63 Years ago today: On 11 January 1959 a Lufthansa Lockheed Super Constellation crashed on Tubiacanga Beach (Brazil), killing 36 out of 39 occupants.
|Date:||Sunday 11 January 1959|
Lockheed L-1049G Super Constellation
|Crew:||Fatalities: 7 / Occupants: 10|
|Passengers:||Fatalities: 29 / Occupants: 29|
|Total:||Fatalities: 36 / Occupants: 39|
|Aircraft fate:||Written off (damaged beyond repair)|
|Location:||Rio de Janeiro-Galeão International Airport, RJ (GIG) ( Brazil)|
|Crash site elevation:||9 m (30 feet) amsl|
|Nature:||International Scheduled Passenger|
|Departure airport:||Dakar-Yoff Airport (DKR/GOOY), Senegal|
|Destination airport:||Rio de Janeiro-Galeão International Airport, RJ (GIG/SBGL), Brazil|
The Super Constellation operated on flight LH502 from Hamburg, Germany to Buenos Aires, Argentina with en route stops at Frankfurt, Paris, Lisbon, Dakar, Senegal and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
The crew were cleared to descend from 4200 m to 3000 m when 20 min out from Rio de Janeiro. They were to maintain 3000 m to the KX NDB in preparation for an approach and landing at runway 14. Over KX they were cleared to descend to 900 m. Galeao Approach was contacted and normal position reports were made. The plane descended over Guanabara Bay under rainy conditions and struck the water with the nosewheel. The crew then presumably tried to continue the approach, but the Constellation crashed near Flecheiras Beach, short of the Galeao runway. Crew duty and flight time exceeded the Brazilian limits, but did not exceed the German limitations.
PROBABLE CAUSE: “In spite of an exhaustive investigation it was not possible to determine the actual cause. However, the probable cause was considered to be pilot error in descending below the minimum altitude on final approach. Aircrew fatigue was considered to be a contributing factor.”