Date & Time: Aug 13, 1939 at 1635 LT
Type of aircraft:
Sikorsky S-43
Operator:
Registration:
NC16933
Survivors:
Yes
Schedule:
Miami – Santiago de Cuba – Port-au-Prince – Trinidad – Georgetown – Paramaribo – Cayenne – Belém – Sao Luis – Luis Correia – Camocim – Fortaleza – Natal – Joao Pessoa – Recife – Maceió – Aracaju – Salvador – Caravelas – Vitória - Rio de Janeiro
MSN:
4316
YOM:
1936
Country:
Brazil
Crew on board:
4
Crew fatalities:
4
Pax on board:
12
Pax fatalities:
10
Other fatalities:
0
Total fatalities:
14
Captain / Total flying hours:
4275
Captain / Total hours on type:
830
Aircraft flight hours:
3650
Circumstances:
The aircraft christened 'Baby Clipper' was circled over Rio and was making a normal approach to the seaplane landing area adjoining the air line's Rio base, in accordance with the company's established operating procedure, when it suddenly lost power on the left engine, yawed to the left, and started a descending turn in the same direction. The airplane continued to lose altitude and to turn at a sharper and steeper angle until it struck a caisson anchored at right angles to a small island in the harbor immediately adjacent to its landing approach path. All four members of the crew and ten passengers were fatally injured in the accident, one passenger escaping with serious and another with minor injuries.
Crew:
Addison G. Parsons, pilot,
George B. King, copilot,
Russell Jenkins, radio operator,
Julio Trujillo, steward.
Passengers:
Henrie May Eddy,
James Harvey Rogers,
Robert Landman,
Evaristo Gomes Miranda,
Anton Ommundsen,
Emanuel Valensa,
Pablo Lavin,
Edgar Delly Oliveira,
Alberto Oliveira Santos,
Lucila A. Oliveira Santos,
Osvaldo Hirth,
Mario Souto Lyra.
Probable cause:
Ample evidence was obtained during the Air Safety Board's investigation of the accident that the left engine suffered a sudden loss of power at a critical time during the landing approach, although, since available evidence failed to supply any conclusive explanation for this loss of power, and a detailed examination of the engine, after disassembly, revealed no indication of structural failure or mechanical defects in flight, the report stated that 'the cause of the loss of power from the left engine is unknown'. In conclusion, the accident was caused by a sudden loss of power from the left engine during the landing approach, necessitating an attempted landing under extremely hazardous conditions.
Final Report:
NC16933.pdf860.09 KB