Narrative:Flight 324, was a flight from Tokyo, Japan, to McChord AFB, via Shemya and Anchorage. It departed Elmendorf AFB at 21:11 for the IFR flight to Mchord AFB. The flight climbed to the 10,000-foot assigned altitude and at 22:13, shortly after passing Middleton Island, requested permission to descend to 8,000 feet. ARTC cleared the flight to descend and the new cruising altitude was reached at 22:22. The trip was uneventful until opposite Sitka, Alaska, when the pilot reported, at 00:03, that no. 1 propeller had been feathered. The prop had been feathered due to a "broken" oil cooler and the pilot decided to divert to Sandspit. The flight was cleared to that point and proceeded without further incident on three engines. The aircraft touched down at a point about one-third down the runway. After a short roll, power was applied at about the mid-point of the strip and the aircraft took off, barely clearing a low fence and driftwood which was approximately two feet high at the end of the runway. The aircraft, at near stalling speed during the attempted climb-out, settled into the water, bounced, and came to rest 26 degrees to the left and approximately 4,500 feet from the end of the runway. All or nearly all of the passengers evacuated the aircraft, with no known serious injuries. However, air and water temperatures were near freezing; drowning and exposure accounted for 36 fatalities.
|Date:||Saturday 19 January 1952|
|Operator:||Northwest Orient Airlines|
|C/n / msn:|| 27279|
|First flight:|| 1945|
|Total airframe hrs:||18859|
|Engines:|| 4 Pratt & Whitney R-2000|
|Crew:||Fatalities: 3 / Occupants: 3|
|Passengers:||Fatalities: 33 / Occupants: 40|
|Total:||Fatalities: 36 / Occupants: 43 |
|Airplane damage:|| Written off|
|Airplane fate:|| Written off (damaged beyond repair)|
|Location:||1,6 km (1 mls) ESE off Sandspit Airport, BC (YZP) (Canada)
|Phase:|| Initial climb (ICL)|
|Nature:||Domestic Non Scheduled Passenger|
|Departure airport:||Anchorage-Elmendorf AFB, AK (EDF/PAED), United States of America|
|Destination airport:||Tacoma-McChord AFB, WA (TCM/KTCM), United States of America|
PROBABLE CAUSE: "A nose gear retraction difficulty in connection with an icing condition or a power loss, which made the aircraft incapable of maintaining flight."
» CAB File No. 1-0017
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 Anchorage-Elmendorf AFB, AK to Tacoma-McChord AFB, WA as the crow flies is 2322 km (1451 miles).