Accident Douglas C-54G-1-DO (DC-4) NC95422, Friday 12 March 1948
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Date:Friday 12 March 1948
Type:Silhouette image of generic DC4 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different    
Douglas C-54G-1-DO (DC-4)
Owner/operator:Northwest Airlines
Registration: NC95422
MSN: 35966
Year of manufacture:1945
Total airframe hrs:3306 hours
Engine model:Pratt & Whitney R-2000-13
Fatalities:Fatalities: 30 / Occupants: 30
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Destroyed, written off
Location:Mount Sanford, AK -   United States of America
Phase: En route
Nature:Passenger - Non-Scheduled/charter/Air Taxi
Departure airport:Anchorage-Merrill Field, AK (MRI/PAMR)
Destination airport:New York-La Guardia Airport, NY (LGA/KLGA)
Investigating agency: CAB
Confidence Rating: Accident investigation report completed and information captured
Northwest flight 4422 was a non-scheduled charter flight en route from Shanghai-Lunghwa Airport to La Guardia Field. An intermediate stop was made at Anchorage. Takeoff from Anchorage was accomplished at 20:12 and the DC-4 climbed to the cruising altitude of 11,000 feet. The last position report was at 21:03 when the flight reported being over the Gulkana radio range station. At that point the airway deflects to the north, its course being 23 degrees, to provide a safe lateral distance from Mt. Sanford which has an elevation of 16,208 feet. The DC-4 continued off the airway and flew into Mount Sanford. The wreckage slid down for about 3000 feet before coming to rest. The wreckage was spotted the day after the accident, but it took until July 24, 1999 before someone was able to reach the crash site.

PROBABLE CAUSE: "The Board determines that the probable cause of this accident was the pilot's failure to see Mt. Sanford, which was probably obscured by clouds or the aurora borealis or both while flying a course off the airway."

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


CAB File No. 1-0025


  • 13th worst accident in 1948
  • 45th worst accident of this aircraft type
  • 10th worst accident of this aircraft type at the time


Revision history:


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