ASN Aircraft accident Douglas C-47-DL (DC-3) N61451 Mason City, IA
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Status:Accident investigation report completed and information captured
Date:Sunday 22 August 1954
Type:Silhouette image of generic DC3 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Douglas C-47-DL (DC-3)
Operator:Braniff International Airways
Registration: N61451
MSN: 4630
First flight: 1942
Engines: 2 Pratt & Whitney R-1830-92
Crew:Fatalities: 2 / Occupants: 3
Passengers:Fatalities: 10 / Occupants: 16
Total:Fatalities: 12 / Occupants: 19
Aircraft damage: Damaged beyond repair
Location:26 km (16.3 mls) S of Mason City, IA (   United States of America)
Phase: En route (ENR)
Nature:Domestic Scheduled Passenger
Departure airport:Waterloo Airport, IA (ALO/KALO), United States of America
Destination airport:Mason City Airport, IA (MCW/KMCW), United States of America
The aircraft operated on a flight from Memphis to Minneapolis with some scheduled stops in between. The flight departed Memphis at 08:35 CST and departed Waterloo, one of the stops, at 16:41. Eyewitnesses near Mason City saw the DC-3 make a left turn proceeding toward a light spot in a thunderstorm. The aircraft entered and disappeared into the thunderstorm at a height of 400-500 feet, crashing into the ground about a mile further on.

Probable Cause:

PROBABLE CAUSE: "The flight while endeavouring to traverse a thunderstorm area encountered very heavy rain, divergent winds, and strong downdrafts that forced the aircraft to the ground."

Accident investigation:

Investigating agency: CAB
Status: Investigation completed
Accident number: final report
Download report: Final report

Loss of control

» ICAO Accident Digest, Circular 47-AN/42 (153-155)


photo of Douglas-C-47-N61451
accident date: 22-08-1954
type: Douglas C-47 (DC-3)
registration: N61451

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 Waterloo Airport, IA to Mason City Airport, IA as the crow flies is 100 km (63 miles).
Accident location: Approximate; accuracy within a few kilometers.

This information is not presented as the Flight Safety Foundation or the Aviation Safety Network’s 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-3

  • ca 13.000 built
  • 3223rd loss
  • 1188th fatal accident
  • 280th worst accident (at the time)
  • 441st worst accident (currently)
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