Narrative:The C-54 was under contract to transport diesel oil from Narsarsuaq to various DEW Lines sites (Distant Early Warning radar line). The aircraft was prepared for a flight back to Narsarsuaq and departed Site 39 at 00:40 on an instrument flight plan. En route altitude was 11000 feet and after reaching this altitude, the co-pilot changed seats with the reserve captain to complete some paperwork. When the flight passed Frederikshaabs Glacier the co-pilot changed seats again with the reserve captain. While changing seats and starting a check of the cockpit, the aircraft struck the icecap at an altitude of 5900 feet. The aircraft slid for about 4500 feet before coming to rest. The co-pilot was the only survivor. He made a shelter from aircraft debris against the rudder section and had to wait about 12 hours for a rescue team to find him.
» ICAO Accident Digest No.9, Circular 56-AN/51 (108-114)
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 Broughton Island Airport, NU to Narsarsuaq Airport as the crow flies is 1126 km (704 miles).
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.