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Accident Report Detail

Scandinavian Airlines System, McDonnell- Douglas DC-8-62, LN-M00

Executive Summary

A Scandinavian Airlines System, Douglas DC-8-62, LN-MOO, of Norwegian Registry, crashed in Ssnta 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 O7R 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 approximetely 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 shallow water where it sank. This section was later recovered and removed from the water.

The weather at Los Angeles Intenational Atport was generally: 1,700 feet broken, 3,500 feet overcast; visibility 4 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.

Probable Cause

The Board deternimes that the probable cause of this accident was the ;ack 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.

Accident Location: Santa Monica , CA   Santa Monica Bay
Accident Date: 1/13/1969
Accident ID: 79692

Date Adopted: 7/1/1970
NTSB Number: AAR-70-14
NTIS Number: PB-193424

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