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Last updated: 26 September 2018
Datum:Sonntag 18 November 1979
Flugzeugtyp:Silhouette image of generic L188 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Lockheed L-188CF Electra
Fluggesellschaft:Transamerica Airlines
Kennzeichen: N859U
Werknummer: 2016
Baujahr: 1960
Triebwerk: 4 Allison 501-D13
Besatzung:Todesopfer: 3 / Insassen: 3
Fluggäste:Todesopfer: 0 / Insassen: 0
Gesamt:Todesopfer: 3 / Insassen: 3
Sachschaden: Zerstört
Konsequenzen: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Unfallort:Salt Lake City, UT (   USA)
Flugphase: Während des Fluges (ENR)
Flug von:Ogden-Hill AFB, UT (HIF/KHIF), USA
Flug nach:Las Vegas-Nellis AFB, NV (LSV/KLSV), USA
Flugnummer: 18
Flight 3N18 departed Hill AFB for an IFR cargo flight to Nellis AFB. While climbing from FL120 to FL130 the crew reported loss of electrical power and requested no-gyro vectors to visual flight conditions and immediate descent clearance. During the descent the aircraft attained a high airspeed and high rate of descent and disintegrated in flight.

Probable Cause:

PROBABLE CAUSE: "A progressive failure in the aircraft's electrical system leading to the disabling or erratic performance of some critical flight instruments and flight instrument lighting while the flight was operating in night instrument meteorological condition. As a result of these conditions, the flight crew could not resolve the instrumentation anomalies to determine proper aircraft attitude reference, and became disoriented and lost control of the aircraft. The crew's efforts to regain control of the aircraft imposed aerodynamic loads which exceeded design limits of the aircraft and caused it to break up in flight."

Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: NTSB
Status: Investigation completed
Accident number: NTSB/AAR-80-11
Download report: Final report

» NTSB-AAR-80-11


NTSB issued 1 Safety Recommendation

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photo of Lockheed L-188CF Electra N859U
photo of Lockheed L-188CF Electra N859U
Saturn Airways merged into Trans International Airlines; the airline was renamed Transamerica October 1, 1979
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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 Ogden-Hill AFB, UT to Las Vegas-Nellis AFB, NV as the crow flies is 601 km (375 miles).
Accident location: Exact; as reported in the official accident report.

This information is not presented as the Flight Safety Foundation or the Aviation Safety Network’s opinion as to the cause of the accident. It is preliminary and is based on the facts as they are known at this time.
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