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Last updated: 14 December 2017
Datum:maandag 21 januari 1985
Type:Silhouette image of generic L188 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Lockheed L-188A Electra
Luchtvaartmaatschappij:Galaxy Airlines
Registratie: N5532
Constructienummer: 1121
Bouwjaar: 1960
Aantal vlieguren:34148
Aantal vluchten:33285
Motoren: 4 Allison 501-D13
Bemanning:slachtoffers: 6 / inzittenden: 6
Passagiers:slachtoffers: 64 / inzittenden: 65
Totaal:slachtoffers: 70 / inzittenden: 71
Schade: Vernield
Gevolgen: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Plaats:3 km (1.9 mijl) SE of Reno/Tahoe International Airport, NV (RNO) (   Verenigde Staten)
Fase: Initiële klim (ICL)
Soort vlucht:Binnenlandse charter
Vliegveld van vertrek:Reno/Tahoe International Airport, NV (RNO/KRNO), Verenigde Staten
Vliegveld van aankomst:Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, MN (MSP/KMSP), Verenigde Staten
Vluchtnummer: 203
The ill-fated flight crew were scheduled to fly Lockheed Electra N5532 from Seattle (SEA) to Oakland (as Flight 201), from Oakland to Reno (RNO) as Flight 202, from Reno (RNO) to Minneapolis (MSP) as Flight 203 and finally returning to Seattle using flight number 204.
Scheduled departure time for Flight 201 had been 15:30, but had been delayed until about 20:00. The airplane departed Seattle at 20:19 on a ferry flight to Oakland, where it arrived at 22:25. Sixty-five passengers boarded the plane for the flight to Reno. At 00:21, while the airplane was being serviced, the crew requested an IFR clearance to Minneapolis. Following ground servicing the ground handler supervisor signalled to the crew that they could commence engine starting. However, after engines one and four were started, he noticed that the other ground handler was unable to disconnect the air start
hose. It was stretched taut from the power cart to the airplane’s air start access panel, located on the underside of the right wing leading edge, close to the fillet area. He gave the flightcrew an emergency stop signal, left his position, and disconnected the hose. None of the two ground crewmembers remembered closing the air start access door. At approximately 00:59 the first officer requested taxi instructions Reno tower almost immediately thereafter cleared Galaxy 203 to taxi to runway 16R. The aircraft taxied to the runway and at 01:01:32 the first officer requested takeoff clearance. Four seconds later Galaxy 203 was given clearance to take off from runway 16R. While accellerating through V1 speed, a "thunking" type sound was heard, followed by another one just after V2. Heavy airframe vibration started after liftoff. The captain reacted to the airplane’s vibration by reducing power significantly in all four engines, indicating that he believed the vibration was caused by the powerplants or propellers. The airplane reached an altitude of about 200-250 feet and started a right hand turn to return to the airport. The Electra then entered an aerodynamic stall buffet because of insufficient engine power to maintain flight. The Electra crashed into a field, bounced, slid into some mobile homes and burst into flames. Of the three persons who survived the initial impact, one died on January 29, while the second died on February 4. The sole survivor, a 17-year-old male, was thrown clear of the airplane onto the adjacent highway.

Probable Cause:

PROBABLE CAUSE: "The captain's failure to control and the co-pilot's failure to monitor the flight path and airspeed of the aircraft. This breakdown in crew coordination followed the onset of unexpected vibration shortly after takeoff. Contributing to the accident was the failure of ground handlers to properly close an air start access door, which led to the vibration."

Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: NTSB
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 1 year
Accident number: NTSB/AAR-86-01
Download report: Final report

» ICAO Adrep Summary 4/88 (#26)
» NTSB Safety Recommendations A-86-14 through -19
» NTSB/AAR-86/01


NTSB issued 6 Safety Recommendations

Show all AD's and Safety Recommendations


photo of
photo of Lockheed L-188A Electra N5532
N5532 was leased by Galaxy, August 1983
Add your photo of this accident or aircraft

Deze kaart geeft het vliegveld van vetrek weer en de geplande bestemming van de vlucht. De lijn tussen de vliegvelden geeft niet de exacte vliegroute weer.
De afstand tussen Reno/Tahoe International Airport, NV en Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, MN bedraagt 2241 km (1401 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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Lockheed L-188

  • 222 built
  • 39e ongeval
  • 22e dodelijk ongeval
  • 5e zwaarste ongeval (toen het plaatsvond)
  • 6e zwaarste ongeval (op dit moment)
» safety profile

 Verenigde Staten
  • 25e zwaarste ongeval (toen het plaatsvond)
  • 38e zwaarste ongeval (op dit moment)
» safety profile