66 Years ago today: On 26 March 1955 a PanAm Boeing 377 Stratocruiser ditched off Oregon, USA after the no.3 engine and propeller tore loose from the wing; killing 4 out of 23 occupants.

Date:Saturday 26 March 1955
Time:11:12 PST
Type:Boeing 377 Stratocruiser 10-26
Operator:Pan American World Airways (Pan Am)
C/n / msn:15932/27
First flight:1949-04-30 (5 years 11 months)
Total airframe hrs:13655
Engines:Pratt & Whitney R-4360-B6
Crew:Fatalities: 2 / Occupants: 8
Passengers:Fatalities: 2 / Occupants: 15
Total:Fatalities: 4 / Occupants: 23
Aircraft damage:Damaged beyond repair
Location:56 km (35 mls) W off Oregon, USA (   Pacific Ocean)
Phase:En route (ENR)
Nature:Domestic Scheduled Passenger
Departure airport:Portland International Airport, OR (PDX/KPDX), United States of America
Destination airport:Honolulu International Airport, HI (HNL/PHNL), United States of America

The no. 3 engine and propeller tore loose from the wing, causing severe control difficulties. The aircraft was eventually ditched 35 miles off the Oregon coast. The Boeing, named “Clipper United States”, sank after 20 minutes in water of about 1600 m deep.

Probable Cause:

PROBABLE CAUSE: “Loss of control and inability to maintain altitude following failure of the no.3 propeller which resulted in wrenching free no.3 power package.”