Date & Time: Jul 12, 1949 at 0920 LT
Operator:
Registration:
PH-TDF
Survivors:
No
Schedule:
Jakarta – New Delhi – Bombay – Karachi – Cairo – Athens – Rome – Amsterdam
MSN:
2558
YOM:
1947
Country:
India
Region:
Asia
Crew on board:
10
Crew fatalities:
10
Pax on board:
35
Pax fatalities:
35
Other fatalities:
0
Total fatalities:
45
Captain / Total flying hours:
4115
Captain / Total hours on type:
1394
Aircraft flight hours:
3381
Circumstances:
The crew encountered poor weather conditions and low visibility while on approach to Bombay-Santa Cruz Airport. On final, the four engine aircraft christened 'Franeker' was too low and hit the slope of the Ghatkopar hill (240 meters high) located about 5 km from the runway 23 threshold. The aircraft disintegrated on impact and all 45 occupants were killed, among them 13 American journalists.
Crew:
Arnoldus Marcelis (Chris) van de Vaart, captain,
Cornelis L. van Kooy, pilot,
Pieter Zeeman, pilot,
Johannes Hoogland, radio operator,
Pieter den Daas, radio operator,
Heinrich Fronczek, flight engineer,
Jacob Willem Dalman, flight engineer,
Jacobus Verhaagen, steward,
Carola Graf, stewardess,
Janny Bruce, steward.
Causes:
The Board was of the opinion that two successive errors of judgment were committed by the pilot. These were as follows:
- He initiated a landing procedure at an aerodrome with which he was not acquainted, in weather conditions which were lower than the minimum prescribed for landings on that aerodrome,
- Upon arrival over the aerodrome, he flew at too low an altitude over a terrain which he must have known to include a hill which constituted a hazard for his aircraft, which hill he was not able to see, on account of the poor visibility and low cloud.
The Board further considered that the following factors contributed towards the accident to a considerable extent:
- Air Traffic Control did not advise the pilot to delay his landing until the weather conditions had improved, or otherwise to divert to another aerodrome,
- Air Traffic Control designated a runway for the landing which necessitated the aircraft venturing low over dangerous terrain as indicated above.