Accident Douglas C-53-DO (DC-3) N34417, Sunday 15 September 1957
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Date:Sunday 15 September 1957
Time:20:46
Type:Silhouette image of generic DC3 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different    
Douglas C-53-DO (DC-3)
Owner/operator:Northeast Airlines
Registration: N34417
MSN: 7337
Year of manufacture:1942
Fatalities:Fatalities: 12 / Occupants: 24
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Destroyed, written off
Category:Accident
Location:New Bedford, MA -   United States of America
Phase: Approach
Nature:Passenger - Scheduled
Departure airport:Martha's Vineyard Airport, MA (MVY/KMVY)
Destination airport:New Bedford Airport, MA (EWB/KEWB)
Investigating agency: CAB
Confidence Rating: Accident investigation report completed and information captured
Narrative:
Northeast Flight 285 departed Martha's Vineyard for a flight to New Bedford at 20:19. After 19 minutes the crew contacted New Bedford at the start of the descent out of 4000 feet. The controller then passed on weather information to the crew: indefinite 200, obscuration; visibility 1 mile; fog; wind southeast 3; altimeter 30.02. The flight was immediately cleared for a straight in approach and landing at runway 05. Last radio contact was when the crew reported inbound over the outer marker. The DC-3 struck 2 45-50 feet high trees, some 4000 feet short of the runway. The right wing separated on impact, causing the aircraft to roll to the right, cutting a swath through a dense growth of trees until the stub right wing dug into the soft swamp floor. The aircraft cartwheeled until the left engine struck a large tree stump, causing the fuselage to break in two. The wreckage came to rest 600 feet past the point of initial contact with the trees.

PROBABLE CAUSE: "The pilot attempted to make a visual approach by descending prematurely in the approach area without adherence to the prescribed ILS approach procedure which was dictated by existing weather conditions."

Accident investigation:
cover
  
Investigating agency: CAB
Report number: final report
Status: Investigation completed
Duration:
Download report: Final report

Sources:

ICAO Accident Digest No.9, Circular 56-AN/51 (166-172)

Statistics

  • 36th worst accident in 1957
  • 482nd worst accident of this aircraft type
  • 339th worst accident of this aircraft type at the time

Revision history:

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