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Accident description
Last updated: 25 November 2017
Status:Final
Date:Monday 4 September 1950
Time:14:10
Type:Silhouette image of generic DC3 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Douglas DC-3-229
Operator:Robinson Airlines
Registration: N18936
C/n / msn: 2011
First flight: 1937
Total airframe hrs:19023
Engines: 2 Wright R-1820-G102A
Crew:Fatalities: 3 / Occupants: 3
Passengers:Fatalities: 13 / Occupants: 20
Total:Fatalities: 16 / Occupants: 23
Airplane damage: Damaged beyond repair
Location:2,4 km (1.5 mls) SE of Utica, NY (   United States of America)
Phase: En route (ENR)
Nature:Domestic Scheduled Passenger
Departure airport:Utica-Oneida County Airport, NY (UCA/KUCA), United States of America
Destination airport:Newark International Airport, NJ (EWR/KEWR), United States of America
Flightnumber: 32
Narrative:
Robinson Airlines Flight 32 departed Ithaca at 11:31 for Newark, New Jersey, via Syracuse and Utica. A flight plan was filed specifying a flight according to visual flight rules. The flight proceeded in a routine manner and arrived at Utica at 13:43. At 14:08, the flight departed from Utica. The flaps were in the "full up" position for the takeoff. The aircraft became airborne in a normal manner approximately 1500 feet down the runway and climbed to an altitude of approximately 50 feet and leveled off. At this time, the landing gear was retracted and the airspeed was estimated to be 105 to 110 mph. Approximately 3000 feet from the point of takeoff parts were observed falling from the left engine and the aircraft made a shallow turn to the left. At this time, the left propeller appeared to be fully feathered. The flight continued in a left turn, slowly losing altitude until it struck a grove of trees 1.5 miles south-east of the airport. The elevation of the terrain at this point was 480 feet which is 256 feet below the elevation of the airport. The tree tops were 80 feet above the ground. First impact with the trees was made on a heading of approximately 60 degrees and as the aircraft descended through the trees, it turned anti-clockwise 180 degrees to the original heading. Following impact with the trees, the fuel tanks ruptured causing a fire which consumed the fuselage.

Probable Cause:

PROBABLE CAUSE: "Failure of the left engine shortly after take-off, coupled with increased drag due to loss of the left engine cowling, and reduced power output of the right engine resulting from the high pitch position of the right propeller."

Sources:
» CAB File No. 1-0106
» ICAO Aircraft Accident Digest No.2, Circular 24-AN/21 (21-23)


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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 Utica-Oneida County Airport, NY to Newark International Airport, NJ as the crow flies is 289 km (180 miles).

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Douglas DC-3

  • ca 13.000 built
  • 2820th loss
  • 912th fatal accident
  • 167th worst accident (at the time)
  • 325th worst accident (currently)
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