Event Details

Title:Descent into ocean, Scandinavian Airlines System, McDonnell-Douglas DC-8-62, LN-M00, (Norwegian Registry) in Santa Monica Bay, Approximately 6 miles off Los Angeles International Airport, Los Angeles, California, January 13, 1969
Micro summary:This McDonnell-Douglas DC-8-62 descended into the Pacific Ocean in controlled flight, on approach.
Event Time:1969-01-13 at 1921 PST
File Name:1969-01-13-US.pdf
Publishing Agency:National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB)
Publishing Country:USA
Report number:NTSB-AAR-1970-14
Site of event:6 nm west of LAX
Departure:Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, Seattle, Washington, USA
Destination:Los Angeles International Airport, Los Angeles, California, USA
Airplane Type(s):Douglas DC-8-62
Flight Phase:Approach
Type of flight:Revenue
Serious Injuries:17
Other Injuries:0
Executive Summary:A Scandinavian Airlines System, Douglas DC-8-62, LK-MOO, of Norwegian Registry, crashed in Santa Monica Bay, approximately 6 nautical miles west of the Los Angeles International Airport, Los Angeles, California, at approximately 1921 P.s .t., January 13, 1969. The aircraft was operating as Flight SK-933 from Seattle, Washington, to Los Angeles, California, following a flight from Copenhagen, Denmark, A scheduled crew change occurred at Seattle for the flight to Los Angeles.

The accident occurred in the waters of Santa Monica Bay while the crew was attempting an instrument approach to Runway 07R at Los Angeles International Airport. Of the 45 persons aboard the aircraft, 3 passengers and 1 cabin attendant drowned; 9 passengers and 2 cabin attendants are missing and presumed dead; 11 passengers and 6 crewmembers including the captain, the second pilot, and the systems operator, were injured in varying degrees; and 13 passengers escaped without reported injury. The aircraft was destroyed by impact. The fuselage broke into three pieces, two of which sank in approximately 350 feet of water. The third section including the wings, the forward cabin and the cockpit, floated for about 20 hours before being towed into hallow water where it sank. This section was later recovered and removed from the water.

The weather at Los Angeles International Airport was generally: 1,700 feet broken, 3,500 feet overcast; visibility h miles in light rain and fog; wind 060 at 10 knots; and the altimeter setting was 29.87 inches of mercury The weather in the accident area was reported to be similar.

The Board determines that the probable cause of this accident was the lack of crew coordination and the inadequate monitoring of the aircraft position in space during a critical phase of an instrument approach which resulted in an unplanned descent into the water. Contributing to this unplanned descent was an apparent unsafe landing gear condition induced by the design of the landing gear indicator lights, and the omission of the minimum crossing altitude at an approach fix depicted, on the approach chart.

As a result of the investigation the Board developed recommendations concerning DC-8 failed indicator bulbs, altimeter setting procedures, and approach plate legends.
Learning Keywords:Operations - Charting/Databases
Operations - Crew Resource Management
Operations - Controlled Flight Into Terrain
Operations - Ditching/Water Evacuation
Operations - Evacuation
Operations - Unstabilized Approach
Consequence - Hull Loss
Close match:Report on the accident to Aerospatiale AS332L Super Puma, G-TIGK, in North Sea 6 nm South West of Brae Alpha Oil Production Platform on 19 January 1995
In-Flight Engine Failure and Subsequent Ditching, Air Sunshine, Inc., Flight 527, Cessna 402C, N314AB, About 7.35 Nautical Miles West-Northwest of Treasure Cay Airport, Great Abaco Island, Bahamas, July 13, 2003
Fuel exhaustion, Overseas National Airways, Inc., Douglas DC-9, N935F, Operating As Antilliaanse Luchtvaart Maatschappij Flight 980, Near St. Croix, Virgin Islands, May 2, 1970
Ethiopian Airlines B767 (ET-AIZ) Aircraft Accident In the Federal Islamic Republic of the Comoros, in the Indian Ocean on November 23, 1996
Accidental ditching, Japan Airlines Co., Ltd., DC-8-62, JA8032, San Francisco Bay, San Francisco, California, November 22, 1968


Accident Reports on DVD, Copyright © 2006 by Flight Simulation Systems, LLC.  All Rights Reserved.
 All referenced trademarks are the property of their respective owners.