|Site River Shannon, Ireland|
Aircraft type Douglas DC-6B
Number of deaths 83
Passenger count 77
Location River Shannon
Date 10 September 1961
Crew count 6
|Summary Possible pilot error due to instrument failure and bad weather, causing a loss of control|
Similar ČSA Flight 511, Imperial Airlines Flight 201, KLM Flight 823, TWA Flight 529, 1961 Cincinnati Zantop D
The 1961 President Airlines Douglas DC-6 crash occurred on the night of September 10, 1961, when a President Airlines Douglas DC-6B named Theodore Roosevelt outbound from Shannon, Ireland crashed into the nearby River Shannon shortly after takeoff, killing all 83 people on board. To date, the crash remains the deadliest one in Irish territory, as well as the third-deadliest involving a DC-6 after LAN Chile Flight 107 and Olympic Airways Flight 954.
Aircraft and occupants
The aircraft involved in the accident was a Douglas DC-6B registered N90773. It first flew in 1953 and was powered by four Pratt & Whitney R-2800 engines. The aircraft's occupants on the accident flight consisted of 77 passengers and six crew members.
The aircraft was on a non-scheduled international passenger flight from Düsseldorf, Germany to Chicago with stopovers in Shannon and Gander, Newfoundland for refueling. Shortly after takeoff from Shannon Airport's runway 24, the pilots were cleared for a right-hand turn, but they instead turned left and kept turning until the aircraft had reached a bank angle of about 90 degrees or more. Unable to recover, the aircraft plummeted into the River Shannon 5,000 ft. from the end of the runway. There were no survivors among the 83 passengers and crew. Subsequent investigations indicate that the crash probably resulted from a malfunctioning attitude indicator, a fault in the starboard ailerons, or both. Poor weather conditions and crew fatigue were also cited as possible contributing factors. Irish State Papers released in 1994 indicated that the pilot had alcohol in his blood and that the airline was insolvent at the time of the accident.