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Accident description
Last updated: 7 October 2015
Date:Wednesday 10 March 1948
Type:Silhouette image of generic DC4 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Douglas DC-4
Operator:Delta Air Lines
Registration: NC37478
C/n / msn: 18390
First flight: 1944
Total airframe hrs:6509
Crew:Fatalities: 4 / Occupants: 4
Passengers:Fatalities: 8 / Occupants: 9
Total:Fatalities: 12 / Occupants: 13
Airplane damage: Damaged beyond repair
Location:Chicago Municipal Airport, IL (MDW) (   United States of America)
Phase: Initial climb (ICL)
Nature:Domestic Scheduled Passenger
Departure airport:Chicago Municipal Airport, IL (MDW/KMDW), United States of America
Destination airport:Miami International Airport, FL (MIA/KMIA), United States of America
DC-4 NC37478 arrived at Chicago's Municipal Airport at 21:06. The airplane was prepared for the return flight to Miami and finally departed from the ramp at 22:45. Takeoff on the right north-south runway was started at 22:57. The take-off roll and the first part of the climb appeared to be normal until it had reached an altitude between 150 and 200 feet. Then it assumed a very steep, near vertical, climbing attitude. At 500-800 feet the airplane appeared to stall, and the nose and right wing dropped. A partial recovery from the stall was made before the aircraft crashed to the ground and burst into flames.

PROBABLE CAUSE: "The Board determines that the probable cause of this accident was the loss of longitudinal control of the airplane. The cause for the loss of control remains undetermined."

» CAB File No. 1-0023
» Chicago Tribune 11-3-1948


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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 Chicago Municipal Airport, IL to Miami International Airport, FL as the crow flies is 1892 km (1183 miles).

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