Allegheny Airlines Flight 737

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Allegheny Airlines Flight 737
Occurrence summary
Date 6 January 1969
Summary CFIT
Site Lafayette Township, McKean County, near Bradford, Pennsylvania
41°51′36″N 78°43′43″W / 41.86000°N 78.72861°W / 41.86000; -78.72861Coordinates: 41°51′36″N 78°43′43″W / 41.86000°N 78.72861°W / 41.86000; -78.72861
Passengers 25
Crew 3
Fatalities 11
Survivors 17
Aircraft type Convair CV-580
Operator Allegheny Airlines
Registration N5825
Flight origin Washington D.C.
1st stopover Harrisburg International Airport
Destination Bradford Regional Airport

Allegheny Airlines Flight 737 was a Convair CV-580, registration N5825, that crashed while attempting to land at Bradford Regional Airport in Bradford, Pennsylvania on January 6, 1969. Eleven of the 28 occupants on board were killed.


Flight 737 took off from Washington D.C. bound for Detroit, Michigan with intermediate stops in Harrisburg, Bradford, and Erie, Pennsylvania. The flight was uneventful until the aircraft began its approach to Bradford. Weather was overcast with one and one half miles visibility and snow showers. At ten miles from the airport, Flight 737 requested and received clearance to make its instrument approach to runway 14 instead of runway 32.[1] The flight struck treetops just under five nautical miles from the airport before coming to rest upside down on a snow covered golf course.[2]


Less than two weeks before flight 737 crashed, Allegheny Airlines Flight 736 also went down on approach to Bradford Airport. Both aircraft were approaching the same runway but in opposite directions at the time of the crashes.[3] Shortly after Flight 737's crash, Allegheny Airlines self-imposed new rules for landings at airports. The rules required visibility of 1,000 feet up and three miles out for any airport without instrument landing systems.[4]


The NTSB was unable to determine the probable cause of the crash. "Of some 13 potential causes examined by the Board, three remain after final analysis. They are: 1) misreading of the altimeter by the captain, 2) a malfunction of the captain's altimeter after completion of the instrument approach procedure turn, and 3) a misreading of the instrument approach chart. Of these three, no single one can be accepted or rejected to the exclusion of another based on the available evidence."[5]


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