Accident Douglas R5D-2 (DC-4) 39116, Friday 17 February 1956
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Date:Friday 17 February 1956
Type:Silhouette image of generic DC4 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different    
Douglas R5D-2 (DC-4)
Owner/operator:United States Navy
Registration: 39116
MSN: 18331
Year of manufacture:1944
Fatalities:Fatalities: 40 / Occupants: 40
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Destroyed, written off
Location:5,6 km N of Niles, CA -   United States of America
Phase: Approach
Departure airport:Santa Ana-El Toro MCAS, CA (NZJ/KNZJ)
Destination airport:Alameda NAS, CA (NGZ/KNGZ)
After circling for 30 minutes, the pilot contacted Oakland Municipal Airport, reporting that he was on his approach to Alameda NAS. While flying in low overcast and drizzling rain, the Navy plane flew up a steep canyon, skimmed over one ridge and then slammed into Sunol Ridge at the 1300 feet level.

A subsequent Marine board of inquiry into the cause of the crash placed the blame on the flight crew’s deviation from the prescribed holding pattern, departure from the radio beacon, and making their descent in a unprescribed manner.


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