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Status:Final
Date:Saturday 26 March 1955
Time:11:12 PST
Type:Boeing 377 Stratocruiser 10-26
Operator:Pan American World Airways (Pan Am)
Registration: N1032V
MSN: 15932/27
First flight: 1949-04-30 (5 years 11 months)
Total airframe hrs:13655
Engines: 4 Pratt & Whitney R-4360-B6
Crew:Fatalities: 2 / Occupants: 8
Passengers:Fatalities: 2 / Occupants: 15
Total:Fatalities: 4 / Occupants: 23
Aircraft damage: Damaged beyond repair
Location:56 km (35 mls) W off Oregon, USA (   Pacific Ocean)
Phase: En route (ENR)
Nature:Domestic Scheduled Passenger
Departure airport:Portland International Airport, OR (PDX/KPDX), United States of America
Destination airport:Honolulu International Airport, HI (HNL/PHNL), United States of America
Narrative:
The no. 3 engine and propeller tore loose from the wing, causing severe control difficulties. The aircraft was eventually ditched 35 miles off the Oregon coast. The Boeing, named "Clipper United States", sank after 20 minutes in water of about 1600 m deep.

Probable Cause:

PROBABLE CAUSE: "Loss of control and inability to maintain altitude following failure of the no.3 propeller which resulted in wrenching free no.3 power package."

Classification:
Prop/turbine blade separation
Ditching

Sources:
» Aviation Disasters / D. Gero
» ICAO Accident Digest Circular 50-AN/45 (92-96)


Follow-up / safety actions
The Civil Aeronautics Administration issued an advisory that Stratocruiser hollow steel propeller blades be replaced with solid metal blades.

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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 Portland International Airport, OR to Honolulu International Airport, HI as the crow flies is 4159 km (2599 miles).
Accident location: Exact; as reported in the official accident report.

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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Boeing 377

  • 56 built
  • 4th loss
  • 4th fatal accident
  • 3rd worst accident (at the time)
  • 5th worst accident (currently)
» safety profile

 Pacific Ocean
  • 45th worst accident (at the time)
  • 84th worst accident (currently)
» safety profile

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