74 Years ago today: On 20 October 1948 a KLM Lockheed Constellation crashed near Prestwick, U.K. killing all 40 on board.

Date:Wednesday 20 October 1948
Time:23:32 UTC
Type:Silhouette image of generic CONI model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Lockheed L-049-46-25 Constellation
Operator:KLM Royal Dutch Airlines
First flight:1947
Crew:Fatalities: 10 / Occupants: 10
Passengers:Fatalities: 30 / Occupants: 30
Total:Fatalities: 40 / Occupants: 40
Aircraft damage:Destroyed
Aircraft fate:Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:5 km (3.1 mls) E of Glasgow-Prestwick Airport (PIK) (https://cdn.aviation-safety.net/database/country/flags_15/G.gif   United Kingdom)
Phase:Approach (APR)
Nature:International Scheduled Passenger
Departure airport:Amsterdam-Schiphol International Airport (AMS/EHAM), Netherlands
Destination airport:Glasgow-Prestwick Airport (PIK/EGPK), United Kingdom

The Lockheed Constellation, named “Nijmegen”, departed Amsterdam, the Netherlands, at 21:11 GMT on a transatlantic flight to New York, USA with an intermediate stop at Prestwick, Scotland.

Arriving near Prestwick, the aircraft was vectored for a Ground Controlled Approach to runway 32. The pilot however wanted to try a visual approach to runway 26. After having overshot runway 32, the aircraft entered the runway 26 downwind leg. At an altitude of 440 feet the aircraft struck high tension cables; the aircraft caught fire and completed a left turn before crashing.

The captain on the flight was a renowned KLM pilot, K.D. Parmentier, who had flown KLM’s DC-2 “Uiver” during the London-Melbourne air race in 1934.
Probable Cause:

PROBABLE CAUSE: “1) That when the pilot started his landing manoeuvre for runway 26 of Prestwick Airport the weather conditions were already below the limits for this manoeuvre but that from the weather forecasts received this could not be known to him and that this could not be personally judged at the time. 2) That, although the landing on runway 26 under the weather conditions, as far as these were known to the pilot, required the greatest caution, the pilot could not be blamed for having commenced that landing procedure. 3) That flying too long on the downwind-leg of runway 26 caused the accident. 4) That, if no unknown circumstances contributed to the extension of the flight on the downwind-leg of runway 26, the extension was due to the delayed action of the pilot after he lost visual approach. 5) That it was not impossible that a stronger wind that the pilot accounted for contributed to the extension of the flight on the downwind-leg of runway 26. 6) That the possibility of other circumstances as mentioned under 4 could not be ruled out, but that no data was available which could give cause for the supposition that they contributed to the extension of the flight at a low altitude on the downwind-leg of runway 26.”