Crash of a Sikorsky S-43B off São Paulo de Olivença: 11 killed

Date & Time: Jan 3, 1947
Type of aircraft:
Operator:
Registration:
PP-PBN
Flight Phase:
Survivors:
Yes
Schedule:
Iquitos – Manaus
MSN:
4315
Country:
Crew on board:
3
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
11
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
11
Circumstances:
Enroute to Manaus, the seaplane crashed in unknown circumstances into the Rio Solimões off São Paulo de Olivença. Eleven occupants were killed while three passengers were injured.

Crash of a Sikorsky S-43 off Fort-de-France: 4 killed

Date & Time: Aug 3, 1945 at 1011 LT
Type of aircraft:
Operator:
Registration:
NC15066
Survivors:
Yes
Schedule:
Port of Spain – Fort-de-France
MSN:
4306
YOM:
1936
Flight number:
PA216
Country:
Crew on board:
4
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
10
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
4
Captain / Total flying hours:
4298
Captain / Total hours on type:
698.00
Copilot / Total flying hours:
1670
Copilot / Total hours on type:
90
Aircraft flight hours:
12955
Circumstances:
Flight 216 continued at 6,000 feet until radio bearings indicated its position to be opposite the Fort de France radio beacon at which point it turned to the west, away from the island, preparatory to making a let-down. About 10 miles west of Martinique the plane entered an area clear of clouds and descent was started in wide spiral over the open sea. The co-pilot then established radio communications with the company's base station and at 0955 was advised that landing conditions at Fort do France were: wind ESE 20 knots, visibility 2 miles, ceiling 2,000 feet, barometer 1012.2, sea moderate with ground swells. Landing minimums for Pan American at Fort-de-France, approved by the Civil Aeronautics Administration, are: ceiling 1,000 feet, visibility 2 miles. During the let-down to Fort do France the pilot observed that the clouds extended upwards from 800 feet and that very heavy rain underneath the overcast made it impossible to determine accurately the condition of the water surface. Captain Shaw stated that during the let-down the left engine cut out momentarily and then resumed normal operation with indication of the proper manifold pressure. Instead of encountering the weather conditions reported at 0955, the pilot found that low ceiling and heavy rain squalls prevailed with visibility reduced to about 1/2 mile. Proceeding to Fort-de-France under the overcast, Captain Shaw circled the company station at an altitude of 500 feet and rioted that the wind-sock indicated a southwest surface wind instead of the previously reported east-southeast wind. Remarking to the co-pilot that he was afraid they would "lose" the left engine and, being apprehensive of single-engine performance of the Sikorsky S-43, the pilot elected to risk a landing under his emergency authority. At this moment the company radio advised that the weather was closing in rapidly and a landing should be made as soon as possible. Heading into the southwest wind an approach with full flaps was made toward a portion of Fort-de-France harbor seldom used for landing. Captain Shaw stated that during the latter part of his approach intense rain precluded forward vision through the windshield and only by opening a side window in the cockpit was he able to see the surface of the water just before the plane landed on the crest of a 4 to 6-foot swell. On contact with the water and alarmed by the size of the surface swells, the pilot attempted to take off, using full throttles, but he stated that the left engine failed to respond. The bow submerged and the plane yawed to the right, shearing off the left wing float and permitting that wing to submerge. As the left wing went down the aircraft rolled over on its back, rapidly filling with water. Quick action on the part of the crew resulted in the saving of all but four of the ten passengers, several of whom had to be taken from the plane through the submerged hatch. Survivors were picked up by the company service launch and a private fishing boat. The crash occurred at about 1011 and the plane sank within 10 minutes.
Probable cause:
On the basis of the foregoing the Board determines that the probable cause of this accident was the attempt by the pilot to land the aircraft in conditions of water surface not suitable for landing of a flying boat.
Final Report:

Crash of a Sikorsky S-43 off Rio de Janeiro

Date & Time: Jun 26, 1941 at 1515 LT
Type of aircraft:
Operator:
Registration:
NC16928
Flight Type:
Survivors:
Yes
Schedule:
Rio de Janeiro - Rio de Janeiro
MSN:
4317
YOM:
1928
Country:
Crew on board:
4
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
0
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
0
Circumstances:
The crew was performing a training flight in the Guanabara Bay, consisting of approaches and landings. While on a new approach, the seaplane hit the water surface in a nose down attitude. The aircraft overturned and sank. All four crew members were rescued.
Probable cause:
Wrong approach configuration on part of the crew and poor judgement on part of the pilot during landing. The glassy water surface was considered as a contributory factor.

Crash of a Sikorsky Y1OA-8 off Borinquen

Date & Time: Mar 26, 1941
Type of aircraft:
Operator:
Registration:
37-374
Flight Phase:
Flight Type:
MSN:
4336
YOM:
1936
Country:
Crew on board:
0
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
0
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
0
Circumstances:
Crashed into the sea shortly after take off following an engine failure. Crew fate unknown.
Probable cause:
Engine failure.

Crash of a Sikorsky S-43 off Salvador

Date & Time: Dec 26, 1940 at 0935 LT
Type of aircraft:
Operator:
Registration:
PP-PAU
Flight Phase:
Survivors:
Yes
Schedule:
Salvador - Rio de Janeiro
MSN:
4308
YOM:
1937
Location:
Country:
Crew on board:
4
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
13
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
0
Circumstances:
After takeoff from Salvador, the seaplane went out of control and crashed inverted into the Bay of Salvador. All 17 occupants were rescued, among them three passengers were injured. The aircraft was damaged beyond repair.

Crash of a Sikorsky S-43B off Rio de Janeiro: 14 killed

Date & Time: Aug 13, 1939 at 1635 LT
Type of aircraft:
Operator:
Registration:
NC16933
Survivors:
Yes
Schedule:
Miami – Santiago de Cuba – Port-au-Prince – Trinidad – Georgetown – Paramaribo – Cayenne – Belém – Sao Luis – Luis Correia – Camocim – Fortaleza – Natal – Joao Pessoa – Recife – Maceió – Aracaju – Salvador – Caravelas – Vitória - Rio de Janeiro
MSN:
4316
YOM:
1936
Country:
Crew on board:
4
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
12
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
14
Captain / Total flying hours:
4275
Captain / Total hours on type:
830.00
Aircraft flight hours:
3650
Circumstances:
The aircraft christened 'Baby Clipper' was circled over Rio and was making a normal approach to the seaplane landing area adjoining the air line's Rio base, in accordance with the company's established operating procedure, when it suddenly lost power on the left engine, yawed to the left, and started a descending turn in the same direction. The airplane continued to lose altitude and to turn at a sharper and steeper angle until it struck a caisson anchored at right angles to a small island in the harbor immediately adjacent to its landing approach path. All four members of the crew and ten passengers were fatally injured in the accident, one passenger escaping with serious and another with minor injuries.
Crew:
Addison G. Parsons, pilot,
George B. King, copilot,
Russell Jenkins, radio operator,
Julio Trujillo, steward.
Passengers:
Henrie May Eddy,
James Harvey Rogers,
Robert Landman,
Evaristo Gomes Miranda,
Anton Ommundsen,
Emanuel Valensa,
Pablo Lavin,
Edgar Delly Oliveira,
Alberto Oliveira Santos,
Lucila A. Oliveira Santos,
Osvaldo Hirth,
Mario Souto Lyra.
Probable cause:
Ample evidence was obtained during the Air Safety Board's investigation of the accident that the left engine suffered a sudden loss of power at a critical time during the landing approach, although, since available evidence failed to supply any conclusive explanation for this loss of power, and a detailed examination of the engine, after disassembly, revealed no indication of structural failure or mechanical defects in flight, the report stated that 'the cause of the loss of power from the left engine is unknown'. In conclusion, the accident was caused by a sudden loss of power from the left engine during the landing approach, necessitating an attempted landing under extremely hazardous conditions.
Final Report:

Crash of a Sikorsky S-43 off Kingston

Date & Time: Apr 25, 1938 at 2018 LT
Type of aircraft:
Operator:
Registration:
NC16932
Survivors:
Yes
Schedule:
San Juan – San Pedro – Port-au-Prince – Santiago de Cuba – Kingston
MSN:
4323
YOM:
1936
Flight number:
PA105
Country:
Crew on board:
6
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
12
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
0
Captain / Total flying hours:
4177
Captain / Total hours on type:
500.00
Copilot / Total flying hours:
3900
Circumstances:
On approach to Kingston, at an altitude of 1,600 feet, the crew modified the fuel selector when the left engine failed. Due to insufficient speed, the aircraft stalled and crashed into the sea some 16 km off Kingston. All 18 occupants were quickly rescued while the aircraft sunk.
Crew:
Joseph H. Hart, pilot,
H. E. Allen, copilot,
C. L. Mason, radio navigator,
A. C. Lusignani, purser.
Probable cause:
It is the opinion of the Investigating Board that the probable cause of this accident was failure of the left engine as a result of a failure in the fuel system and failure of the airplane to maintain single engine flight.

Crash of a Sikorsky S-43 into the Daya Bay: 3 killed

Date & Time: Aug 8, 1937
Type of aircraft:
Operator:
Flight Phase:
Survivors:
Yes
Schedule:
Guangzhou– Hong Kong – Shanghai
MSN:
4320
YOM:
1936
Country:
Region:
Crew on board:
4
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
7
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
3
Circumstances:
After his departure from Hong Kong bound for Shanghai, while overflying the Bias Bay (Daya Bay), the crew encountered poor weather conditions and decided to ditch the aircraft offshore. On landing, the seaplane christened 'Chekiang' hit waves and lost its both wings. Seven passengers were able to find refuge on one wing and were later rescued by the crew of the British destroyed 'HMS Thracian'. Unfortunately, three crew members, among them the copilot George Ohrnberger, were killed. The aircraft was lost.

Crash of a Sikorsky S-43 off Cristóbal: 14 killed

Date & Time: Aug 2, 1937 at 1938 LT
Type of aircraft:
Operator:
Registration:
NC15065
Survivors:
No
Schedule:
Lima – Guayaquil – Tumaco – Cali – Cristóbal – Panama City
MSN:
4305
YOM:
1936
Location:
Country:
Crew on board:
3
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
11
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
14
Captain / Total hours on type:
991.00
Circumstances:
While descending to Cristóbal-France Field (Colón), the pilot informed ATC at an altitude of some 2,000 feet that he was approaching the city via the Bahía Limón Bay. In rain falls, the seaplane became out of control and crashed into the sea few kilometers off shore. The debris of the plane christened 'Santa Maria' were found a day later and no one survived among the 14 occupants.
Probable cause:
The Board is conclusively of the opinion that the accident was caused by the NC15065 striking the water while moving less then 90 miles per hour, tearing the ship to pieces, causing the death of all aboard and that a fire resulted from the impact with the water. The Board is convinced that at the time of the collision the plane had a minimum of 80 gallons of gas which would have burned on the water a sufficient length of time to cause all burns or scorches found one any recovered wreckage. The specific contributing cause of this aircraft colliding with the water is beyond the knowledge of man. However, there must have been a specific contributing cause or causes, and the Board is of the opinion that the most probable contributing cause is one of the following and in the order named:
Failure of one or both engines due to faulty gasoline system, occurring during the spiralling down mentioned in the pilot's last radio message.
The encountering of a sudden severe rain, as altitude was being lost by the plane in the spiralling descent, resulting in the blanking out of all visual contact.

Crash of a Sikorsky S-43 off Desertores Island: 9 killed

Date & Time: Jun 2, 1937
Type of aircraft:
Operator:
Registration:
2
Flight Phase:
Flight Type:
Survivors:
No
Schedule:
Puerto Montt – Punta Arenas
MSN:
4319
YOM:
1936
Country:
Crew on board:
4
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
5
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
9
Circumstances:
The seaplane was on its way from Puerto Montt to Punta Arenas, operating the line christened 'Línea Experimental Puerto Montt-Magallanes'. En route, while cruising off the Chiloé Islands, the aircraft disappeared and crashed into the sea. Some debris were found few days later on the shores of the Desertores Island. No trace of the occupants was found.