Vliegtuigongeval op 30 OCT 1959 met Douglas C-47A-90-DL (DC-3) N55V - Bucks Elbow Mountain, VA
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Status:Accident investigation report completed and information captured
Datum:vrijdag 30 oktober 1959
Type:Silhouette image of generic DC3 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Douglas C-47A-90-DL (DC-3)
Luchtvaartmaatschappij:Piedmont Airlines
Registratie: N55V
Constructienummer: 20447
Bouwjaar: 1944
Motoren: 2 Pratt & Whitney R-1830-92
Bemanning:slachtoffers: 3 / inzittenden: 3
Passagiers:slachtoffers: 23 / inzittenden: 24
Totaal:slachtoffers: 26 / inzittenden: 27
Schade: Vernield
Gevolgen: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Plaats:Bucks Elbow Mountain, VA (   Verenigde Staten)
Fase: Nadering (APR)
Soort vlucht:Binnenlandse lijnvlucht
Vliegveld van vertrek:Washington-National Airport, DC (DCA/KDCA), Verenigde Staten
Vliegveld van aankomst:Charlottesville-Albemarle Airport, VA (CHO/KCHO), Verenigde Staten
Vluchtnummer: 349
Piedmont Airlines flight 349 was a scheduled service from Washington-National Airport, DC to Roanoke, Virginia, with intermediate stops at Charlottesville and Lynchburg, Virginia.
The DC-3 departed Washington-National Airport at 19:49 hours local time. The flight was according to an instrument flight plan and clearance which specified a routing over airway V-140 and a cruising altitude of 4000 feet. The aircraft flew a heading of 260° on airway V-140, but did not turn left to 239° over the Casanova VOR to continue on the airway. Instead it remained on the same heading.
It began the instrument approach to Charlottesville 8 to 11 miles west of the manoeuvring area prescribed by the instrument approach procedure. During the inbound portion of the procedure turn the aircraft struck the rocky slope of a 3100 feet mountain at an elevation of about 2600 feet.

The investigators learned that the captain of the flight was suffering from serious emotional and mental stress episodes since 1953. He was under psychotherapy at the time of the accident and his last appointment was the night before the accident. He was likely taking Prozine in the period leading up to the accident, an antipsychotic medicine.
The investigation board stated that the investigation of this accident demonstrated the need for re-examination of the use of drugs that might affect the capabilities of a flight crew member. The Board noted that several psychopharmacological drugs had been developed since 1953-1954, which should be considered falling under section of the Civil Air Regulation covering the use of drugs.
In any case, the Board concluded that "if a flight crew member's personal situation demands tranquilizers he should be removed from flying status while on the drugs."

Probable Cause:

PROBABLE CAUSE: "A navigational omission which resulted in a lateral course error that was not detected and corrected through precision instrument flying procedures. A contributing factor to the accident may have been pre-occupation of the captain resulting from mental stress."

Accident investigation:

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

» ICAO Circular 64-AN/58 (68-75)


photo of Douglas-C-47A-90-DL-N55V
accident date: 30-10-1959
type: Douglas C-47A-90-DL (DC-3)
registration: N55V
photo of Douglas-C-47A-90-DL-N55V
accident date: 30-10-1959
type: Douglas C-47A-90-DL (DC-3)
registration: N55V

Deze kaart geeft het vliegveld van vetrek weer en de geplande bestemming van de vlucht. De lijn tussen de vliegvelden geeft niet de exacte vliegroute weer.
De afstand tussen Washington-National Airport, DC en Charlottesville-Albemarle Airport, VA bedraagt 145 km (91 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.
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Douglas DC-3

  • ca 13.000 built
  • 3469e ongeval
  • 1333e dodelijk ongeval
  • 43e zwaarste ongeval (toen het plaatsvond)
  • 90e zwaarste ongeval (op dit moment)
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