1956 Atlantic R6D-1 disappearance

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1956 Atlantic R6D-1 disappearance
A U.S. Navy R6D-1 Liftmaster, similar to the accident aircraft, operating for the Military Air Transport Service in the 1950s.
Accident summary
Date October 10, 1956 (1956-10-10)
Summary Unknown
Site Atlantic Ocean, 590 km (368.8 miles) southwest of Land’s End, United Kingdom
Passengers 50
Crew 9
Fatalities 59
Survivors 0
Aircraft type Douglas R6D-1 Liftmaster
Operator United States Navy, Military Air Transport Service (MATS)
Registration BuNo 131588
Flight origin RAF Lakenheath, England
Destination Lajes Field, Azores

The 1956 Atlantic R6D-1 disappearance involved a Douglas R6D-1 Liftmaster (BuNo 131588) of the United States Navy which disappeared over the Atlantic Ocean on 10 October 1956 with the loss of all 59 people on board. At the time, it was both the second-worst air incident to have occurred over the Atlantic[1] and the second-deadliest involving any variant of the Douglas DC-6.[1]

Accident[edit]

The R6D-1 – the U.S. Navy version of the United States Air Force C-118 Liftmaster and the civilian Douglas DC-6B airliner – was carrying a crew of nine and 50 passengers on a scheduled Military Air Transport Service flight from RAF Lakenheath, England, to Lajes Field in the Azores on 10 October 1956[2] when it disappeared over the Atlantic Ocean 590 km (368.8 miles) southwest of Land’s End, England, at approximately 22:10.[1][3] All of the passengers were personnel of the U.S. Air Force '​s 307th Bombardment Wing stationed at Lincoln Air Force Base, Nebraska, returning to the United States from 90 days of temporary duty in England.[4] The disappearance was the second major accident involving a Navy R6D-1 in 19 months, an R6D-1 having crashed in Hawaii in March 1955.

A 14-day search for the aircraft and survivors found only wheels and a life raft floating 596 km (370 miles) southwest of Land '​s End. No trace of the crew or passengers ever was found.[1][3][5]

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