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Encyclopedia > Eastern Air Lines Flight 21
Eastern Air Lines Flight 21
Summary
Date   February 26, 1941
Type   Controlled flight into terrain
Site   near Atlanta, Georgia, USA
Fatalities   16
Injuries   9
Aircraft
Aircraft type   Douglas DC-3
Operator   Eastern Air Lines
Tail number   NC28394
Passengers   19
Crew   6
Survivors   9

Eastern Air Lines Flight 21, registration NC28394, was a Douglas DC-3 aircraft that crashed while preparing to land at Candler Field in Atlanta, Georgia, on February 26, 1941. Sixteen of the 25 on board were killed. Among the injured was Eddie Rickenbacker, World War I hero and (at the time) president of Eastern Air Lines. February 26 is the 57th day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar. ... This article is about the year. ... Nickname: Hotlanta, The Big Peach, The ATL, A-Town Location in Fulton County in the state of Georgia Coordinates: Country United States State Georgia Counties Fulton, Dekalb Mayor Shirley Franklin (D) Area    - City 343. ... The Douglas DC-3 is a fixed-wing, propeller-driven aircraft which revolutionized air transport in the 1930s and 1940s, and is generally regarded as one of the most significant transport aircraft ever made (also see Boeing 707 and Boeing 747). ... For the Chinese airline, see China Eastern Airlines. ... For the Chinese airline, see China Eastern Airlines. ... The Douglas DC-3 is a fixed-wing, propeller-driven aircraft which revolutionized air transport in the 1930s and 1940s, and is generally regarded as one of the most significant transport aircraft ever made (also see Boeing 707 and Boeing 747). ... Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (IATA: ATL, ICAO: KATL) is located in the Atlanta, Georgia, USA metropolitan area, and is the busiest airport in the world, with Chicagos OHare as a rival. ... Nickname: Hotlanta, The Big Peach, The ATL, A-Town Location in Fulton County in the state of Georgia Coordinates: Country United States State Georgia Counties Fulton, Dekalb Mayor Shirley Franklin (D) Area    - City 343. ... February 26 is the 57th day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar. ... This article is about the year. ... Edward Vernon (Eddie) Rickenbacker (October 8, 1890 – July 27, 1973) was an American fighter pilot who flew in World War I. He was born Edward Rickenbacher in Columbus, Ohio to Swiss immigrants. ... Combatants Allied Powers: France Italy Russia Serbia United Kingdom United States Central Powers: Austria-Hungary Bulgaria Germany Ottoman Empire Commanders Douglas Haig John Jellicoe Ferdinand Foch Georges Clemenceau Luigi Cadorna Nicholas II Aleksei Brusilov Woodrow Wilson John Pershing Wilhelm II Paul von Hindenburg Reinhard Scheer Franz Josef I Conrad von...


Flight 21 departed New York City's LaGuardia Airport on the evening of February 26, stopping briefly at Washington Hoover Airport before departing at 9:05 PM Eastern Time for Atlanta. After Atlanta, it was scheduled to stop at New Orleans, Louisiana, and Houston, Texas, before ending its trip at Brownsville, Texas, on the morning of the 27th. At 11:38 PM Central Time,[1] the aircraft called the Eastern Air Lines operator in Atlanta[2] to advise that it had passed over the Stone Mountain reporting point and was descending. The operator provided the pilots with the altimeter setting for Candler Field and with the current weather. Flight 21 then contacted the Atlanta control tower twice, first to advise that it was making an approach and then to advise that the aircraft was over the Atlanta range station two miles southeast of the airport at an altitude of 1,800 feet.[3] Eastern's company operator then contacted the flight to suggest a straight-in approach; the aircraft acknowledged the transmission, but nothing further was heard. The wreckage was found in a pine grove five miles southeast of the Atlanta Range station just after 6:30 AM. Rescuers found a number of survivors still alive in the wreckage, including Eastern Air Lines President Eddie Rickenbacker, who had suffered numerous broken bones and an enucleated eyeball. Nickname: Big Apple Location in the state of New York Coordinates: Country United States State New York Boroughs Bronx (The Bronx) New York (Manhattan) Queens (Queens) Kings (Brooklyn) Richmond (Staten Island) Mayor Michael Bloomberg (R) Area    - City 1,214. ... FAA diagram of LaGuardia Airport (LGA) LaGuardia Airport (IATA: LGA, ICAO: KLGA) is an airport serving New York City, located on the waterfront of Flushing in the borough of Queens. ... February 26 is the 57th day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar. ... The Eastern Standard Time Zone (abbreviated EST) is a geographic region that keeps time by subtracting five hours from Coordinated Universal Time (UTC). ... Nickname: The Crescent City, The Big Easy, The City That Care Forgot Location in the State of Louisiana and the United States Coordinates: Country United States State Louisiana Parish Orleans Founded 1718 Mayor Ray Nagin (D) Area    - City 350. ... Nickname: Bayou City Location in the state of Texas Coordinates: Counties Harris County Fort Bend County Montgomery County Mayor Bill White Area    - City 1,558 km²  (601. ... Brownsville is a city in Cameron County, Texas, United States. ...  CDT or UTC-5 The Central Time Zone observes standard time by subtracting six hours from UTC during standard time (UTC-6) and five hours during daylight saving time (UTC-5). ... Stone Mountain The mountain top and Skyride This article is about the Stone Mountain in Georgia, USA. For other uses, see Stone Mountain (disambiguation). ... Kollsman-type barometric aircraft altimeter as used in North America An altimeter is an active instrument used to measure the altitude of an object above a fixed level. ... A non-directional beacon (NDB) is a radio broadcast station in a known location, used as an aviation or marine navigational aid. ... Species About 115. ...


Investigators with the Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB), the predecessor of the NTSB, determined from the evidence at the site and the survivors' testimony that the aircraft had first struck the tops of three small pine trees while the aircraft was flying in a northerly direction. The lowest tree was struck at an elevation of 915 feet above sea level. Flight 21 then apparently continued across a small valley in the same direction in level flight for about 1500 feet before the right wing tip struck the top of a poplar and the aircraft crashed into a thick grove of pine trees. Captain Rickenbacker testified that he first felt a slight bump. At that point, he jumped from his seat and started to move toward the rear of the aircraft, but the aircraft crashed and he was thrown from his feet. Governments have played an important part in shaping air transportation. ... The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is a U.S. government organization responsible for investigation of accidents involving aviation, highway, marine, pipelines and railroads in the United States. ... This article is about woody plants of the genus Populus. ...


At the time of the accident, it was standard practice for each pilot to have two altimeters; one set to 29.92 inches of mercury and referred to during en route flight, and one used for instrument approaches and set to the altimeter setting of the airport the aircraft was about to land at. In this case, the captain's en route altimeter was set at 29.92 inches of mercury, but his instrument approach altimeter was set at 30.33 inches of mercury. The altimeter setting at Candler Field on the morning of February 26 was 28.94; this setting had been transmitted to the aircraft by Eastern Air Lines's company operator at 11:38 PM, but the captain's altimeter had not been set properly.


The CAB issued the following statement as to probable cause:

On the basis of the foregoing findings and the entire record available to us at this time, we find that the probable cause of the accident to NC 28394 (Eastern Air Lines Trip 21) on February 26, 1941, was the failure of the captain in charge of the flight to exercise the proper degree of care by not checking his altimeters to determine whether both were correctly set and properly functioning before commencing his landing approach. A substantial contributing factor was the absence of an established uniform cockpit procedure on Eastern Air Lines by which both the captain and pilot are required to make a complete check of the controls and instruments during landing operations.

See also

Air safety is a broad term encompassing the theory, investigation and categorisation of flight failures, and the prevention of such failures through appropriate regulation, as well as through education and training. ... // Accidents and incidents on commercial aircraft grouped by the year that the incident or accident occurred. ...

Footnotes

  1. ^ Atlanta, Georgia was in the Central Time Zone as of the date of this accident.
  2. ^ At the time of the accident, pilots generally communicated with en route air traffic control through a company radio operator. Most aircraft radios did not have the ability to receive and transmit over long distances, and there were few repeaters or other transmitters in between airports.
  3. ^ The altitude of Candler Field was published as 985 feet.

Air Traffic Control Towers (ATCTs) at Schiphol Airport Air traffic control (ATC) is a service provided by ground-based controllers who direct aircraft on the ground and in the air. ... An Icom Radio Repeater. ...

External links


 
 

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