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Accident description
Last updated: 20 October 2017
Date:Wednesday 20 July 1988
Type:Silhouette image of generic DC6 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Douglas C-118A (DC-6)
Operator:TACA International Airlines
Registration: N33VX
C/n / msn: 44615/541
First flight: 1955
Total airframe hrs:27978
Engines: 4 Pratt & Whitney R-2800-CB3
Crew:Fatalities: 3 / Occupants: 3
Passengers:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 0
Total:Fatalities: 3 / Occupants: 3
Airplane damage: Destroyed
Airplane fate: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:Golden Meadow, LA (   United States of America)
Phase: En route (ENR)
Departure airport:San Salvador-Comalapa International Airport (SAL/MSLP), El Salvador
Destination airport:New Orleans International Airport, LA (MSY/KMSY), United States of America
After a 4,3 hour flight (with fuel for 7 hours on board) the no. 1, 2 and 3 engines lost power. During an emergency landing, the landing gear struck a levee, the wing hit the ground and the aircraft struck a drainage ditch.
Fuel was lost due to an open drain valve inside the no. 4 engine nacelle.

Probable Cause:

"Fluid,fuel .. exhaustion
Light condition .. dusk
Terrain condition .. dirt bank/rising embankment
Terrain condition .. water"

Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: NTSB
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 1 year and 11 months
Accident number: FTW88FA136
Download report: Summary report

Fuel starvation
Forced landing outside airport

» ICAO Adrep Summary 4/90 (#23)
» The Miami News - Jul 21, 1988


photo of Douglas C-118A N33VX
Universal Air Equipment leased this DC-6 to TACA in 1988.
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 San Salvador-Comalapa International Airport to New Orleans International Airport, LA as the crow flies is 1835 km (1147 miles).

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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