Accident Lockheed 18-56 Lodestar VH-BAG,
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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 336442

Date:Thursday 10 March 1949
Type:Silhouette image of generic L18 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different    
Lockheed 18-56 Lodestar
Owner/operator:Queensland Airlines
Registration: VH-BAG
MSN: 18-2194
Year of manufacture:1942
Fatalities:Fatalities: 21 / Occupants: 21
Aircraft damage: Destroyed, written off
Location:Coolangatta Airport, QLD (OOL) -   Australia
Phase: Take off
Nature:Passenger - Scheduled
Departure airport:Coolangatta Airport, QLD (OOL/YBCG)
Destination airport:Brisbane-Eagle Farm Airport, QLD
The Lodestar became airborne half way along the runway and continued to fly close to the ground as it accelerated. As the undercarriage retracted, it began to a steep climb. The climb continued to steepen and at about 250 feet, the starboard wing dropped and VH-BAG lost height. The wing was picked up, then the port wing dropped and the aircraft entered a curving descent to the left. Gradually gaining a more level attitude, it finally dropped heavily into a swamp between the airstrip and the beach, crashed and burned. It appeared that the centre of gravity was too far aft. The aircraft's load chart, issued with its Certificate of Airworthiness, contained a number of errors. In addition, the passenger seats were 25 mm further apart than indicated on the chart, resulting in a rearward movement of the centre of gravity with all seats occupied. Furthermore, the load chart provided only for the aircraft's "undercarriage down" condition. Yet retracting the undercarriage moved the centre of gravity rearwards. Final calculations indicated the centre of gravity at takeoff would have been between 41.8 per cent and 42.4 per cent MAC, moving to 43.4 - 43.9 per cent MAC following gear retraction. The CofG was supposed to be between 28.5 and 39 per cent.


Flight Safety Australia, November-December 1999


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