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 135

Operational Record

Photo of Viscount c/n 135
Capital Airlines (USA)


United States flag United States

This V.745D series Viscount was built for
Capital Airlines (USA) as N7437

It first flew on Friday, 24 August 1956 at Hurn, Bournemouth, Hampshire, England powered by Rolls-Royce Dart 510 engines.


Photo of Viscount c/n 135
Capital Airlines (USA)


United States flag United States

Its final owner/operator was
Capital Airlines (USA) as N7437.

Its fate:-
Flight 67 crashed at Freeland, Michigan, USA on approach to Tri-City Airport, Saginaw, Michigan, USA at 23:19 local time 6 April 1958. Control of the aircraft was lost during the final approach with poor visibility and in icing conditions. This was the first fatal accident to a Capital Viscount which goes back to June 1955 when the first one was delivered.


Operational record
Photo of Capital Airlines (USA) Viscount N7437

Country of Registration United States

August 1956 to April 1958

Capital Airlines (USA)

N7437 - c/n 135 - a V.745D series Viscount
United States registered

August 1954
This was the 33rd V.745 and the 36th Viscount ordered by Capital Airlines.

Production Aircraft No. 139 - the 139th production V.700 series Viscount built,
was the 97th Viscount fuselage assembled at Hurn, Bournemouth, Hampshire, England,
and the 98th Viscount assembled at Hurn, Bournemouth, Hampshire, England.

Production Order No. F33/745. Sales Order No. 33/68B. Stock Order No. 33/27B.

7 April 1956
Fuselage assembly commenced at Hurn Airport, Bournemouth, Hampshire, England.

20 May 1956
Fuselage to Erecting Shop 'E' at Hurn Airport, Bournemouth, Hampshire, England.

24 August 1956
First flight from Hurn Airport, Bournemouth, Hampshire, England.

31 August 1956
Delivered to Capital Airlines with fleet number '356' fitted with integral front 'airsteps'.

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.

6 April 1958
Flight 67 crashed at Freeland, Michigan, USA on approach to Tri-City Airport, Saginaw, Michigan, USA at 23:19 local time sadly killing all 44 passengers and 3 crew on board.

Control of the aircraft was lost during the final approach with poor visibility and in icing conditions. It entered a stall followed by an over the top spin as full flap was selected.

The subsequent investigation concluded that an undetected build up of ice on the horizontal stabilisers together with a low airspeed resulted in a loss of pitch control.

The aircraft had been flying for a period with the engines in the flight idle position which meant that the hot exhaust gas bleed from the inboard Rolls-Royce Dart engines would have less effect at the furthest point of travel, which was the horizontal stabilisers.

Although not supported by the Civil Aeronautics Board an unofficial directive amongst Capital pilots instructed the use of the inner engines during any manouvering, with the outboard engines kept at flight idle. There were no more accidents relating to horizontal stabiliser icing within the Capital Viscount fleet and subsequently the United Air Lines Viscount fleet.

Continental Airlines sadly suffered an icing related crash to N242V (C/N 356) under similar circumstances, so a more official stance by the Civil Aeronautics Board to all Viscount operators about how to operate in icing conditions at flight idle may have prevented this accident.

The only recognisable part of the aircraft remaining after the accident was the tail section.
Only the tail was recognisable

It was operating Flight Number 67 from Newark, New Jersey - Detroit, Michigan - Flint, Michigan - Saginaw, Michigan and finally Chicago, Michigan. The only recognisable part of the aircraft remaining after the accident was the tail section.

This was the first fatal accident to a Capital Viscount which goes back to June 1955 when the first one was delivered.

Total time 4,776 hours and 3,500 total landings.

FURTHER READING: - Echoes of Flight 67 - The Rest of the Story by William D Reid was published in 1999. ISBN 10 0967791103


Photo of BEA - British European Airways Viscount G-AOJC

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