List of accidents and incidents involving the Douglas DC-4

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Accidents and incidents involving the Douglas DC-4
Pacific Western Airlines DC-4.jpg
Douglas DC-4 of Pacific Western Airlines in 1959

The Douglas DC-4 is a piston-engined airliner and transport aircraft built by the Douglas Aircraft Company from 1942 to 1947. The type was originally designed as a commercial airliner, but until the end of World War II, all were built as military transports. After the war, many of these military aircraft were converted into commercial transports. Including military versions, more than 1200 DC-4s were built; a few are still flying today.

The DC-4 was known as the C-54 Skymaster in United States Army and Air Force service. In United States Navy service prior to 1962 it was known as the R5D; that year all U.S. Navy variants were also designated as the C-54.

Notable civil accidents and incidents[edit]

1940s[edit]

15 January 1943
US Army Air Force C-54 41-32939 crashed 25 mi ENE of Paramaribo, Suriname en route to North Africa from the United States after an unexplained mid-air breakup, killing all 35 on board. The aircraft was operated by TWA on behalf of the USAAF's Air Transport Command.[1]
9 July 1943
US Army Air Force C-54-DO 41-37271 was performing a flight over Wright Patterson Air Base when USAAF Lockheed C-40A 38-546 struck the wing of the C-54; the C-40 entered a spin and crashed near the runway; the C-54 stayed airborne for 500-750 feet before it also crashed, allowing two passengers (of five people on board) to bail out of the C-54; all five on board the C-40 died.[2]
20 June 1944
TWA Flight 277, a C-54A, struck the side of Fort Mountain after the pilot became disorientated in bad weather, killing all eight on board. The aircraft was operated by TWA on behalf of the USAAF's Air Transport Command.
26 July 1944
US Army Air Force C-54A 41-107410 disappeared in the Atlantic Ocean off Greenland with 26 on board; the aircraft was never found.[3]
28 August 1944
US Army Air Force C-54A 42-72171 crashed in a residential area near Prestwick Airport while attempting to land, killing all 20 on board and five on the ground.[4]
4 September 1944
US Navy R5D-2 90385 ditched in San Francisco Bay, killing one of five on board.[5]
7 September 1944
US Army Air Force C-54A 42-72211 crashed near Presque Isle Army Air Base while on a training flight due to a possible maintenance error, killing the three crew.[6]
9 November 1944
US Army Air Force C-54A 42-107438 crashed in Marathon Bay shortly after takeoff from Florida Keys Airport, killing the four crew.[7]
11 November 1944
US Army Air Force C-54A 42-72252 crashed 50 mi off Oahu, killing all 17 on board.[8]
12 November 1944
US Army Air Force C-54A 42-107427 struck a mountain near Cape St. George, Canada, killing nine of 18 on board.[9]
19 March 1945
US Army Air Force C-54A 42-72264 crashed 4 mi off Rock Harbor, Florida while on a training flight, killing the five crew; the wreckage was found the next day in 19 feet of water.[10]
5 May 1945
US Army Air Force C-54E 44-9043 crashed in mountainous terrain on Manus Island due to possible pilot error, killing all 21 on board.[11]
20 July 1945
US Army Air Force C-54E 44-9026 crashed near New Castle Army Air Base while performing an instrument approach, killing the four crew; the cause was never determined.[12]
3 November 1945
US Army Air Force C-54G 45-528 struck a mountain near Chhukka, Bhutan due to pilot error, killing all 44 on board.[13]
29 May 1946
A United Air Lines C-54A (NC30065) crashed near Chicago due to excessive descent while on a training flight; all four crew survived, but the aircraft was written off.[14]
1 June 1946
US Army Air Force C-54E 44-9078 crashed off Amalfi, Italy due to a cockpit fire and loss of control, kiling 30 of 38 on board.[15]
18 September 1946
A Sabena DC-4-1009 (OO-CBG) crashed on approach to Gander, Newfoundland on a flight from Brussels to New York City via Shannon and Gander. Twenty-seven were killed out of 44 aboard.[16]
3 October 1946
An American Overseas Airlines C-54E (N90904, named Flagship New England) crashed into a hill after taking off in darkness from Stephenville-Harmon Field in Newfoundland on a flight to Shannon, Ireland. The 31 passengers and 8 crew aboard were killed.
8 October 1946
United Air Lines Flight 28, a DC-4 (NC30051, named Mainliner Lake Michigan) crashed near Cheyenne, Wyoming after a loss of altitude while making a turn to land, killing two of 41 on board.[17]
11 January 1947
A Far East Air Transport C-54A (PI-C100) ditched in the Pacific 81 mi off Laoag, Philippines due to an engine fire, killing seven of 42 on board.[18]
15 February 1947
An Avianca DC-4 (C-114) crashed into Mount Tablazo, Colombia on a domestic Colombian flight from Barranquilla to Bogotá. All 53 aboard were killed.
29 May 1947
United Airlines Flight 521 crashed after overrunning the runway during an aborted takeoff from New York City's LaGuardia Airport on a flight to Cleveland, Ohio. Forty-one passengers and two crew died out of the 44 passengers and four crew on board.
30 May 1947
Eastern Air Lines Flight 605, a C-54B, dived into the ground near Bainbridge, Maryland, during a flight from Newark to Miami. The 49 passengers and four crew were killed. At the time this was the deadliest airliner crash in United States history. The cause of the dive was never determined.
13 June 1947
Pennsylvania Central Airlines Flight 410 struck a ridge near Charles Town, West Virginia, during a flight from Pittsburgh to Washington, D.C. The 47 passengers and three crew were killed.
3 July 1947
US Army Air Force C-54G 45-519 crashed in the Atlantic 294 mi off Florida after a loss of control caused by turbulence from a storm, killing the six crew.[19]
23 July 1947
Two Seaboard & Western Airlines C-54D's (N91077 and N91086) burned out in a hangar fire at St. Joseph Airport, Missouri.[20][21]
26 October 1947
Pan American World Airways Flight 923, a DC-4, struck Tamgas Mountain, Alaska while operating a Seattle-Annette Island-Juneau passenger service, killing all 18 on board; the cause was never determined.
26 October 1947
An AB Aerotransport DC-4-1009 (SE-BBG), crashed into Mount Hymettus, Greece while on approach to Athens on a flight from Istanbul, Turkey. All 44 aboard were killed.[22]
30 November 1947
Alaska Airlines Flight 009, a C-54A (NC91009), overran the runway on landing at Seattle/Tacoma International Airport, killing eight of 28 on board and one person on the ground.[23]
10 March 1948
Delta Air Lines Flight 705, a DC-4 (NC37478), crashed on climbout from Chicago Municipal Airport due to an unexplained loss of control, killing 12 of 13 on board.[24]
12 March 1948
Northwest Airlines Flight 4422 crashed into Mount Sanford, Alaska, while on a flight from Anchorage, Alaska to New York City. All 24 passengers and six crew aboard died; the wreckage was located in 1999.
25 March 1948
Two USAF C-54's were damaged beyond repair by a tornado at Tinker Air Force Base.[25][26]
12 May 1948
A Sabena DC-4-1009 (OO-CBE) crashed near Magazini in the Belgian Congo in severe weather during a flight from Léopoldville (now Kinshasa) to Libenge; of the 32 on board, only one survived. [27]
27 October 1948
Northwest Airlines Flight 6427, a C-54A (NC88785), crashed 34 mi north of Edmonton, Canada due to pilot error, killing two of the five crew on board. The aircraft was operating a Minneapolis-Edmonton-Anchorage-Tokyo cargo service.[28]
21 December 1948
A Civil Air Transport C-54B (N8342C) crashed into Basalt Island, Hong Kong on a flight from Shanghai to Hong Kong. All 33 aboard were killed.[29]
7 January 1949
US Army Air Force C-54G 45-543 crashed near Garstang, United Kingdom due to radio compass problems leading to a navigation error, killing all six on board.[30]
4 February 1949
A Skyways C-54A (G-AJPL) crashed near Castel Benito Airport after the port engines failed for reasons unknown, killing one of 53 on board.[31]
4 March 1949
During the Berlin Airlift, USAF C-54E 44-9086 crashed near Bad Langensalza, Germany due to an in-flight fire caused by an oil leak, killing the pilot.[32]
15 August 1949
A Transocean Airlines C-54A (N79998) ditched 9 mi off Lurga Point, Ireland due to fuel exhaustion caused by pilot error; all 58 on board were able to escape, but eight drowned or died of exposure.[33]
12 September 1949
During the Berlin Airlift, USAF C-54D 42-72476 crashed 12 mi west of Rathenow, Germany after two engines failed, killing the three crew.[34]
1 November 1949
Eastern Air Lines Flight 537 was struck and cut in half by Bolivian Air Force Lockheed P-38 Lightning NX26927 while approaching Washington National Airport, falling into and around the Potomac River, killing all 51 passengers and the four crew on board the C-54; the P-38 pilot was seriously injured, but survived. This succeeded Eastern's Flight 605 as the deadliest airliner incident in U.S. history.
28 November 1949
An Air France C-54A (F-BELO) crashed while on approach to Bron Airport en route from Paris after it struck a tree on a small hill, killing five of 38 on board.[35]

1950s[edit]

12 June 1950
An Air France DC-4, F-BBDF, on a flight from Saigon to Paris crashed in the Arabian Sea while on approach to Bahrain Airport, killing 46 of 52 on board.
14 June 1950
An Air France DC-4, F-BBDM, crashed in the Arabian Sea while on approach to Bahrain Airport, killing 40 of 53 on board. This aircraft was operating on the same flight route as F-BBDF.
23 June 1950
Northwest Orient Airlines Flight 2501 disappeared over Lake Michigan en route from New York City to Seattle. Light debris, upholstery and human body fragments were found floating in the lake, but the airframe and identifiable remains of the 55 passengers and three crew have never been located, and the cause of the accident is still unknown.
26 June 1950
An Australian National Airways DC-4-1009 departed Perth, Western Australia and crashed 19 minutes later near York, Western Australia. A total of 28 occupants were killed in the impact and one passenger survived the crash. The survivor died five days later in a Perth hospital. The cause of the crash remains unclear. The aircraft was registered VH-ANA and named Amana.
13 November 1950
A C-54B operated by Curtiss Reid Flying Services crashed into Tête de l'Obiou during a flight from Rome to Paris. The 51 passengers and 7 crew aboard were all killed.
8 December 1950
A Transports Aériens Intercontinentaux C-54A, (F-BELB) crashed after takeoff on a flight from Bangui, Ubangi-Shari (now the Central African Republic), to Dar es Salaam, Tanganyika (now Tanzania). 46 of the 56 aboard were killed.[36]
14 January 1951
National Airlines Flight 83, a DC-4-1009 (N74685) ran off the runway on landing at Philadelphia International Airport due to pilot error, killing seven of 28 on board.[37]
3 February 1951
An Air France DC-4-1009 (F-BBDO, named Ciel de Savoie) struck Cameroon Mountain after the crew intentionally deviated from the flight path, killing all 29 on board.[38]
11 March 1951
A Pacific Overseas Airlines R5D-1 (HS-POS, named City of Ayudhya) crashed in the hills on Hong Kong Island while en route to Bangkok, killing all 24 on board.[39]
25 April 1951
Cubana de Aviación Flight 493, traveling from Miami, Florida to Havana, Cuba, collided in mid-air off Key West, Florida, with U.S. Navy Beechcraft SNB-1 Kansan 39939 on an instrument training flight. All 43 in both aircraft (34 passengers and five crew on the Cubana flight and four in the Beechcraft) were killed.
13 July 1951
A Siamese Airways C-54B (HS-POA, named City of Bangkok) crashed on takeoff from Bangkok International Airport due to overloading; there were no casualties, but the aircraft was written off.[40]
21 July 1951
A Canadian Pacific Air Lines C-54A disappeared (probably while flying over Alaska) on a flight from Vancouver, Canada to Anchorage, Alaska. No trace of the aircraft or of its 31 passengers and six crew has ever been found. The cause of the accident remains undetermined.
17 November 1951
An Overseas National Airways C-54D (N79992) collided in mid-air with a California Eastern C-54 (N4002B) over Oakland Range, California, killing the three crew on board N79992; N4002B landed safely at San Franscisco Airport.[41]
19 January 1952
Northwest Orient Airlines Flight 324, a C-54E (N45342) on its way from Anchorage, Alaska, to Tacoma, Washington, attempted a precautionary landing at Sandspit, British Columbia, due to a failed engine. The landing was aborted and the aircraft crashed into the sea. Thirty-six out of 43 aboard died.[42]
26 March 1952
Braniff International Airways Flight 65, a C-54A (N65143) overran the runway and crashed at Hugoton Airport following an unexplained engine fire; all 49 on board survived, but the aircraft was written off.[43]
11 April 1952
Pan Am Flight 526A suffered engine failure and was forced to ditch in the Atlantic 11 miles (18 km) north of San Juan, Puerto Rico; 52 of 69 on board died.
29 April 1952
An Air France Douglas C-54A (F-BELI) operating a scheduled service from Frankfurt Rhein-Main Airport to Berlin Tempelhof Airport came under sustained attack from two Soviet MiG-15 fighters while passing through one of the Allied air corridors over East Germany. Although the attack had severely damaged the plane, necessitating the shutdown of engines number three and four, the pilot in command of the aircraft managed to carry out a safe emergency landing at Tempelhof Airport. A subsequent inspection of the aircraft's damage revealed that it had been hit by 89 shots fired from the Soviet MiGs. There were no fatalities among the 17 occupants (six crew, 11 passengers) despite the severity of the attack. The Soviet military authorities defended this attack on an unarmed civilian aircraft by claiming the Air France plane was outside the air corridor at the time of attack.[44]
6 December 1952
A Cubana de Aviación DC-4 crashed after takeoff on a flight from Bermuda to Havana. 37 were killed out of the 41 on board (33 passengers and 8 crew).
7 January 1953
Flying Tiger Line Flight 841 (a C-54B, N86574) struck the base of Squak Mountain, Washington after the flight deviated from approach procedure, killing all seven on board.[45]
20 March 1953
Transocean Air Lines Flight 942 (a C-54G, N88942) lost control for reasons unknown and crashed while on approach during a flight from Roswell, New Mexico, to Oakland, California. All 35 on board were killed.[46]
4 April 1954
An Autrex C-54A (F-BFGQ) struck a tree while on approach to Gia Lam Airport and crashed in the Red River, killing the four crew.[47]
23 July 1954
A Cathay Pacific Airways C-54A Skymaster civilian airliner, registration VR-HEU, en route from Bangkok to Hong Kong was shot down by two Chinese Communist La-9 fighters off the coast of Hainan Island, killing 10 of 18 on board.[48][49][50][51]
24 September 1955
Flying Tiger Line Flight 7413-23, a C-54A (N90433), ditched in the Pacific Ocean 1000 mi west off Honolulu due to triple engine failure caused by fuel exhaustion, killing three of the five crew on board.[52]
6 October 1955
United Airlines Flight 409 crashed into Medicine Bow Peak during a flight from Denver, Colorado to Salt Lake City, Utah. All 63 passengers and three crew aboard died. At the time, this was the deadliest airline crash in U.S. commercial aviation history.
17 November 1955
Peninsular Air Transport Flight 17K, a C-54-DO (N88852), crashed on climbout from Boeing Field due to propeller problems caused by maintenance errors, killing 28 of 74 on board.[53]
2 March 1957
Alaska Airlines Flight 100, a C-54B (N90449), struck hilly terrain near Blyn, Washington en route to Seattle from Fairbanks due to pilot and navigation errors, killing all five on board.[54]
11 August 1957
Maritime Central Airways Flight 315, a DC-4, lost control in severe weather and crashed near Issoudun, Quebec while on a flight from London to Toronto via Keflavík, Iceland, and Montreal. All 79 people aboard were killed.
8 December 1957
Aerolíneas Argentinas Flight 670, a DC-4 (LV-AHZ), broke up in severe weather and crashed near Bolívar, Argentina while on a domestic flight from Buenos Aires to San Carlos de Bariloche. All 61 aboard were killed.[55]
1 February 1958
A Lóide Aéreo Nacional Douglas DC-4 registration PP-LEM operating the night flight 730 to Fortaleza, experienced a failure of engine no. 4 during takeoff from Rio de Janeiro-Santos Dumont. The takeoff was aborted and 100 m before the end of the runway, a tire from the landing gear burst, causing the aircraft to run off the side of the runway and burst into flames. Of the 72 passengers and crew aboard, five died.[56][57]
11 August 1958
A Lóide Aéreo Nacional Douglas DC-4 registration PP-LEQ crashed for unknown causes over Carapí Island, Pará while on a night time visual approach to Belém-Val de Cans. Of the 11 passengers and crew aboard, 1 passenger survived.[58][59]
12 September 1959
A Pam Am DC-4 (N88900, named Clipper Fearless) struck a mountain near Tegucigalpa, Honduras after an unexplained course change, killing the three crew.[60]
24 September 1959
Reeve Aleutian Airways Flight 3, a C-54B (N63396) crashed on Great Sitkin Island, Alaska after the pilot failed to maintain VFR while in descent, killing all 16 on board.[61]
4 November 1959
Wheeler Airlines Flight 1658, a C-54A (CF-ILI) broke up in mid-air and crashed near St. Cleophas, Canada due to an in-flight fire, killing the five crew.[62]
21 November 1959
Ariana Afghan Airlines Flight 202 crashed on climbout from Beirut International Airport on a flight from Beirut, Lebanon to Kabul, Afghanistan due to a navigation error and possible engine fire, killing 24 of 27 aboard (23 passengers and five crew).

1960s[edit]

5 February 1960
A Lloyd Aéreo Boliviano DC-4 (registration CP-609) crashed after takeoff on a domestic Bolivian flight from Cochabamba to La Paz. All 59 on board died.[63]
28 March 1964
A C-54A (registration N4726V) disappeared over the Pacific (about 1120 km west of San Francisco – last reported position: 29°20′N 135°00′W / 29.33°N 135.00°W / 29.33; -135.00) on an executive passenger flight from Honolulu International Airport, Hawaii to Los Angeles International Airport, California. The pilot reported a fire in No. 2 engine, which might make it necessary to ditch. Nothing more was heard from the aircraft, nor was any trace of it found despite an extensive search. Three crew and 6 passengers died in the accident.[64]
1 November 1965
An Fuerza Aérea Argentina C-54 (registration TC-48) disappeared in the Costa Rican jungle or Caribbean Sea with 68 on board. En route from Howard Air Force Base to El Salvador International Airport. 25 lifebuoys, personal belongings and some wreckage were found in Bocas del Toro Archipelago, but the airplane or bodies were never found.
15 January 1966
An Avianca DC-4 (registration HK-730) crashed on takeoff on a domestic Colombian flight from Cartagena to Bogotá. 56 out of 64 aboard died.[65]
3 June 1967
An Air Ferry DC-4 (registration G-APYK) crashed into Mont Canigou on a flight from Manston Airport, England to Perpignan, France. All 88 aboard were killed, the greatest fatalities of any DC-4 crash.[66]
9 March 1969
A Continental Air Transport DC-4 (registration N3821) disappeared on a cargo flight over the North Atlantic from Halifax International Airport to Santa Maria Airport (Azores); three crew were lost in the accident.[67]
1 May 1969
An Air Vietnam C-54B (registration F-BELL) burned out on the ground at Saigon Airport.[68]
20 September 1969
An Air Vietnam C-54D (registration XV-NUG) crashed near Da Nang Airport after it was struck by a USAF F-4 Phantom, killing 74 of 75 on board and two farm workers on the ground.[69]

1970s[edit]

10 January 1974
TAM-52 a DC-4 operated by Transporte Aéreo Militar (the civil air service of the Bolivian Air Force) went missing on a non-scheduled passenger flight from Santa Rosa de Yacuma Airport (IATA: SRB, ICAO: SLSR) (14°3′58″S 66°47′12″W / 14.06611°S 66.78667°W / -14.06611; -66.78667) to El Alto International Airport, La Paz. No trace was found of the aircraft, its three crew and twenty-one passengers.[70]

1990s[edit]

21 June 1995
An Aero Union C-54G (registration N4989P, "Tanker 19") collided in mid-air with a US Forest Service Beechcraft 58P Baron (N156Z) near Ramona, California, killing all three on both aircraft and destroying two structures and two cars on the ground.[71]
14 August 1996
An Air North DC-4 (former C-54, registration C-FGNI) crashed near Bronson Creek, Canada due to loss of control caused by an engine fire and resultant separation; all three crew were able to escape the aircraft, but the pilot was reported missing and probably drowned.[72]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Accident description for 41-32939 at the Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved on 3 September 2013.
  2. ^ Accident description for 41-37271 at the Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved on 7 November 2013.
  3. ^ Accident description for 41-107410 at the Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved on 7 November 2013.
  4. ^ Accident description for 42-72171 at the Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved on 7 November 2013.
  5. ^ Accident description for 90385 at the Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved on 7 November 2013.
  6. ^ Accident description for 42-72211 at the Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved on 7 November 2013.
  7. ^ Accident description for 42-107438 at the Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved on 7 November 2013.
  8. ^ Accident description for 42-72252 at the Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved on 7 November 2013.
  9. ^ Accident description for 42-107427 at the Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved on 7 November 2013.
  10. ^ Accident description for 42-72264 at the Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved on 7 November 2013.
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  12. ^ Accident description for 44-9026 at the Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved on 7 November 2013.
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  69. ^ Accident description for XV-NUG at the Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved on 11 November 2013.
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  72. ^ Accident description for C-FGNI at the Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved on 3 September 2013.

External links[edit]