Accident description
Last updated: 31 October 2014
Status:Final
Date:Thursday 9 January 1975
Time:16:07
Type:Silhouette image of generic DHC6 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
de Havilland Canada DHC-6 Twin Otter 100
Operator:Golden West Airlines
Registration: N6383
C/n / msn: 83
First flight: 1967
Engines: 2 Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-20
Crew:Fatalities: 2 / Occupants: 2
Passengers:Fatalities: 10 / Occupants: 10
Total:Fatalities: 12 / Occupants: 12
Collision casualties:Fatalities: 2
Airplane damage: Damaged beyond repair
Location:Whittier, CA (   United States of America) show on map
Phase: Approach (APR)
Nature:Domestic Scheduled Passenger
Departure airport:Ontario International Airport, CA (ONT/KONT), United States of America
Destination airport:Los Angeles International Airport, CA (LAX/KLAX), United States of America
Flightnumber: 261
Narrative:
Golden West Flight 261 departed Ontario, CA at 15:56PST for a VFR flight to Los Angeles. At 16:04 the crew contacted LAX arrival and reported over Rose Hills. The flight was then cleared for the Terminal Control Area (TCA) and no. 2 arrival to runway 24L. At 16:05 the crew were advised that they had traffic 5,5nm in front of them climbing from 1500 to 3000 feet which was a police helicopter on a VFR flight. The arrival controller transmitted another advisory about the helicopter at 16:06, but there was no response. It appeared the Twin Otter had collided in flight at 2200 feet with a Cessna 150 aircraft (N11421). The Twin Otter was flying on a 250deg heading descending 300 feet/min at 146 knots airspeed while the Cessna was flying at 94kts; the closing speed was 174kts. The Cessna, operated by CessnAir Aviation had departed from Long Beach on a local training flight at 15:46. Both aircraft crashed. Debris caused some damage to houses and lawns near the crash site.

PROBABLE CAUSE: "The failure of both flight crews to see the other aircraft in sufficient time to initiate evasive action. The Board is unable to determine why each crew failed to see an avoid the other aircraft; however, the Board believes that the ability of both crews to detect the other aircraft in time to avoid a collision was reduced because of the position of the sun, the closure angle of the aircraft, and the necessity for the Twin Otter's fight crew to acquire visual contact with radar-reported traffic directly in front of them."

Classification:
Mid air collision
Loss of control

Sources:
» ICAO Aircraft Accident Digest, Circular 146-AN/96 (3-12)

Official accident investigation report
investigating agency: National Transport Safety Bureau (NTSB) - United States of America
report status: Final
report number: NTSB/AAR-75-14
report released:07-AUG-1975
duration of investigation:210 days (7 months)
download report: Golden West Airlines, Inc., DeHavilland DHC-6, N6383 and Cessnair Aviation, Inc. Cessna 150, N11421, Whittier, California January 9, 1975. (NTSB/AAR-75-14)

Photos

photo of de Havilland Canada DHC-6 Twin Otter 100 N6383
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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 Ontario International Airport, CA to Los Angeles International Airport, CA as the crow flies is 75 km (47 miles).

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