ASN Aircraft accident Douglas DC-2-115A PH-AJU Rutbah Wells
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Status:Accident investigation report completed and information captured
Date:Thursday 20 December 1934
Time:00:33 UTC
Type:Silhouette image of generic DC2 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Douglas DC-2-115A
Operator:KLM Royal Dutch Airlines
Registration: PH-AJU
MSN: 1317/F1
First flight: 1934-08-16 (4 months)
Total airframe hrs:284
Engines: 2 Wright R-1820-F2 Cyclone
Crew:Fatalities: 4 / Occupants: 4
Passengers:Fatalities: 3 / Occupants: 3
Total:Fatalities: 7 / Occupants: 7
Aircraft damage: Destroyed
Aircraft fate: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:16 km (10 mls) S of Rutbah Wells (   Iraq)
Phase: En route (ENR)
Nature:Int'l Non Scheduled Passenger
Departure airport:Cairo-Almaza Airport (HEAZ), Egypt
Destination airport:Baghdad International Airport (BGW/ORBI), Iraq
A Douglas DC-2 operated by KLM Royal Dutch Airlines was destroyed in an accident near Rutbah Wells, Iraq. All seven on board were killed.
The airplane, registered PH-AJU and named "Uiver" operated on a Christmas mail and passenger flight from Amsterdam-Schiphol Airport, the Netherlands to Batavia (now named Jakarta, Indonesia). En route stops were made at Marseille (France), Rome (Italy), Athens (Greece) and Cairo (Egypt).
PH-AJU departed Cairo-Almaza Airport at 23:30 local time (21:30 UTC). The flight crew had not yet decided whether to land at Gaza, Rutbah or Baghdad. En route it was decided not to land at Gaza. Last radio contact was at 00:11 UTC with the radio operator at Rutbah.
The flight entered a rainstorm and descended until impacted the ground in a 17° right hand bank and 12° nose down attitude. The airplane crashed and burst into flames.

The "Uiver" was one of the 20 participants in the MacPherson Robertson London-Melbourne air race during in October 1934. It made a famous night time forced landing on a racing track in Albury (Australia), but managed to win the handicap race.

Probable Cause:

1. The cause of the accident is probably not related to a fire, in-flight break-up or lightning, nor related to failures of a technical nature.
2. It is very likely that the very unfavorable weather conditions along with less favorable handling characteristics of the airplane in severe turbulence and fatigue of the pilot have resulted in a collision with the ground, which caused the catastrophe.



photo of Douglas-DC-2-115A-PH-AJU
accident date: 20-12-1934
type: Douglas DC-2-115A
registration: PH-AJU
photo of Douglas-DC-2-115A-PH-AJU
photo of Douglas-DC-2-115A-PH-AJU
accident date: 20-12-1934
type: Douglas DC-2-115A
registration: PH-AJU

This map shows the airport of departure and the intended destination of the flight. The line between the airports does not display the exact flight path.
Distance from Cairo-Almaza Airport to Baghdad International Airport as the crow flies is 1259 km (787 miles).
Accident location: Approximate; accuracy within a few kilometers.

This information is not presented as the Flight Safety Foundation or the Aviation Safety Network’s opinion as to the cause of the accident. It is preliminary and is based on the facts as they are known at this time.
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