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Last updated: 17 November 2018
Status:
Date:Sunday 10 July 1960
Type:Silhouette image of generic DC3 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Douglas C-47-DL (DC-3)
Operator:Gulf Aviation
Registration: VT-DGS
C/n / msn: 4273
First flight: 1942
Engines: 2 Pratt & Whitney R-1830-92
Crew:Fatalities: 3 / Occupants: 3
Passengers:Fatalities: 13 / Occupants: 13
Total:Fatalities: 16 / Occupants: 16
Aircraft damage: Missing
Aircraft fate: Presumed damaged beyond repair
Location:off Sharjah (   United Arab Emirates)
Phase: En route (ENR)
Nature:International Scheduled Passenger
Departure airport:Doha International Airport (DOH/OTBD), Qatar
Destination airport:Sharjah Airport (SHJ/OMSJ), United Arab Emirates
Narrative:
The Gulf Aviation DC-3 operated on a return flight from Bahrain to Sharjah via Doha. The DC-3 took off from Doha at 05:16 GMT following a 30-minute stopover. The DC-3 was cleared for FL70 and reported to Bahrain ATC at 06:04 that it was in contact with Sharjah, ETA being 06:45. Last radio contact was one minute later when the flight reported to Sharjah. The pilot of a de Havilland Heron plane, approaching Sharjah at FL50 reported hearing the DC-3 crew trying to contact Sharjah. These calls were not heard by Sharjah. The plane never arrived at Sharjah. The wreckage was not found, even after a one week search.

Probable Cause:

PROBABLE CAUSE: "Not determined. It can only be a matter of conjecture as the wreckage was not located. All possible factors were explored, but none appeared plausible. Absence of radio communication between the aircraft and Sharjah after the initial contact and the absence of any distress call might have led to the tentative conclusion that the aircraft had met with a catastrophic disaster while still over the sea. However, the interception of a radio call from the aircraft at about its expected time of arrive at Sharjah and the considerable tailwind on the route seem to indicate the possibility that the aircraft overflew Sharjah under conditions of poor visibility. It is noteworthy that the ETA given by the aircraft as 0642 did not allow for any appreciable tailwind component which was indicated by the evidence of the Heron pilot. Not accounting for this factor could have resulted in the aircraft's descent on its ETA into high ground to the east of Sharjah. It may also explain the inability of Sharjah, to receive any message which may have been transmitted on VHF. However, the NDB at Sharjah was fully operational during the period of the subject flight and should have indicated to the pilot that Sharjah had been overflown unless the ADF system in the aircraft was mishandled or suffered a multiple failure."



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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 Doha International Airport to Sharjah Airport as the crow flies is 395 km (247 miles).
Accident location: Global; accuracy within tens or hundreds of 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
  • 3461st loss
  • 1278th fatal accident
  • 234th worst accident (at the time)
  • 331st worst accident (currently)
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 United Arab Emirates
  • The worst accident (at the time)
  • 5th worst accident (currently)
» safety profile