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Accident Report Detail

Compania Ecuatoriana de Aviacion, Douglas C-54D, Republic of Ecuador, HC-AON

Executive Summary

A DouglasC-54D, HC-AON, of Ecuadorian registration, crashed at Miami International Airport , Miami, Florid a , at approximately 0724 e.s.t., April 14, 1970, rhe aircraft was being operated as an international cargo flight by Compania Ecuatoriana de Aviacion. The accident occurred during the initial climb, following an instrument takeoff on Runway 21 Right at Miami International Airport. The flight was en route from Miami to Panama City, Panama, the first leg of a flight which was to terminate at Quito, Ecuador. The two pilots , the only occupants of the aircraft, were killed, and the aircraft was demolished by impact and postimpact ground fire.

The crew first requested a takeoff clearance at 0621 but because fog reduced visibility to one-eighth mile, the tower controller delayed issuance of the clearance until 0722 when the visibility was reported to be one-quarter mile, the visibility minimus the pilot had stated he needed for takeoff. The crew's acknowledgment of this clearance was the last recorded transmission from the flight.

Following lift-off, the aircraft was observed flying in a level flight attitude at an altitude of approximately 50 feet near the western end of Runway 27R, which was 10,500 feet long. The landing gear was retracted. As the observers watched the aircraft, they saw the nose drop slightly, check, and then the aircraft descended to earth. Impact occurred 279 feet north and 230 feet beyond the western end of the takeoff runway. The aircraft continued 890 feet beyond the initial impact point, struck a concrete abutment and burned.

Probable Cause

The Board determines that the probable cause of this accident was improper monitoring of the flight instruments during a takeoff in instrument meteorological conditions. Additional pertinent factors were the use of improper procedures after takeoff and the reduced visibility due to fog.

Accident Location: Miami , FL   Miami International Airport
Accident Date: 4/14/1970
Accident ID: AAR7102

Date Adopted: 12/16/1970
NTSB Number: AAR-71-02
NTIS Number: PB-199330

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