Flugunfall 12 SEP 1980 einer Douglas DC-3A N75KW - West End Settlement
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Status:Accident investigation report completed and information captured
Datum:Freitag 12 September 1980
Flugzeugtyp:Silhouette image of generic DC3 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Douglas DC-3A
Fluggesellschaft:Florida Commuter Airlines
Kennzeichen: N75KW
Werknummer: 4861
Baujahr: 1942
Triebwerk: 2 Pratt & Whitney R-1830-92
Besatzung:Todesopfer: 4 / Insassen: 4
Fluggäste:Todesopfer: 30 / Insassen: 30
Gesamt:Todesopfer: 34 / Insassen: 34
Sachschaden: Zerstört
Konsequenzen: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Unfallort:6,5 km (4.1 Meilen) SW vom Land entfernt von West End Settlement (   Bahamas)
Flugphase: Annäherung (APR)
Betriebsart:Internationaler außerplanmäßiger Passagierflug
Flug von:West Palm Beach International Airport, FL (PBI/KPBI), USA
Flug nach:Freeport-Grand Bahama International Airport (FPO/MYGF), Bahamas
N75KW initiated takeoff from West Palm Beach at 19:40. The crew rejected the takeoff, reported that they had no airspeed indication and taxied back to the ramp. It appeared that both pitot tubes were covered or partially covered with a mud dauber's nest. The airspeed indicator then tested ok and the flight took off from runway 09L at 20:35. The crew were cleared to climb to 5,000 feet, to intercept Bahama Route 63V (BR 63V), and to proceed on course. At 20:49:23 Miami center cleared N75KW for the approach to Freeport and to cross the Halbi intersection at 4,000 feet. Around 20:57 Freeport approach control cleared the flight to descend to 1,400 feet for a VOR approach to land on runway 24 at Freeport, which was acknowledged. This was the last radio contact with the flight.
The DC-3 descended into the sea in low ceilings, low visibility with moderate turbulence and thunderstorm activity.

Probable Cause:

PROBABLE CAUSE: "Unable to determine the probable cause of this accident from the available evidence. Although the Board has been unable to determine the probable cause with any degree of precision, the following factors may have contributed:
1) Flight into known thunderstorm activities and turbulence;
2) Pre-existing discrepancies in the pitot/static system of the aircraft and their effect on the reliability of the flight instruments;
3) Lack of operational control exercised by the airline's management."

Accident investigation:

Investigating agency: NTSB
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 189 days (6 months)
Accident number: NTSB/AAR-81-5
Download report: Final report

» NTSB Safety Recommendations A-81-35
» NTSB-AAR-80-05


NTSB issued 1 Safety Recommendation

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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 West Palm Beach International Airport, FL to Freeport-Grand Bahama International Airport as the crow flies is 139 km (87 miles).
Accident location: Approximate; accuracy within a few kilometers.

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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Douglas DC-3

  • ca 13.000 built
  • 4369th loss
  • 1728th Fataler Unfall
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