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Last updated: 20 October 2020
Status:Definitief
Datum:dinsdag 1 november 1949
Tijd:11:46
Type:Silhouette image of generic DC4 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Douglas C-54B-10-DO (DC-4)
Luchtvaartmaatschappij:Eastern Air Lines
Registratie: N88727
Constructienummer: 18365
Bouwjaar: 1944
Aantal vlieguren:12161
Bemanning:slachtoffers: 4 / inzittenden: 4
Passagiers:slachtoffers: 51 / inzittenden: 51
Totaal:slachtoffers: 55 / inzittenden: 55
Schade: Afgeschreven
Gevolgen: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Plaats:0,8 km (0.5 mijl) SW of Washington-National Airport, DC (DCA) (   Verenigde Staten)
Fase: Nadering (APR)
Soort vlucht:Binnenlandse lijnvlucht
Vliegveld van vertrek:New York-La Guardia Airport, NY (LGA/KLGA), Verenigde Staten
Vliegveld van aankomst:Washington-National Airport, DC (DCA/KDCA), Verenigde Staten
Vluchtnummer:EA537
Beschrijving:
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."

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


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Kaart
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 New York-La Guardia Airport, NY en Washington-National Airport, DC bedraagt 342 km (214 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-4

  • 1242 built
  • 119e ongeval
  • 58e dodelijk ongeval
  • The zwaarste ongeval (toen het plaatsvond)
  • 15e zwaarste ongeval (op dit moment)
» safety profile

 Verenigde Staten
  • The zwaarste ongeval (toen het plaatsvond)
  • 53e zwaarste ongeval (op dit moment)
» safety profile