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Last updated: 28 October 2020
Status:Final
Date:Wednesday 4 August 1971
Time:21:23
Type:Silhouette image of generic B703 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Boeing 707-324C
Operator:Continental Air Lines
Registration: N47330
C/n / msn: 19353/587
First flight: 1967-05-21 (4 years 3 months)
Crew:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 9
Passengers:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 87
Total:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 96
Aircraft damage: Substantial
Aircraft fate: Repaired
Location:Compton, CA (   United States of America)
Phase: Approach (APR)
Nature:Domestic Scheduled Passenger
Departure airport:Hilo International Airport, HI (ITO/PHTO), United States of America
Destination airport:Los Angeles International Airport, CA (LAX/KLAX), United States of America
Flightnumber:CO712
Narrative:
Continental Air Lines Flight 712, a Boeing 707-320C, N47330, on a regularly scheduled flight from Hilo, Hawaii, to the Los Angeles International Airport, California, and a Cessna 150J, N61011, collided in midair. The collision occurred at an altitude of approximately 3,950 feet over Compton, California, approximately 9 miles east-southeast of the Los Angeles International Airport.
There were 87 passengers, a flightcrew of three, and six cabin attendants aboard the Boeing. There were no injuries. Two persons were on board the Cessna, a pilot-instructor and a student pilot. The instructor received serious injuries and the student received minor injuries.

The Cessna was destroyed by the midair collision and subsequent ground impact. The Boeing received substantial damage to the outer right-wing panel.

Probable Cause:

PROBABLE CAUSE: "The minimum opportunity for the flight crews to see and avoid the other aircraft due to the background lights behind the Cessna and the decrease in the Cessna pilot's visual field resulting from the aircraft's wings while turning."

Accident investigation:
cover
Investigating agency: NTSB
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 147 days (5 months)
Accident number: NTSB-AAR-72-5
Download report: Final report

Sources:
» NTSB/AAR-72/2


Follow-up / safety actions

NTSB issued 1 Safety Recommendation

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Map
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 Hilo International Airport, HI to Los Angeles International Airport, CA as the crow flies is 3914 km (2446 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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