ASN Aircraft accident BAC One-Eleven 203AE N1553 Falls City, NE
ASN logo

Status:Accident investigation report completed and information captured
Date:Saturday 6 August 1966
Type:Silhouette image of generic BA11 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
BAC One-Eleven 203AE
Operator:Braniff International Airways
Registration: N1553
MSN: 070
First flight: 1965
Total airframe hrs:2307
Engines: 2 Rolls-Royce Spey 506-14/15
Crew:Fatalities: 4 / Occupants: 4
Passengers:Fatalities: 38 / Occupants: 38
Total:Fatalities: 42 / Occupants: 42
Aircraft damage: Destroyed
Aircraft fate: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:12 km (7.5 mls) NNE of Falls City, NE (   United States of America)
Phase: En route (ENR)
Nature:Domestic Scheduled Passenger
Departure airport:Kansas City Downtown Municipal Airport, MO (MKC/KMKC), United States of America
Destination airport:Omaha-Eppley Airfield, NE (OMA/KOMA), United States of America
Flightnumber: 250
One-Eleven N1553 departed New Orleans, LA at 18:35 for a passenger flight to Minneapolis, MO with intermediate stops at Shreveport, LA, Fort Smith, AR, Tulsa, OK, Kansas City, MO and Omaha, NE. Flight 250 departed Kansas City at 22:55 on an IFR clearance to Omaha at FL200. However, the crew asked if they could remain at 5000 feet because of the weather. The flight remained at 6000 feet until permission was received at 23:06 to descend to 5000 feet. At 23:08 the crew contacted a company flight which had just departed Omaha. This flight reported moderate to light turbulence. About four minutes later the aircraft entered an area of an active squall line. The One-Eleven violently accelerated upward and in a left roll. At this time the right tailplane and the fin failed. The aircraft then pitched nose down and within one or two seconds the right wing failed as well. The plane tumbled down in flames until stabilizing into a flat spinning-attitude before impacting the ground.
Braniff regulations prohibit a plane from being dispatched into an area with a solid line of thunderstorms; however the company forecast was somewhat inaccurate with respect to the number and intensity of thunderstorms and the intensity of the associated turbulence.

Probable Cause:

PROBABLE CAUSE: "In-flight structural failure caused by extreme turbulence during operation of the aircraft in an area of avoidable hazardous weather."

Accident investigation:

Investigating agency: NTSB
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 1 year and 9 months
Accident number: final report
Download report: Final report

Tail failure
Loss of control

» NTSB File 1-0008


photo of BAC-1-11-

This map shows the airport of departure and the intended destination of the flight. The line between the airports does not display the exact flight path.
Distance from Kansas City Downtown Municipal Airport, MO to Omaha-Eppley Airfield, NE as the crow flies is 265 km (165 miles).
Accident location: Exact; as reported in the official accident report.

This information is not presented as the Flight Safety Foundation or the Aviation Safety Network’s opinion as to the cause of the accident. It is preliminary and is based on the facts as they are known at this time.
languages: languages


BAC One-Eleven

  • 245 built
  • 3rd loss
  • 2nd fatal accident
  • The worst accident (at the time)
  • 4th worst accident (currently)
» safety profile

 United States of America
  • 43rd worst accident (at the time)
  • 81st worst accident (currently)
» safety profile

The Aviation Safety Network is an exclusive service provided by:
Quick Links:

CONNECT WITH US: FSF on social media FSF Facebook FSF Twitter FSF Youtube FSF LinkedIn FSF Instagram

©2024 Flight Safety Foundation

1920 Ballenger Av, 4th Fl.
Alexandria, Virginia 22314