ASN Aircraft accident Lockheed L-049-46-26 Constellation NC86507 Wilmington-Newcastle County Airport, DE (ILG)
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Status:Accident investigation report completed and information captured
Date:Tuesday 18 November 1947
Type:Silhouette image of generic CONI model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Lockheed L-049-46-26 Constellation
Operator:Transcontinental & Western Air - TWA
Registration: NC86507
MSN: 2028
First flight:
Total airframe hrs:3256
Engines: 4 Wright R-3350
Crew:Fatalities: 5 / Occupants: 5
Passengers:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 0
Total:Fatalities: 5 / Occupants: 5
Aircraft damage: Damaged beyond repair
Location:Wilmington-Newcastle County Airport, DE (ILG) (   United States of America)
Phase: Approach (APR)
Departure airport:Wilmington-New Castle County Airport, DE (ILG/KILG), United States of America
Destination airport:Wilmington-New Castle County Airport, DE (ILG/KILG), United States of America
The Constellation, named "Star of Madrid", departed Newcastle at 11:06 for a check flight for two crew members. At 12:10 the flight called the Newcastle Tower and asked to be cleared for an instrument approach to runway 01. They would fly low over the field on their first approach, and that they would then circle and land. After overflying the airport, a climbing left turn was made to an altitude of 400 to 500 feet. The aircraft circled at that altitude until approximately one mile west of the south end of runway 01, then it started a gliding left turn, toward the field. One-half mile south of the airport the turn was completed, and the aircraft flew a straight course on final approach for landing. The descent on final approach continued normally until the aircraft had reached an altitude of approximately 50 feet above the ground, at which time it was 500 to 1,000 feet from the approach end the runway. Then, the aircraft assumed a nose-high attitude and descended more rapidly. First contact with the ground was made 130 feet from the approach end of the runway, and 22 feet in front of a 5-foot embankment. The Constellation was forced back into the air by the rise of the embankment and landed for the second time on the runway, skidding forward 1,270 feet. The right wing was torn from the fuselage as the aircraft turned over to an inverted position. Fuel spilled from ruptured gasoline tanks ignited, and the wreckage burst into flames.

Probable Cause:

PROBABLE CAUSE: "The Board determines that the probable cause of this accident was the inadvertent landing of the aircraft short of the runway."

» CAB File No. 1-0113


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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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