1961 Cincinnati Zantop DC-4 crash

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1961 Cincinnati Zantop DC-4 crash
A C-54 similar to the accident aircraft
Accident summary
Date 14 November 1961
Summary CFIT / Pilot error
Site Hebron, Kentucky, United States
Crew 3
Injuries (non-fatal) 0
Fatalities 0
Survivors 3
Aircraft type Douglas DC-4
Operator Zantop Air Transport
Registration N30061

A Zantop Air Transport Douglas DC-4, was on its final approach down to Greater Cincinnati Airport runway 18, when it clipped some trees, lost altitude and crashed into a wooded area near the airport.[1] 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.[2]


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.[2] Upon crashing, 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.[3]

The plane had been tracked by radar and suddenly disappeared from the radar screen, and airport authorities saw a large flash.[3]

The crew got out of the plane wreckage through an escape hatch, surviving with minor injuries (Goutier a sprained ankle and Breathren a leg injury).[4] They walked to Kentucky Route 20, about 1 12 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.[citation needed] Later, Delta employees picked up the surviving crew members.


The DC-4 aircraft involved was originally a United States Army Air Forces Douglas Skymaster, s/n 42-72226, purchased by Douglas Aircraft Company on October 1, 1945, and converted into a DC-4. Subsequently it was sold to United Airlines on January 9, 1946, as N30061, then leased by Slick Airways on June 20, 1956. Later it was bought by Lockheed Aircraft Corporation on June 4, 1959, and leased 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.[5]


The pilot, Goutier, sustained a sprained ankle and the co-pilot, Breathren, had a slight leg injury which occurred as he was exiting the hatch with Goutier's help.[6]


  1. ^ The Middletown Journal, Tuesday November 14, 1961
  2. ^ Albuquerque Tribune, Tuesday November 14, 1961
  3. ^ a b New Castle News, Wednesday November 15, 1961
  4. ^ Albuquerque Journal, Wednesday November 15, 1961
  5. ^ [1]
  6. ^ Benton Harbor, Michigan News-Palladium, Wednesday, November 15, 1961

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