National Airlines Flight 16 Lands in Water

National Airlines Flight 16 was a domestic (U.S.), scheduled passenger flight from Miami, Florida, to Lakeland, Florida, that crashed on 5 October 1945.

The aircraft was on the last leg of a Miami-Fort Myers-Sarasota-St Petersburg-Tampa-Lakeland route. The cause of the crash was determined to be a faulty missed approach procedure, which caused the aircraft to overshoot the runway and land in the water approximately 1,000 feet (300 m) beyond. Two passengers drowned, and several others were injured.

Flight 16 departed Tampa at 00:45 and climbed to an altitude of 1500 feet. Approaching Lakeland, the pilots observed scattered stratus clouds over the lighted city of Lakeland, the airport however was clearly visible. A descent was established for a straight-in approach to the NE runway and when at an altitude of about 900 feet and approximately three or four miles from the field the captain extended the gear, put the mixture in automatic rich and reduced the manifold pressure to 20 inches. At an altitude of 700 feet the propellers were placed in low pitch and the landing lights were turned on. When about 2 miles from the field at 600 feet the flaps wore extended fully.