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Accident description
Last updated: 23 July 2016
Status:Final
Date:Tuesday 13 June 1961
Time:18:33 UTC
Type:Silhouette image of generic DC4 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Douglas DC-4
Operator:Air Cameroun
Registration: TJ-ABC
C/n / msn: 7473
First flight: 1944
Crew:Fatalities: 4 / Occupants: 4
Passengers:Fatalities: 1 / Occupants: 1
Total:Fatalities: 5 / Occupants: 5
Airplane damage: Damaged beyond repair
Location:1,5 km (0.9 mls) W of Douala Airport (DLA) (   Cameroon)
Phase: Initial climb (ICL)
Nature:Training
Departure airport:Douala Airport (DLA/FKKD), Cameroon
Destination airport:Douala Airport (DLA/FKKD), Cameroon
Narrative:
The flight was the last being made in order to complete the pilot's training for a DC-4 type rating. The crew consisted of an instructor, the trainee-pilot, a radio operator and an engineer. The first training session of the day had taken place during the afternoon from 16:38 - 17:55 UTC at which time the pilot had performed ten takeoffs and landings for the instructor including several with one engine inoperative and the propeller feathered. Circuits had been flown at heights between 150 and 200 ft. The second part of the session was to include takeoffs with one engine on reduced power. Following a twenty-minute break, the aircraft took off from runway 12 in darkness at 18:16 hours, flew along its extended centreline, made a 180░ turn and landed in the opposite direction on runway 30 at 18:26 hours. After making a halfturn at the end of the runway, the aircraft took off at 18:31 hours from runway 12. Power on the no. 4 engine was reduced during the takeoff. The aircraft had difficulty in lifting off the ground but finally became airborne on the last third of the runway. The landing gear and flaps, were retracted immediately and the plane entered a very shallow climb. Approximately 1200 m from the end runway 30, the propeller of engine no. 2 slashed a tree, severing it and smashing the propeller to pieces. The aircraft was then nosed up but struck a second tree. Momentum was lost, course was altered and the aircraft broke up, cutting a swath in the trees. Following the second impact the fuel tanks burst and caught fire. Propellers 1, 3 and 4 and engines Nos. 1, 2 and 3 were projected forward; the left wing and left wing root ripped from the fuselage which continued on its path. The right wing then smashed against a tree 200 m from the first point of impact and fell in front of the fuselage after losing engine no. 4 in its fall.

PROBABLE CAUSE: "The accident was caused by flight at too low an altitude during a night training exercise."

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