Runway excursion Accident Douglas C-54A-1-DO (DC-4) NC91009, Sunday 30 November 1947
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Date:Sunday 30 November 1947
Type:Silhouette image of generic DC4 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different    
Douglas C-54A-1-DO (DC-4)
Owner/operator:Alaska Airlines
Registration: NC91009
MSN: 7453
Year of manufacture:1943
Total airframe hrs:5548 hours
Engine model:Pratt & Whitney R-2000-7
Fatalities:Fatalities: 8 / Occupants: 28
Other fatalities:1
Aircraft damage: Destroyed, written off
Location:Seattle/Tacoma International Airport, WA (SEA) -   United States of America
Phase: Landing
Nature:Passenger - Non-Scheduled/charter/Air Taxi
Departure airport:Anchorage-Merrill Field, AK (MRI/PAMR)
Destination airport:Seattle-Boeing Field International Airport, WA (BFI/KBFI)
Investigating agency: CAB
Confidence Rating: Accident investigation report completed and information captured
Flight 009 departed from Anchorage at 08:04, November 27, 1947, for Seattle. At 10:33, the flight arrived at Yakutat for a refueling stop, but remained there two days because of unfavorable weather. At 04:14, November 29, the flight departed for Seattle with a refueling stop planned at Port Hardy, Canada. Weather at Port Hardy was below minimums, so the captain decided to turn back and landed at Annette Island at 08:35. The following morning at 10:41 Flight 009 departed from Annette for Seattle. The flight arrived over the Seattle radio range station at 3,000 feet on its initial approach to the Boeing Airport at 13:57. An instrument approach for landing at Boeing Field was made, but not completed because of the low ceiling and visibility, so the flight returned to an altitude of 1,500 feet. The second instrument approach was made for a landing at Seattle-Tacoma Airport's runway 20 which is 5,611 feet long. Because the DC-4 was not properly aligned with the runway, the pilot maneuvered until it touched down left wing-low 2,748 feet beyond the approach end of the runway. The plane did not slow down enough and power was applied to the no. 4 engine to attempt a groundloop. It went off the end of the runway, crossed 229 feet of wet ground, and then rolled down a 24-foot embankment. At the bottom of the embankment it struck a ditch which sheared off the left lending gear and the left wing. The aircraft continued on to the intersection of the Des Moines Highway and South 188th Street where it collided with a moving automobile. Spilled gasoline was ignited, and the wreckage was enveloped in flames.

PROBABLE CAUSE: "The Board determines that the probable cause of this accident was the landing of the airplane too far from the approach end of a wet runway and at a speed too great to accomplish a full stop on the runway."

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


Air Britain Casualty compendium (pt. 47)
CAB report File No. 1-0094


  • 69th worst accident in 1947
  • 97th worst accident of this aircraft type
  • 23rd worst accident of this aircraft type at the time



photo (c) J.M. Miller, Seattle Post-Intelligencer / IMLS DCC; Seattle/Tacoma International Airport, WA (SEA); 30 November 1947; (CC:by)

Revision history:


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