1961 Cincinnati Zantop DC-4 crash
A C-54 similar to the accident aircraft
|Date||14 November 1961|
|Summary||CFIT / Pilot error|
|Site||Hebron, Kentucky, United States|
|Aircraft type||Douglas DC-4|
|Operator||Zantop Air Transport|
|Flight origin||Detroit, MI|
A Zantop Air Transport Douglas DC-4 was on its final approach to Greater Cincinnati Airport runway 18, when it clipped some trees and crashed into a wooded area north of the airport. This aircraft was the first of at least three aircraft on their final approach that failed to reach the safety of runway 18 at the Greater Cincinnati Airport, becoming victims of the area's hilly terrain with steep changes in elevation from the Ohio River.
The pilot, Calvin Goutier, the co-pilot, Richard Breathren, and the flight engineer (no name or further information on record) were flying from Detroit, Michigan, carrying automotive parts for General Motors Corporation to the airport for a routine landing while en route to Atlanta, Georgia. In the crash the fuselage broke into two pieces and the wreckage was strewn along a 400-foot (122-m) path. The crash occurred about 5:26 a.m.
The plane had been tracked by radar and suddenly disappeared from the radar screen, and airport authorities saw a large flash.
The crew exited through an escape hatch, surviving with minor injuries (Goutier a sprained ankle and Breathren a leg injury). They walked to Kentucky Route 20, about 1 1⁄2 miles (2.4 km) away, for help. A passing motorist, who worked for Delta Air Lines, noted a person walking out of the woods and continued driving to the airport. Later, Delta employees picked up the crew members.
The DC-4 aircraft involved was originally a United States Army Air Forces Douglas Skymaster, s/n 42-72226, which had been re-purchased by Douglas Aircraft Company on 1 October 1945 and reconfigured into a DC-4. On 9 January 1946, it was sold to United Airlines bearing US registration number N30061. United leased the airliner to Slick Airways on 20 June 1956. On 4 June 1959 it was sold to Lockheed Aircraft Corporation, who leased it back to Slick Airways until June 1960. Zantop Air Transport bought the aircraft in June 1960 and operated it as a cargo plane until it crashed.
The pilot sustained a sprained ankle and the co-pilot had a slight leg injury, which occurred as he was exiting the hatch with Goutier's help.
- The Middletown Journal, 14 November 1961
- Albuquerque Tribune, 14 November 1961
- New Castle News, 15 November 1961
- Albuquerque Journal, 15 November 1961
- Benton Harbor, Michigan News-Palladium, 15 November 1961