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Accident description
Last updated: 28 November 2015
Date:Friday 21 April 1950
Time:ca 23:25
Type:Silhouette image of generic DC4 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Douglas C-54D-10-DC (DC-4)
Operator:United States Air Force - USAF
Registration: 42-72704
C/n / msn: 10809
First flight: 1945
Crew:Fatalities: 8 / Occupants: 8
Passengers:Fatalities: 27 / Occupants: 27
Total:Fatalities: 35 / Occupants: 35
Airplane damage: Damaged beyond repair
Location:34 km (21.3 mls) SW of Tachikawa Air Base (   Japan)
Phase: En route (ENR)
Departure airport:Okinawa-Kadena AFB (DNA/RODN), Japan
Destination airport:Tachikawa Air Base (RJTC), Japan
The Skymaster was on a flight from Clark AB to Tachikawa AB in Japan with an enroute stop at Okinawa-Kadena AFB. During the last leg of the flight, the crew reported overhead the O-Shima radio range station and were cleared to descend to 5000 feet. In fact the plane was some 40 km south-west of O-Shima. The crew descended over mountainous terrain until the airplane flew into the side of Mount Hirugatake, a 1279m high mountain which is located near Mount Fuji.

Controlled Flight Into Terrain (CFIT) - Mountain

» Aviation Archaeological Investigation and Research (AAIR)
» USAAS-USAAC-USAAF-USAF Aircraft Serial Numbers--1908 to Present / Joe Baugher
» Military aviation disasters : significant losses since 1908 / D. Gero, 1999


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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 Okinawa-Kadena AFB to Tachikawa Air Base as the crow flies is 1508 km (942 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.
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Douglas DC-4

  • 122nd loss
  • 1242+ built
  • 11th worst accident (at the time)
  • 38th worst accident (currently)
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  • 2nd worst accident (at the time)
  • 12th worst accident (currently)
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