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Last updated: 19 November 2018
Status:Final
Date:Wednesday 27 October 1948
Time:ca 16:50
Type:Silhouette image of generic DC4 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Douglas C-54A-15-DC (DC-4)
Operator:Northwest Airlines
Registration: NC88785
C/n / msn: 10406
First flight: 1944
Crew:Fatalities: 2 / Occupants: 5
Passengers:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 0
Total:Fatalities: 2 / Occupants: 5
Aircraft damage: Damaged beyond repair
Location:55 km (34.4 mls) N of Edmonton, AB (   Canada)
Phase: En route (ENR)
Nature:Cargo
Departure airport:Edmonton Municipal Airport, AB (YXD/CYXD), Canada
Destination airport:Anchorage-Merrill Field, AK (MRI/PAMR), United States of America
Flightnumber:6427
Narrative:
Northwest Airlines' Flight 6427, departed Minneapolis on a special cargo trip to Tokyo, Japan. Flight 6427 had departed Minneapolis at 10:02 and arrived at Edmonton at 15:30. The aircraft was serviced and at 16:32 a takeoff was made for Anchorage on an IFR flight plan. The First Officer made the takeoff, and shortly after the airplane became airborne the captain cut the left outboard engine and feathered the propeller, creating a simulated engine failure on takeoff. The purpose was to instruct the first officer in emergency procedures. The airplane climbed very slowly and, veering slightly to the left, passed over the center of Edmonton at an altitude of 400 to 500 feet. Then the flight turned to the right approximately 180 degrees to get on course toward Anchorage. This brought it back over town and captain Christian unfeathered the propeller. Power was restored to left outboard engine and the airplane continued to climb. At 16:45 the flight reported reaching 7000 feet. The airplane however was flying at 3000 feet MSL, (700 feet above the terrain). The captain Christian then feathered the propellers of both left engines and continued to instruct the First Officer in emergency procedures. Shortly after this, the crew began to realize that the airplane was getting dangerously low over a wooded area and rising terrain and that the situation was rapidly developing into an actual emergency. The captain took over the controls and attempted to restart the left engines. However, before sufficient power could be restored the airplane began striking the tree tops. It crashed and burned several hundred feet beyond the point of initial contact with the trees.

Probable Cause:

PROBABLE CAUSE: "The Board determines that the probable cause of the accident was the captain's action in undertaking simulated emergency procedures at a dangerously low altitude."

Sources:
» CAB File No. 1-0129


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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 Edmonton Municipal Airport, AB to Anchorage-Merrill Field, AK as the crow flies is 2283 km (1427 miles).
Accident location: Global; accuracy within tens or hundreds of kilometers.

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