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Accident Report Detail

Pilgrim Aviation and Airlines, Inc., De Havilland Turbo Prop DHC-6, N124PM

Executive Summary

About 1837, February 10, 1970, Pilgrim Aviation and Airlines, Inc., scheduled air taxi Flight 203, a Turbo Prop De Havilland DHC-6, Twin Otter, N124PM, was ditched in Long Island Sound near Waterford, Connecticut.

There were three passengers and a crew of two pilots aboard the aircraft.

When the aircraft was located in about 60 feet of water and raised, relatively intact, from the bottom of the Sound several days later, none of the occupants was found in the aircraft. Subsequently, the bodies of two passengers were recovered; the other occupants are missing and presumed dead.

The ditching occurred approximately 2 hours and 16 minutes after Flight 203 departed from Trumbull Airport, Groton, Connecticut, on an Instrument Flight Plan and clearance in instrument weather conditions for a scheduled flight to the John F. Kennedy International Airport, Jamaica, New York. The flight held in the New York area for an extended period, and then diverted to the Tweed Airport at New Haven, Connecticut, where it attempted and missed an instrument landing approach. At the time of the ditching, the flight was attempting to return to Trumbull Airport.

Probable Cause

The Safety Board determines that the probable cause of this accident was fuel exhaustion resulting from inadequate flight preparation and erroneous in-flight decisions by the pilot-incommand.

Accident Location: Waterford , CT   Long Island Sound
Accident Date: 2/10/1970
Accident ID: NYC70AN086

Date Adopted: 1/27/1971
NTSB Number: AAR-71-01
NTIS Number: PB-197927

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