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Accident description
Last updated: 20 October 2017
Status:Final
Date:Monday 20 April 1936
Time:20:10
Type:Silhouette image of generic DC2 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Douglas DC-2-115K
Operator:CLS - Ceskoslovenská Letecká Spolecnost
Registration: OK-AIA
C/n / msn: 1581/F30
First flight: 1936
Crew:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 3
Passengers:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 9
Total:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 12
Airplane damage: Damaged beyond repair
Location:near Elburg (   Netherlands)
Phase: Approach (APR)
Nature:International Scheduled Passenger
Departure airport:Praha-Ruzyne International Airport (PRG/LKPR), Czech Republic
Destination airport:Amsterdam-Schiphol Municipal Airport (AMS/EHAM), Netherlands
Narrative:
The Douglas DC-2 named "Praha" forced landed in a field at Doornspijk on its first scheduled flight Prague-Amsterdam due to fuel exhaustion. The pilot (Karl Balik, 32) and the radio operator (W. Mika, 29) were injured. The mechanic (F. Strunk) and the nine passengers were not injured.
The crew experienced problems obtaining a bearing to the Amsterdam Schiphol Airport. At 19:26 hours it appeared the flight had flown past the airport. The controller at Schiphol kept in touch with the flight, continuously supplying heading information while two other aircraft were coming in for landing. Contact was lost at the moment the flight was cleared to land.
The DC-2 wandered around, trying to find the airport. Weather was poor due to a snow storm. Running out of fuel, the captain decided to perform a forced landing. The aircraft's landing lights were ineffective in the snow storm and the captain's windshield was obscured by snow. He opened a side window but this did not help. A flare chute was dropped, but the crew were unable to observe the surroundings. The aircraft hit trees and impacted a field next to the Puttenerallee near Elburg, about 70 km ENE of Schiphol Airport.

Probable Cause:

De oorzaak van de gedwongen landing moet naar het oordeel van ondergetekende uitsluitend gezicht worden:

1e. In het uitgeput raken van de radio-accumulator van het vliegtuig, waardoor de radiozendinstallatie buiten werking werd gesteld.
2e. In het niet functioneren van de volumeregeling van den radio-ontvanger aan boord van het vliegtuig, waardoor, in verband met de hevige atmosferische storingen, de ontvangst aan boord nagenoeg onmogelijk werd.
3e. In de beslissing van den bestuurder, die hoewel hij wist, dat hij zicht in de onmiddellijke nabijheid van het luchtvaartterrein bevond en op de hoogte was van de weersomstandigheden aldaar (wolkenhoogte 50-100 meter doch zicht 2-4 km) niet beproefde te landen, toen de radioverbinding verbroken werd, doch uit vrees voor botsing met andere vliegtuigen zich van het luchtvaartterrein verwijderde, waarna hij bij gebrek aan orientatie door middel van de radio zijn koers geheel kwijt raakte. Daarbij kwam de vrees van den bestuurder geen benzine meer te hebben en boven zee te geraken, alsmede zijn angst tegen de hoogspanningsleiding op de Veluwe te vliegen.

Classification:

Forced landing outside airport

Sources:
» Opsomming van de bekende ongevallen en incidenten in 1936 / Herman Dekker


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Map
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 Praha-Ruzyne International Airport to Amsterdam-Schiphol Municipal Airport as the crow flies is 700 km (437 miles).
Accident location: Approximate; accuracy within a few kilometers.

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