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Accident
Last updated: 21 October 2017
Status:Schlussbericht
Datum:Mittwoch 4 Dezember 1940
Zeit:17:48
Flugzeugtyp:Silhouette image of generic DC3 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Douglas DC-3A-197C
Fluggesellschaft:United Air Lines
Kennzeichen: NC25678
Werknummer: 2175
Baujahr: 1940
Betriebsstunden:2456
Besatzung:Todesopfer: 3 / Insassen: 3
Fluggäste:Todesopfer: 7 / Insassen: 13
Gesamt:Todesopfer: 10 / Insassen: 16
Sachschaden: Zerstört
Konsequenzen: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Unfallort:0,5 km (0.3 Meilen) SW of Chicago Municipal Airport, IL (MDW) (   USA)
Flugphase: Annäherung (APR)
Betriebsart:Inländischer planmäßiger Passagierflug
Flug von:New York-La Guardia Airport, NY (LGA/KLGA), USA
Flug nach:Chicago Municipal Airport, IL (MDW/KMDW), USA
Flugnummer: 21
Unfallbericht:
A Douglas DC-3A passenger plane, NC25678, was destroyed in an accident near Chicago Municipal Airport, IL (MDW), U.S.A. All three crew members and seven of the 13 passengers were killed.
The airplane operated on a flight from New York-La Guardia Airport, NY (LGA) to Chicago Municipal Airport, IL (MDW) with en route stops at Philadelphia, PA, Allentown, PA, Akron, OH and Cleveland, OH.
The airplane descended through the overcast near Chicago Municipal Airport and the pilot reported they would have to circle the airport to clear his windshield of ice, which impaired his vision.
After clearing the windshield the pilot decided to land on the northwest runway. At an altitude of approximately 160 feet, the airplane stalled, fell off to the left, and crashed while in an incipient spin. The accumulation of ice on the leading edges of the wing had raised the stall speed.

Probable Cause:

PROBABLE CAUSE: "Upon the basis of the foregoing findings of fact and upon all the evidence available at this time, we find that the probable cause of the accident aircraft NC25678 (United 21) on December 4, 1940, was the failure of the pilot to exercise that degree of caution and skill required to avert a stall while approaching for a landing on the short northwest runway. A substantial contributing factor to the accident was the error in judgement of Captain Scott in choosing that short runway for his landing."

Informationsquelle:
» Chicago Tribune, 5 December 1940
» Chicago Tribune, 6 December 1940


Fotos

photo of Douglas DC-3A-197C NC25678
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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 New York-La Guardia Airport, NY to Chicago Municipal Airport, IL as the crow flies is 1156 km (722 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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