Accident description
Last updated: 23 October 2014
Status:Final
Date:Friday 23 February 1945
Time:02:25
Type:Silhouette image of generic DC3 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Douglas DC-3-277
Operator:American Airlines
Registration: NC18142
C/n / msn: 2138
First flight: 1939
Total airframe hrs:17296
Engines: 2 Wright R-1820-G102
Crew:Fatalities: 2 / Occupants: 3
Passengers:Fatalities: 15 / Occupants: 19
Total:Fatalities: 17 / Occupants: 22
Airplane damage: Damaged beyond repair
Location:9 km (5.6 mls) SW of RuraláRetreat, VA (   United States of America) show on map
Phase: En route (ENR)
Nature:Domestic Scheduled Passenger
Departure airport:Washington-National Airport, DC (DCA/KDCA), United States of America
Destination airport:?
Flightnumber: 9
Narrative:
American Airlines Flight 3 en route from New York to Los Angeles departed at 21:39 on February 22, 1945. Departure from Washington had been at 00:11 on February 23. The last radio message from the flight was at 02:05 at 4,000 feet over Pulaski, Virginia. The DC-3 continued, passing through rain and clouds and encountering considerable turbulence. The airplane flew over mountainous terrain and struck the wooded summit of Glade Mountain at approx 3910 feet amsl.

PROBABLE CAUSE: "The pilot's failure to properly plan the flight and remain at a safe instrument altitude under existing conditions. A contributing cause of the accident was the company's laxity in dispatching and supervising the flight."

Classification:
Controlled Flight Into Terrain (CFIT) - Mountain

Sources:
» CAB File No. 875-45


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Douglas DC-3

  • 950th loss
  • ca 13.000 built
  • 42nd worst accident (at the time)
  • 265th worst accident (currently)
safety profile

 United States of America
  • 16th worst accident (at the time)
  • 206th worst accident (currently)
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