American Airlines Lockheed L-188 Electra   N6101A      (c/n  1015)


American was the second airline to commence service with the new Lockheed Electra (Eastern
                                                      was the first).  The prop-jets eventually spelled the doom for the big piston engined aircraft.
                                                      Capital Airlines was already flying Vickers Viscounts, although most US carriers opted to go
                                                      with the Lockheed product, since its payload was considerably greater than that of the British
                                                      machine. However, the design was not without its problems initially.  Both Braniff and Northwest
                                                      lost Electras which apparently shed their wings, or at least, portions of them. 
Engine vibration was
                                                      found to be the cause and, naturally, fixes were gradually made, but not before the traveling public
                                                      felt apprehensive about flying in the new airliners.  N6101A above was contributory to the statistics
                                                      since it crashed on 3 Feb 1959 into New York's East River whilst attempting an ILS approach to
                                                      La Guardia's runway 22 with the autopilot engaged.   Incorrect altimeter setting and unfamiliarity
                                                      with the aircraft and its systems were cited as contributory causes.  65 out of the 72 souls on board
                                                      were lost.   After a period of operation with airspeed restrictions applied, the Electra finally came
                                                      into its own and the basic design has endured to this day in the form of the military P-3 Orion series
                                                      anti-submarine warfare patrol aircraft.   Notable in the view above are the very low aspect ratio
                                                      square wings, with very little span outboard of the outboard Alliason 501-D13 turboprop engines.