Plane & Pilot

Vintage Cargo Hauler Ditches In The Atlantic

I’m going to begin this story by letting you know up front what’s usually reserved for the end: the important takeaway that could someday save your life and maybe the lives of others. It’s simply that if there’s an anomaly you don’t fully understand and can’t seem to correct, don’t hesitate to land at the nearest suitable airport and then try to find the solution to the problem. I’ve long considered that principle to be a building block in the foundation of a safe flight. The National Transportation Safety Board certainly agreed, at least with respect to the flight of a General Dynamics Convair 340, a ’40s-era airliner that had been converted into a cargo hauler, designated the C-131B, which was operating that day as a charter flight, Conquest Air 504.

While on a return flight from Nassau to Miami on the day of the accident, Feb. 8, 2019, the aircraft lost power in both engines, and the captain was forced to ditch the big twin in the Atlantic Ocean. The captain was fatally injured, but the first officer survived and provided some chilling details of what happened.

“‘All engine instruments indicated normally when all of a sudden the right engine began to surge and lose power,’ the first officer wrote.”

Conquest Air is a cargo airline with offices in Miami Lakes,

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