Narrative:Douglas Skymaster 45-543 was participating in the Berlin Airlift. To undergo its 200 hour maintenance inspection, the airplane was to be ferried to Burtonwood (BUT). The aircraft took taken off at 13:12 from Rhein-Main AFB (FRF). The flight was uneventful and the pilot was cleared to make a VFR approach to Burtonwood. The airplane descended through the cloud and flew into the face of Stake House Fell. Investigation revealed that a strong signal from commercial radio station North of the Burtonwood base was interfering with the Burtonwood Range signal, causing the radio compass on board aircraft to continue to indicate that the base was to their North even after they had passed to the North of the Range Station.
» C-54 Skymaster 45-543 - Stake House Fell - 7th January 1949
» The Unheralded: Men and Women of the Berlin Blockade and Airlift/Edwin Gere
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 Frankfurt-Rhein-Main AFB to Burtonwood Airport as the crow flies is 852 km (532 miles).
This information is not presented as the Flight Safety Foundation or the Aviation Safety Networkĺs opinion as to the cause of the accident. It is preliminary and is based on the facts as they are known at this time.