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Accident description
Last updated: 24 November 2017
Status:Final
Date:Tuesday 15 December 1942
Time:01:22
Type:Silhouette image of generic DC3 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Douglas DC-3A-191
Operator:Western Air Lines
Registration: NC16060
C/n / msn: 1900
First flight: 1936
Total airframe hrs:14773
Crew:Fatalities: 4 / Occupants: 4
Passengers:Fatalities: 13 / Occupants: 15
Total:Fatalities: 17 / Occupants: 19
Airplane damage: Destroyed
Airplane fate: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:near Fairfield, UT (   United States of America)
Phase: En route (ENR)
Nature:Domestic Scheduled Passenger
Departure airport:Salt Lake City Municipal Airport, UT (SLC/KSLC), United States of America
Destination airport:Las Vegas Airport, NV (LSV/KLSV), United States of America
Flightnumber:1
Narrative:
Western Trip 1 took off from the Salt Lake City Airport at about 01:05 local time, cleared to Burbank, California with a scheduled stop at Las Vegas, Nevada.
The first and only communication contact Western 1 made was with the Western’s radio and dispatch officer at Salt Lake at 01:07, at which time the flight reported "off the field at Salt Lake at 1:05 a.m."
The aircraft, a DC-3, failed to arrive at the destination and the wreckage was located the next day.
Investigation revealed that normal flight was apparently interrupted at an altitude of approximately 10,200 feet by a failure of the aircraft's structure. The first officer and the copilot-trainee were at the controls at the time the airplane struck the ground while the captain had been in the companion-way, either seated in the jump seat or standing. Weather conditions in the area at the time were satisfactory for the flight and were not a contributing factor to the accident.

Probable Cause:

PROBABLE CAUSE: "Failure of the left, or possibly both wing tips and of the horizontal tail surfaces as a result of a severe pull-up which caused unusual and abnormally high air loads. The reason the pull-up maneuver was not determined."

Accident investigation:
cover
Investigating agency: CAB
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 300 days (10 months)
Accident number: File No. 2905-42
Download report: Final report

Classification:
Wing failure
Loss of control

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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 Salt Lake City Municipal Airport, UT to Las Vegas Airport, NV as the crow flies is 568 km (355 miles).

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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Douglas DC-3

  • ca 13.000 built
  • 105th loss
  • 38th fatal accident
  • 6th worst accident (at the time)
  • 300th worst accident (currently)
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