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Accident description
Last updated: 11 December 2017
Status:Final
Date:Thursday 19 December 1946
Time:18:07
Type:Silhouette image of generic DC3 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Douglas C-47-DL (DC-3)
Operator:Universal Air Lines
Registration: NC54374
C/n / msn: 6177
First flight: 1942
Total airframe hrs:8398
Engines: 2 Pratt & Whitney R-1830-92
Crew:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 3
Passengers:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 22
Total:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 25
Airplane damage: Substantial
Airplane fate: Repaired
Location:near Aberdeen, MD (   United States of America)
Phase: En route (ENR)
Nature:Domestic Non Scheduled Passenger
Departure airport:Newark International Airport, NJ (EWR/KEWR), United States of America
Destination airport:Raleigh/Durham Airport, NC (RDU/KRDU), United States of America
Flightnumber: 7
Narrative:
Universal Flight 7, a Douglas DC-3, departed Newark at 17:07 on an instrument flight clearance, via Airway Amber 7, over Washington to Raleigh, at 2,000 feet. Fifteen minutes later, Eastern Flight 605, a Douglas DC-4, departed Newark on a contact clearance at 2,000 feet, via Airway Amber 7, over Washington to Miami, non-stop. The DC-4 overtook the DC-3 in the vicinity of Aberdeen, Maryland. The co-pilot of the Eastern DC-4 suddenly saw the lights of an aircraft close to and to the left of the DC-4 and immediately rolled the DC-4 into a bank to the right and pulled the nose up forcefully. The rear of the plane collided with the forward top portion of the DC-3's fuselage. The DC-3 pilots, thinking they had collided with a bird, carried out a safe landing at Phillips Army Air Field while the DC-4 diverted to Washington-National Airport.

Probable Cause:

PROBABLE CAUSE: "The Board determines that the probable cause of this accident was the lack of vigilance on the part of the pilots of both aircraft."

Classification:
Mid air collision

Sources:
» CAB File No. 5019-46


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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 Newark International Airport, NJ to Raleigh/Durham Airport, NC as the crow flies is 665 km (416 miles).

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