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Accident description
Last updated: 22 October 2017
Status:Final
Date:Wednesday 21 January 1948
Time:16:30
Type:Silhouette image of generic DC3 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Douglas C-47-DL (DC-3)
Operator:Civil Aeronautics Administration
Registration: NC206
C/n / msn: 4776
First flight: 1942
Engines: 2 Pratt & Whitney R-1830
Crew:Fatalities: 3 / Occupants: 3
Passengers:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 0
Total:Fatalities: 3 / Occupants: 3
Airplane damage: Damaged beyond repair
Location:11 km (6.9 mls) WSW of Ward, CO (   United States of America)
Phase: En route (ENR)
Nature:Aerial Work (Calibration, Photo)
Departure airport:Denver (unknown airport), CO, United States of America
Destination airport:Grand Junction-Walker Field, CO (GJT/KGJT), United States of America
Narrative:
The DC-3 departed from Denver, Colorado, at 16:02 for Grand Junction, Colorado. Over the route to Grand Junction a check was to be made by the crew of the VHF (Very High Frequency) airway facilities to determine whether they were operating normally. Twenty-two minutes after departure the crew reported at an altitude of 14,500 feet, 500 feet over the top of clouds. The flight also reported that they were experiencing severe turbulence. A few minutes later the DC-3 struck the north northeast side of Navajo Peak approximately 500 feet below the summit, and at an elevation of 12,900 feet (3930 m) above sea level.
On May 23, 1948 the wreckage was located by an Air National Guard pilot.

Probable Cause:

PROBABLE CAUSE: "The Board determines that the probable cause of this accident was an excessive loss of altitude resulting from a downdraft in an area of severe turbulence."

Sources:
» CAB File No. 2-0278


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