Date & Time: Jun 20, 1956 at 0132 LT
Type of aircraft:
Lockheed L-1049 Super Constellation
Scheduled Revenue Flight
Lake, Sea, Ocean, River
New York – Caracas
United States of America
Crew on board:
Pax on board:
The four engine christened 'Rafael Urdaneta' departed New York-Idlewild Airport at 2306LT and proceeded to the south. One hour and twenty minutes later, while flying along the US coast, the crew contacted ground and received the permission to return to New York following the failure of the number two engine. The crew was unable to feather the propeller and the aircraft suffered severe vibrations. Ten minutes later, while the crew was trying to dump the fuel, a fire erupted. The aircraft went out of control, dove into the sea and crashed about 40 miles southeast of New York. The airplane disintegrated on impact and all 74 occupants were killed.
Although the accident was observed by witnesses, its cause cannot be determined with absolute certainty. However, it would be logical to assume that the vibration which resulted from the loss of control of propeller no.2 caused one of the inside wing attachments to loosen or break at some point between the fuel tank and the dump chute at the symmetrical point of vibration (behind engine no.3).