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Last updated: 13 June 2021
Statuts:Enquête Officielle
Date:vendredi 26 juin 1959
Heure:ca. 17:35
Type/Sous-type:Lockheed L-1649A Starliner
Compagnie:Trans World Airlines - TWA
Immatriculation: N7313C
Numéro de série: 1015
Année de Fabrication: 1957
Heures de vol:6671
Moteurs: 4 Wright R-3350 (988TC18)
Equipage:victimes: 9 / à bord: 9
Passagers:victimes: 59 / à bord: 59
Total:victimes: 68 / à bord: 68
Dégats de l'appareil: Détruit
Conséquences: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Lieu de l'accident:32 km (20 milles) NW of Milano (   Italie)
Phase de vol: En vol (ENR)
Nature:Transport de Passagers Intern.
Aéroport de départ:Milano-Malpensa Airport (MXP/LIMC), Italie
Aéroport de destination:Paris-Orly Airport (ORY/LFPO), France
Numéro de vol:TW891
Détails:
The TWA Lockheed Starliner, named "Star of Severn", departed Rome, Italy at 15:00 hours on a flight to Chicago, USA, via Milan, Italy and Paris, France. The flight reached Milan at 16:36 after a normal flight.
The aircraft departed Malpensa Airport at 17:20 in weather conditions with scattered thunderstorms. The flight crew received clearance to the Saronno NDB, where it has to fly a climbing circuit to at least 10000 feet. It then has to proceed to the Biella NDB, which has to be reached at least 18500 feet before crossing the Alpine mountains. At 17:26 the flight reported climbing through 6000 feet in the Saronno circuit. Six minutes later they report having reached 10000 feet and continuing to Biella, which they estimate to reach at 17:45.
About 17:35 the aircraft suffered a structural failure occurred, initiated by a wing separation. The aircraft broke up and crashed, with debris scattered over an area of about 3 square kilometers.

Probable Cause:

PROBABLE CAUSE: "The breaking-up in flight was due to the explosion of the fuel vapours contained in tank No.7, followed immediately by either an explosion of pressure or a further explosion in tank no.6. In the absence of other significant concrete evidence, taking into account the stormy weather conditions, with frequent electric discharges, existing in the area at the time of the crash, it may be assumed that the explosion of the fuel vapours contained in tank No.7 was set off, through the outlet pipes, by igniting of the gasoline vapours issuing from these pipes as a consequence of static electricity discharges (streamer corona) which developed on the vent outlets."

Sources:
» ICAO Accident Digest Circular 62-AN/57 (132-152)
» Memorial Website


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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 Milano-Malpensa Airport et Paris-Orly Airport est de 587 km (367 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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