Accident Martin 2-0-2 NC93044, Sunday 29 August 1948
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Date:Sunday 29 August 1948
Time:17:05
Type:Silhouette image of generic m202 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different    
Martin 2-0-2
Owner/operator:Northwest Airlines
Registration: NC93044
MSN: 9165
Year of manufacture:1947
Total airframe hrs:1321 hours
Engine model:Pratt & Whitney R-2800-CA18
Fatalities:Fatalities: 37 / Occupants: 37
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Destroyed, written off
Category:Accident
Location:6,6 km NW of Winona, WI -   United States of America
Phase: En route
Nature:Passenger - Scheduled
Departure airport:Chicago (unknown airport), IL
Destination airport:Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, MN (MSP/KMSP)
Investigating agency: CAB
Confidence Rating: Accident investigation report completed and information captured
Narrative:
Northwest Airlines' Flight 421 departed from Chicago for Minneapolis at 15:50. At 16:55 the flight reported over La Crosse, 125 miles southeast of Minneapolis, and was at that time cleared to start an en route descent from its cruising altitude of 8,000 feet. Four minutes later the flight reported passing through the 7,000-foot altitude level. The flight proceeded in the direction of Winona where it encountered a thunderstorm. Flight 421 was seen flying below the overcast. As it passed over Winona, the aircraft appeared to enter the roll cloud or the leading edge of the thunderstorm at which time it was lost from view. Seconds later parts of the airplane were observed falling. It was later found that the flight had crashed approximately 4 miles northwest of Winona on a bluff on the east side of the Mississippi River.

PROBABLE CAUSE: "The loss of the outer panel of the left wing which separated from the aircraft as a result of a fatigue crack in the left front outer panel attachment fitting which had been induced by a faulty design of that fitting, the fatigue crack having been aggravated by severe turbulence encountered in the thunderstorm."

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

Sources:

CAB File No. 1-0117

Statistics

  • 4th worst accident in 1948
  • worst accident of this aircraft type
  • worst accident of this aircraft type at the time

Location

Revision history:

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