Eastern Air Lines Flight 375 Crashes

Eastern Air Lines Flight 375, registration N5533, was a Lockheed L-188 Electra aircraft that crashed on takeoff from Logan International Airport in Boston, Massachusetts on October 4, 1960.

62 of 72 on board were killed in the accident; ten survived, nine with serious injuries.

Flight 375 began at New York City's LaGuardia Airport, and after Boston was scheduled to travel to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Charlotte, North Carolina and Atlanta, Georgia. The pilots had filed an IFR flight plan that would have had the aircraft cruising to Philadelphia at 10,000 feet. At 5:35 PM, the aircraft pulled away from the terminal and taxied to the threshold of Runway 09 for an easterly departure; the tower cleared it for takeoff at 5:39 PM.

A few seconds after taking off from runway 05, the Electra struck a flock of starlings. A number of these birds were ingested in engine no.1, 2 and 4. Engine no. 1 was shut down and the prop feathered. Shortly after that the no. 2 and 4 engines experienced a substantial momentary loss of power. This caused the plane to yaw to the left and decelerate to stall speed. The left wing then dropped, the nose pitched up and the L-188 rolled left into a spin and fell almost vertically into the water.

PROBABLE CAUSE: "The unique and critical sequence of the loss and recovery of engine power following bird ingestion, resulting in loss of airspeed and control during takeoff. "

Southbound for Philadelphia, Eastern Air Lines Flight 375 roared down Runway 9 of Boston's Logan International Airport, lifted comfortably into the clear October afternoon, then, a few hundred feet in the air, wheeled suddenly on its left wing and dived to destruction in the cold waters of Winthrop Bay. High over Boston Harbor an inbound pilot barked into his mike: "Tower, an Electra just went into the drink!"

Within minutes the far shore of the bay clogged with curious crowds; traffic eventually backed up all the way to downtown Boston. So many boats swarmed across the water that the rescue operation threatened to become a greater disaster than the crash. As dark fell, a grim collection of bodies, many still strapped in their seats, began to collect on shore. A TV and radio call for skindivers brought hundreds to the scene. Only a few dozen were qualified, but none hesitated to thrash through the black, blinding water while boat propellers churned around them. In the confusion survivors were mistaken for the dead. Civil Defense Director Jerry Wyman uncovered a blanketed body, applied a resuscitator and brought one "dead man" to life.