60 Years ago today: On 26 February 1960 an Alitalia Douglas DC-7 crashed on takeoff from Shannon; killing 34 out of 52 occupants.

Date: Friday 26 February 1960
Douglas DC-7C
Operator: Alitalia
Registration: I-DUVO
C/n / msn: 45231/945
First flight: 1958
Crew: Fatalities: 11 / Occupants: 12
Passengers: Fatalities: 23 / Occupants: 40
Total: Fatalities: 34 / Occupants: 52
Aircraft damage: Damaged beyond repair
Location: Shannon Airport (SNN) (   Ireland)
Phase: Initial climb (ICL)
Nature: International Scheduled Passenger
Departure airport: Shannon Airport (SNN/EINN), Ireland
Destination airport: New York-Idlewild International Airport, NY (IDL/KIDL), United States of America
Flightnumber: AZ618

The Alitalia flight, on the Roma-Shannon-New York route, was being flown under the supervision of a check pilot. The aircraft took off from runway 05 and a left turn was initiated at 165 feet height. Height was lost during the turn, and the left wing tip contacted the ground. The left wing and no. 1 and 2 propellers then struck the stone wall and grave stones of the Clonloghan Church. The DC-7 then impacted the ground at a 170-180 knots airspeed.

Probable Cause:

PROBABLE CAUSE: “No definite evidence leading to a particular reason for this accident was revealed by the investigation. It can only be concluded that the aeroplane lost height in a turn shortly after takeoff and struck the ground.”