Event Details

Title:Electrical failure and crash into ocean, United Air Lines, Inc., Boeing 727-22C, N7434U, near Los Angeles, California, January 18, 1969
Micro summary:This Boeing 727 crashed into the Pacific shortly after experiencing an electrical failure on takeoff.
Event Time:1969-01-18 at 1821 PST
File Name:1969-01-18-US.pdf
Publishing Agency:National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB)
Publishing Country:USA
Report number:NTSB-AAR-1970-06
Site of event:11.3 miles from Los Angeles VOR on 260 radial
Latitude/Longitude:N3356'56 W11839'30
Departure:Los Angeles International Airport, Los Angeles, California, USA
Destination:Gneral Mitchell International Airport (General Billy Mitchell Field), Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA
Airplane Type(s):Boeing 727-22C
Flight Phase:Climb
Operator(s):United Airlines
Type of flight:Revenue
Serious Injuries:0
Other Injuries:0
Executive Summary:United Air Lines, Inc., Flight 266, a Boeing 727-22C, B7434U, crashed into Santa Monica Bay, approximately 11.3 miles west of the Los Angeles International Airport, at 1821 PST on January 18, 1969. The aircraft was destroyed and the six crewmembers and 32 passengers on board were all fatally injured.

Flight 266 departed from Los Angeles Airport at 1817 PST, and 2 minutes later reported to Departure Control that they had experienced a fire warning on the No. 1 engine and wished to return. This was the last communication with the flight. The secondary or transponder target disappeared from the radarscope immediately following the above transmission. Thereafter, movement of the primary target indicated the aircraft continued to track a straight course on the last assigned heading of 270 for approximately a minute and a half, after which the aircraft commenced a left turn. The target then disappeared from the radarscope.

The Los Angeles weather report in effect at the time of the accident indicated 700 feet scattered, measured ceiling 1,000 feet broken, 2,000 feet overcast, visibility 3 miles in light rain and fog.

The Board determines that the probable cause of this accident was loss of attitude orientation during a night, instrument departure in which all attitude instruments were disabled by loss of electrical power. The Board has been unable to determine (a) why all generator power was lost or (b) why the standby electrical power system either was not activated or failed to function.

Safety Board recommendations designed to prevent the occurrence of similar accidents are set forth in detail in section 3 of this report. These recommendations prjmarily involve measures directed toward assuring (a) that the standby electrical power system will be effectively activated, either automatically or by the crew, in the event of the loss of all generators, and (b) that the crew will have available attitude indicator instruments follow- ing disruption of electrical power.
Learning Keywords:Operations - Uncontrolled Flight into Terrain
Systems - Electrical
Systems - Flight Instruments
Other - Certification
Consequence - Hull Loss


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