Accident Douglas C-54E-5-DO (DC-4) NC90904, Thursday 3 October 1946
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Date:Thursday 3 October 1946
Time:05:03
Type:Silhouette image of generic DC4 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different    
Douglas C-54E-5-DO (DC-4)
Owner/operator:American Overseas Airlines
Registration: NC90904
MSN: 27290
Year of manufacture:1945
Total airframe hrs:3731 hours
Engine model:Pratt & Whitney R-2000-9
Fatalities:Fatalities: 39 / Occupants: 39
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Destroyed, written off
Category:Accident
Location:11,4 km NE of Stephenville-Harmon AAB, NL (YJT) -   Canada
Phase: Initial climb
Nature:Passenger - Scheduled
Departure airport:Stephenville Air Base, NL (YJT/CYJT)
Destination airport:Shannon Airport (SNN/EINN)
Investigating agency: CAB
Confidence Rating: Accident investigation report completed and information captured
Narrative:
The DC-4, named "Flagship New England", departed New York-LaGuardia (LGA) at 12:14 on October 2, 1946 bound for Shannon (SNN), Ireland and Berlin, Germany. Prior to crossing the Atlantic, an intermediate stop was planned at Gander in Canada. Poor visibility at Gander forced the crew to land at their alternate, Stephenville-Harmon Field. The DC-4 arrived there at 16:30. In order to provide the necessary crew rest, a 12-hour stopover was made with a scheduled departure at 04:45. The flight was cleared to taxi to runway 30 for departure. As the wind appeared to be from 90 degrees at 9 kts, the tower operator advised the crew to taxi to runway 07 instead. At the time of the takeoff the ceiling was reported 5,000 feet, overcast; visibility 10 miles. Neither moon nor stars were visible through the overcast as the flight took off towards unlit terrain. It was general practice for flights using runway 07 to turn right immediately after takeoff to avoid rising terrain. After takeoff the DC-4 continued in a straight line and collided with a steep ridge at an elevation of 1160 feet, 7,1 miles past the runway.

PROBABLE CAUSE: "The action of the pilot in maintaining the direction of take-off toward higher terrain over which adequate clearance could not be gained."

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

Sources:

Air Britain Casualty compendium (pt. 44)
CAB

Statistics

  • worst accident in 1946
  • 31st worst accident of this aircraft type
  • 2nd worst accident of this aircraft type at the time

Location

Revision history:

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