Accident Douglas C-54B-15-DO (DC-4) NC88814, Friday 30 May 1947
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Date:Friday 30 May 1947
Type:Silhouette image of generic DC4 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different    
Douglas C-54B-15-DO (DC-4)
Owner/operator:Eastern Air Lines
Registration: NC88814
MSN: 18380
Year of manufacture:1944
Total airframe hrs:3623 hours
Fatalities:Fatalities: 53 / Occupants: 53
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Destroyed, written off
Location:3 km E of Bainbridge, MD -   United States of America
Phase: En route
Nature:Passenger - Scheduled
Departure airport:Newark International Airport, NJ (EWR/KEWR)
Destination airport:Miami International Airport, FL (MIA/KMIA)
Investigating agency: CAB
Confidence Rating: Accident investigation report completed and information captured
Eastern Air Lines Flight 605 departed Newark Airport, New Jersey, USA at 17:04 for a domestic flight to Miami, Florida.
The DC-4 climbed to its assigned cruising altitude of 4000 feet and the crew made position reports at 17:10 and 17:27 hours.
About 17:41 witnesses saw the aircraft enter a steepening dive until it struck the ground at high speed in a partially inverted attitude. The aircraft impacted moderately to densely wooded area with trees 60-70 feet high.

The investigation of this accident was at the time the most intensive in the history of the Civil Aeronautics Board's Safety Bureau.
It was found that the empennage disintegrated during the dive but whether failure of the empennage and/or its controls was an effect or a cause of the dive was not discovered.

PROBABLE CAUSE: "The Board determines that the probable cause of this accident was a sudden loss of control, for reasons unknown, resulting in a dive to the ground."

Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: CAB
Report number: File No. 1 0049-47
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 1 year 1 month
Download report: Final report


CAB File No. 1 0049-47


  • worst accident in 1947
  • 16th worst accident of this aircraft type
  • worst accident of this aircraft type at the time


Revision history:


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