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Accident description
Last updated: 13 December 2017
Status:Final
Date:Thursday 24 September 1959
Time:ca 17:20
Type:Silhouette image of generic DC4 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Douglas C-54B-1-DC (DC-4)
Operator:Reeve Aleutian Airways
Registration: N63396
C/n / msn: 10486
First flight: 1944
Crew:Fatalities: 5 / Occupants: 5
Passengers:Fatalities: 11 / Occupants: 11
Total:Fatalities: 16 / Occupants: 16
Airplane damage: Damaged beyond repair
Location:Great Sitkin Island, AK (   United States of America)
Phase: En route (ENR)
Nature:Domestic Scheduled Passenger
Departure airport:Cold Bay Airport, AK (CDB/PACD), United States of America
Destination airport:Adak Island NAS, AK (ADK/PADK), United States of America
Flightnumber: 3
Narrative:
The DC-4 was some 300 miles northeast of Adak when the crew reported flying 4500 feet on top in the clear. The flight was then cleared to the Adak range to maintain VFR on top and to call Adak approach control some 30 minutes before landing. At 17:15 AST the crew advised the company that it was cancelling IFR and proceeding VFR. This was the last radio contact with the flight. The DC-4 was found to have crashed on Sitkin Island at an elevation of 2100 feet (640 m).

Probable Cause:

PROBABLE CAUSE: "The captain's failure to maintain flight in accordance with visual flight rules during a descent over hazardous terrain."

Classification:
VFR flight in IMC
Controlled Flight Into Terrain (CFIT) - Mountain

Sources:
» ICAO Accident Digest, Circular 62-AN/57 (182-184)


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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 Cold Bay Airport, AK to Adak Island NAS, AK as the crow flies is 982 km (614 miles).
Accident location: Approximate; accuracy within a few kilometers.

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Douglas DC-4

  • 1242+ built
  • 205th loss
  • 116th fatal accident
  • 52nd worst accident (at the time)
  • 76th worst accident (currently)
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