Accident description
Last updated: 27 November 2014
Status:Final
Date:Tuesday 28 December 1948
Type:Silhouette image of generic DC3 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Douglas DC-3DST-144
Operator:Airborne Transport
Registration: NC16002
C/n / msn: 1496
First flight: 1936
Total airframe hrs:28257
Engines: 2 Wright R-1820-G102A
Crew:Fatalities: 3 / Occupants: 3
Passengers:Fatalities: 29 / Occupants: 29
Total:Fatalities: 32 / Occupants: 32
Airplane damage: Missing
Airplane fate: Presumed damaged beyond repair
Location:off Florida, USA [Gulf of Mexico] (   Atlantic Ocean)
Phase: En route (ENR)
Nature:Domestic Non Scheduled Passenger
Departure airport:San Juan-Isla Grande Airport (SIG/TJIG), Puerto Rico
Destination airport:Miami International Airport, FL (MIA/KMIA), United States of America
Narrative:
The DC-3 departed San Juan for Miami with some known problems in the electrical system and nearly discharged batteries. Takeoff clearance was given provided that the crew contacted San Juan Tower after take off to file an IFR flight plan. This was not done. The aircraft continued to Miami however at 8500 feet cruising altitude. Last radio contact was with New Orleans at 04:13 when the pilot reported 50 miles South of Miami. Nothing more was heard from the flight. It is thought that the aircraft had already passed Florida at the Keys and was flying west over the Gulf of Mexico until fuel became exhausted. Radio contact was probably no longer possible due to electrical problems and exhausted batteries.

Two bodies were found, 80-90 km south off Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, on January 4, 1949. Newspaper reports at the time suggested that these may have been passengers on the missing DC-3. This was not confirmed however.


PROBABLE CAUSE: "The Board lacks sufficient information in this case to determine the probable cause."

Sources:
» El Tiempo 5 January 1949, p8
» CAB File No. 1-0118
» The Bermuda Triangle Mystery- Solved / L.D. Kusche


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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 San Juan-Isla Grande Airport to Miami International Airport, FL as the crow flies is 1663 km (1039 miles).

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Douglas DC-3

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