft contacted trees along terrain which had an average upslope of 1.5deg some 2,5nm short of the runway. The airplane cut a swath through the trees and impacted the ground at a point 800 feet from the initial tree contact. The fuselage came to rest inverted.
PROBABLE CAUSE: "The continuation of the descent from the final approach fix through the Minimum Descent Altitude and into obstructing terrain at a time when both flight crewmembers were looking outside the aircraft in an attempt to establish visual reference to the ground. Contributing factors were the minimal visual references available at night on the approaches to the Bradford Regional Airport; a small but critical navigational error during the later stages of the approach; and a rapid change in visibility conditions that was not known to the crew."
» ICAO Accident Digest Circular 107-AN/81 (303-328)
» WCAA 2nd ed. / C.Y. Kimura
Official accident investigation report
Follow-up / safety actions
On January 17, 1969 13 safety recommendations were issued to the FAA regarding approach and landing accidents in poor weather conditions. The NTSB a.o. recommended expediting developnent and installaition of audible and visible altitude warning devices and the implementation of procedures for their use. The FAA replied that a rule became effective on September 28, 1968, which will require by February 28, 1971, both visual and aural altitude alerting signals to warn pilots of jet aircraft when approaching selected altitudes during climbs, descents, and instrument approaches.
The FAA also reported that an Instrument Landing System (ILS) was installed at the Bradford Regional Airport in the fall of 1969.
NTSB issued 2 Safety Recommendations
Show all AD's and Safety Recommendations
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 Erie International Airport, PA to Bradford Airport, PA as the crow flies is 130 km (81 miles).