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Last updated: 9 December 2021
Fecha:domingo 31 diciembre 1972
Tipo:Silhouette image of generic DC7 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Douglas DC-7CF
Operador:American Express Leasing
Registración: N500AE
Numéro de série: 45130/823
Año de Construcción: 1957
Tripulación:Fatalidades: 3 / Ocupantes: 3
Pasajeros:Fatalidades: 2 / Ocupantes: 2
Total:Fatalidades: 5 / Ocupantes: 5
Daños en la Aeronave: Anulado
Consecuencias: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Ubicación:de la costa de San Juan-Isla Verde International Airport (SJU) (   Puerto Rico)
Fase: Ascenso Inicial (ICL)
Aeropuerto de Salida:San Juan-Isla Verde International Airport (SJU/TJSJ), Puerto Rico
Aeropuerto de Llegada:Managua-Las Mercedes Airport (MGA/MNMG), Nicaragua
The DC-7, 4193 lb (1902 kg) overloaded, entered an uncontrolled descent and crashed into the sea, after the no. 2 engine failed and the no. 3 engine lost power.
The engine failure resulted from inadequate maintenance and inspection and previous damage (taxiing accident Dec. 2, 1972). The Flight Engineer was unqualified for the DC-7.
Baseball player Roberto Clemente, 38, was killed in the accident. Clemente was on a relief mission to deliver supplies for earthquake victims in Nicaragua.

Probable Cause:

powerplant - engine structure: master and connecting rods
powerplant - engine structure: cylinder assembly
powerplant - engine structure: piston,piston rings
miscellaneous acts,conditions - excessive-wear/play
personnel - maintenance,servicing,inspection: inadequate maintenance and inspection
pilot in command - inadequate preflight preparation and/or planning
personnel - operational supervisory personnel: deficiency,company maintained eqpmt,services,regulation
miscellaneous acts,conditions - improperly loaded aircraft-weight-and/or c.g.
miscellaneous acts,conditions - previous damage
miscellaneous acts,conditions - aircraft came to rest in water

» Lawsuit (p.376-381)


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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 San Juan-Isla Verde International Airport to Managua-Las Mercedes Airport as the crow flies is 2258 km (1412 miles).
Accident location: Approximate; accuracy within a few kilometers.

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