13 November 2018
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Established 2005
Vickers Viscount Network
A Virtual Museum dedicated to the Vickers-Armstrongs VC2 Viscount
   

Viscount c/n 103

Operational Record

Photo of Viscount c/n 103
Capital Airlines (USA)


United States flag United States

This V.745 series Viscount was built for
Capital Airlines (USA) as N7405

It first flew on Wednesday, 9 November 1955 at Hurn, Bournemouth, Hampshire, England powered by Rolls-Royce Dart 506 engines.


Photo of Viscount c/n 103
United Air Lines


United States flag United States

Its final owner/operator was
United Air Lines as N7405.

Its fate:-
Crashed in a steep wooded area known as Trentham Hollow, two and a half miles northeast of Parrottsville Tennessee, USA due to an in-flight fire 9 July 1964. All 35 passengers including one that jumped out through an emergency window prior to the crash and 4 crew sadly died.


Operational record
Photo of Capital Airlines (USA) Viscount N7405

Country of Registration United States

November 1955 to June 1961

Capital Airlines (USA)

N7405 - c/n 103 - a V.745 series Viscount
United States registered

August 1954
This was the 1st V.745 and the 4th Viscount ordered by Capital Airlines.

This aircraft was the first of the order to be delivered and one of the nine aircraft, c/n 103 - c/n 111, that were built as V.745 aircraft with Rolls-Royce Dart RDa3 Mark 506 engines. All subsequent aircraft in the order were built as V.745D with Rolls-Royce Dart RDa6 Mark 510 engines.

Production Aircraft No. 81 - the 81st production V.700 series Viscount built,
was the 46th Viscount fuselage assembled at Hurn, Bournemouth, Hampshire, England,
and the 48th Viscount assembled at Hurn, Bournemouth, Hampshire, England.

Production Order No. F01/745. Sales Order No. 01/68B. Stock Order No. 01/27B.

6 April 1955
Fuselage assembly commenced at Hurn Airport, Bournemouth, Hampshire, England.

25 June 1955
Fuselage to Erecting Shop 'E' at Hurn Airport, Bournemouth, Hampshire, England.

9 November 1955
First flight from Hurn Airport, Bournemouth, Hampshire, England.

14 November 1955
Delivered to Capital Airlines with fleet number ‘324’ fitted with integral front 'airsteps'.

Although powered by Rolls-Royce Dart RDa3 Mark 506 engines, this aircraft was fitted with the square tipped propeller more associated with Dart RDa6 Mark 510 engines.

This was the first Viscount operator in the USA, preceded by Trans-Canada Air Lines (TCA) as the first North American operator with routes into the USA.

circa 1958
Large registrations on the rear fuselage appeared after the use of small registrations on the tail were banned by the newly formed Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

Also by this time weather radar had been fitted resulting in a change to the nose cone.

May 1960
Vickers-Armstrongs (Aircraft) Ltd filed a foreclosure suit on the entire Viscount fleet of Capital Airlines as the overdue payments now totalled $34,000,000.

4 April 1961
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) officially gave permission for United Air Lines to acquire Capital Airlines.

1 June 1961
Transferred to United Air Lines due to a corporate merger.


Photo of United Air Lines Viscount N7405

Country of Registration United States

June 1961 to July 1964

United Air Lines

N7405 - c/n 103 - a V.745 series Viscount
United States registered

1 June 1961
Transferred from Capital Airlines due to a corporate merger retaining fleet number ‘324’.

After repainting in United Air Lines livery during a suitable maintenance period the title ‘Viscount Mainliner’ was applied to the rear fuselage.

The last Capital Viscount N7443 (C/N 199) was repainted in United Air Lines livery in March 1962.

Crashed near Parrottsville, Tennessee, USA at 18:15 local time.
Crashed near Parrottsville,
Tennessee, USA

9 July 1964
Crashed in a steep wooded area known as Trentham Hollow which is 2.5 miles northeast of Parrottsville, Tennessee, USA and over 40 miles from their intended destination.

United Air Lines flight 823 was en-route from Dulles Airport, Washington, District of Columbia to Knoxville Airport, Tennessee, USA having departed at 16:36 local time with an estimated arrival time of 18:13 local time.

Approximately one minute after reporting passing Holston Mountain at its IFR cruise level of 14,000 feet above mean sea level the flight crew requested a lower flight level. They were cleared to descend to 8,000 feet. Three minutes later the crew cancelled their IFR clearance. The air traffic controller offered to pass control of the flight to Knoxville Approach Control when they were closer in and advised they could stay on the Center frequency. At 18:03 local time the crew responded to this transmission with 'OK'. This was the last known transmission from the aircraft.

Near Parrottsville the aircraft was observed at a low altitude, trailing smoke, then it pitched into a nose high attitude and control was lost. The left wing and nose dropped and the aircraft crashed and burnt out at 18:15 local time in a steep wooded area known as Trentham Hollow which is two and a half miles from Parrottsville.

Shortly before it crashed a male passenger was seen to jump from the No.4 portside emergency window at a height of approximately 500 feet, 1.5 miles from the crash site.

Eye witnesses pointed out the area that it was seen to fall and the body was found in woodland by law enforcement officers. It was taken away for extensive forensic examinations.

All 35 passengers and 4 crew sadly died.

Captain Oliver E Sabatke (41) and First Officer Charles L Young (37) were flying the aircraft with Stewardesses Carole L Berndt (21) and Virginia K Vollmer (22).

The accident was attributed to an uncontrollable cabin fire of undetermined origin, which eventually resulted in a loss of control.

The cause of the fire was never officially established due to the virtual destruction of the aircraft.

Total time 23,804 hours and 19,969 total landings.

9 July 2014
A memorial service, organised by Tom Dier was held at the crash site and a large number of relatives attended.

This was to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the sad event.

Recommended further reading: - The Last Flight of United Air Lines 823 by Thomas Dier (2018)

ISBN-13:978-1984237828 / ISBN-10:1984237829 available on Amazon.

Also visit Tom and son Phil's website: - unitedflight823.com.

This website covers a lot of subjects including access to the official Civil Aeronautics Board Accident Report (9 June 1966).


Photo of BEA - British European Airways Viscount G-AOJC

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Information@VickersViscount.net.


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This website has been designed, built and is maintained by Geoff Blampied, Norwich, Norfolk, England.