Accident description
Last updated: 28 November 2014
Status:Final
Date:Sunday 17 October 1937
Time:ca 21:00
Type:Silhouette image of generic DC3 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Douglas DC-3A-197
Operator:United Air Lines
Registration: NC16074
C/n / msn: 1914
First flight: 1936
Crew:Fatalities: 3 / Occupants: 3
Passengers:Fatalities: 16 / Occupants: 16
Total:Fatalities: 19 / Occupants: 19
Airplane damage: Destroyed
Airplane fate: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:32 km (20 mls) S of Knight, WY (   United States of America)
Crash site elevation: 3048 m (10000 feet) amsl
Phase: En route (ENR)
Nature:Domestic Scheduled Passenger
Departure airport:Cheyenne Airport, WY (CYS/KCYS), United States of America
Destination airport:Salt Lake City Municipal Airport, UT (SLC/KSLC), United States of America
Flightnumber: 1
Narrative:
A Douglas DC-3A passenger plane, operating United Air Lines Trip 1, was destroyed when it crashed into slope of Haydens Peak, WY on the Humpy Ridge. All 19 on board were killed.
Trip 1 originated in Newark, NJ at 08:00 EST, and was scheduled to terminate at Oakland, CA at 01:18 PST. Several intermediate stops were planned. The flight departed Cheyenne Airport, WY (CYS) at 18:26 MST.
Adverse weather conditions existed along the route to Salt Lake City Municipal Airport, UT (SLC). Trip 1 encountered light to moderate snow and light rime ice. About 21:00 local time, the airplane was over mountainous terrain and flew into the side of a mountain at an elevation of about 10.000 feet. The wreckage was located the following morning.


It is the opinion of the Investigating Board that the probable cause of this accident was a combination of the following three factors:
(1) Static conditions encountered in the last portion of the flight which rendered the reception of radio range signals unintelligible;
(2) The continuation of the flight into mountainous country at an altitude below the higher mountains without the aid of ground visibility or radio signals to definitely identify position;
(3) A change in the weather caused by the approach of an unpredicted cold front.

Classification:
Controlled Flight Into Terrain (CFIT) - Mountain

Sources:
» CAB Report


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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 Cheyenne Airport, WY to Salt Lake City Municipal Airport, UT as the crow flies is 599 km (374 miles).

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Douglas DC-3

  • 5th loss
  • ca 13.000 built
  • worst accident (at the time)
  • 223rd worst accident (currently)
safety profile

 United States of America
  • worst accident (at the time)
  • 182nd worst accident (currently)
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