Narrative:The DC-3 departed Miami at 14:00 for a flight to Raleigh and Newark. Arriving near Raleigh, weather appeared to be below minimums. The flight then headed for Washington and arrived overhead at 19:38. Heavy traffic and two low-fuel emergencies caused the crew to decide to head for Milville, NJ which was just 30 minutes away. They had a one hour fuel reserve at that moment. At 20:00 the Milville communications station ceased operation. Philadelphia tried to contact the flight, but was not able to due to heavy static interference. When the DC-3 passed over the unlighted field at 1000 feet the airport manager turned on the beacon boundary and runway lights. Because of heavy snowfall, this was not noted by the crew. Near fuel exhaustion forced the crew to carry out an emergency landing. While maneuvering to find a suitable location, the aircraft struck trees and crashed. The airplane was repaired and later sold to Brazil.
PROBABLE CAUSE: "The necessity of the pilot to attempt an emergency crash landing because of imminent fuel exhaustion. A contributing factor was the failure of the United States Weather Bureau to anticipate below-minimum weather conditions north and south of Washington sufficiently in advance of the arrival of the flight at each of the various terminals selected as its destination and alternates. A. further contributing factor was the oversight on the part of Civil Aeronautics Administration personnel in failing to note the status of communications and lighting facilities at Millville in the Airmans Guide and in failing to transmit the flight plan by teletype to Millville in sufficient time to alert that station to the expected arrival of the flight."
» Air Britain Casualty compendium (pt. 45)
» CAB File No. 1-0008
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 Miami International Airport, FL to Raleigh/Durham Airport, NC as the crow flies is 1123 km (702 miles).