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Last updated: 22 October 2020
Statuts:Enquête Officielle
Date:mardi 1 novembre 1949
Heure:11:46
Type/Sous-type:Silhouette image of generic DC4 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Douglas C-54B-10-DO (DC-4)
Compagnie:Eastern Air Lines
Immatriculation: N88727
Numéro de série: 18365
Année de Fabrication: 1944
Heures de vol:12161
Equipage:victimes: 4 / à bord: 4
Passagers:victimes: 51 / à bord: 51
Total:victimes: 55 / à bord: 55
Dégats de l'appareil: Perte Totale
Conséquences: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Lieu de l'accident:0,8 km (0.5 milles) SW of Washington-National Airport, DC (DCA) (   Etats-Unis d'Amérique)
Phase de vol: En approche (APR)
Nature:Transport de Passagers Nat.
Aéroport de départ:New York-La Guardia Airport, NY (LGA/KLGA), Etats-Unis d'Amérique
Aéroport de destination:Washington-National Airport, DC (DCA/KDCA), Etats-Unis d'Amérique
Numéro de vol:EA537
Détails:
At 11:37 A Bolivian Air Force Lockheed P-38 Lightning fighter (NX26927) took off from runway 03 at Washington-National Airport, DC (DCA). The pilot was carrying out an acceptance test flight. Because of erratic operation of the right hand engine, the pilot decided to land as soon as possible.
When abeam runway 36 the pilot transmitted, "Washington Tower, this is Bolivian P-38. I got engine trouble request landing instructions." Waiting for instructions he circled the field. When he was between Bolling Field and the National Airport and at about 3,500 feet altitude, the tower asked, "Bolivian P-38, you were asking landing instructions?" The Bolivian pilot answered, "Yes, I have engine trouble. I am in a hurry," and that the tower at that time responded, "Bolivian P-38 cleared to land number two on runway 3."
Number one on the approach was Eastern Air Lines flight 537, a Douglas C-54. Because the P-38 was descending above and behind the C-54, it was then told to enter the left traffic pattern and to land behind the C-54. This message was never confirmed, nor complied with. The tower then switched to the Eastern aircraft and told it to turn left. When turning left, half a mile short of the runway at an altitude of 300 feet, both aircraft collided and crashed. The pilot of the P-38 survived with serious injuries.

Probable Cause:

PROBABLE CAUSE: "The execution of a straight-in final approach by the P-38 pilot without obtaining proper clearance to land and without exercising necessary vigilance."

Sources:
» CAB File No. 1-0138
» ICAO Aircraft Accident Digest, Circular 18-AN/15 (60-63)


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Plan
Ce plan montre l'aéroport de départ ainsi que la supposée destination du vol. La ligne fixe reliant les deux aéroports n'est pas le plan de vol exact.
La distance entre New York-La Guardia Airport, NY et Washington-National Airport, DC est de 342 km (214 miles).
Accident location: Approximate; accuracy within a few kilometers.

Les informations ci-dessus ne représentent pas l'opinion de la 'Flight Safety Foundation' ou de 'Aviation Safety Network' sur les causes de l'accident. Ces informations prélimimaires sont basées sur les faits tel qu'ils sont connus à ce jour.
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Douglas DC-4

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  • 119ème loss
  • 58ème accident fatal
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