Accident description
Last updated: 28 November 2014
Status:Final
Date:Friday 2 January 1998
Time:15:26
Type:Silhouette image of generic DC6 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Douglas DC-6B
Operator:Woods Air Fuel
Registration: N861TA
C/n / msn: 43522/229
First flight: 1952
Total airframe hrs:46626
Engines: 4 Pratt & Whitney R-2800-CB16
Crew:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 3
Passengers:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 0
Total:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 3
Airplane damage: Destroyed
Airplane fate: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:Nixon Fork Mine, AK (   United States of America)
Phase: Takeoff (TOF)
Nature:Cargo
Departure airport:Nixon Fork Mine, AK, United States of America
Destination airport:Palmer Municipal Airport, AK (PAQ), United States of America
Narrative:
At an indicated airspeed of 45 knots during the takeoff roll, ice formed between the inner and outer windshield panes, with the icing following the flow of heated air through the windshield. The crew's forward visibility was obscured, and the takeoff was aborted. The captain reported that the airplane drifted left into snow berms on the side of the 4200 feet long by 85 feet wide runway and caught fire.
The "DC-6 Airplane Operating Manual" used by two other companies states "...Certain combinations of temperature and humidity will cause moisture to condense from the air between the windshield panels and settle on the inner surfaces of the glass, obscuring vision. Once formed, anti-icing airflow with heater operation will be required to clear the panels." This language was not included in the Supplemental Type Certificate (STC) literature, nor in the flight handbook for the company operating the accident airplane.


PROBABLE CAUSE: "The ingestion of snow into the windshield anti-ice system, and the resulting obscured windshield which made runway alignment not possible. Factors associated with this accident were the cold windshield, the reduced performance of the windshield anti-ice because of the short taxi by the crew, and the insufficient information on the system provided by the manufacturer."

Sources:
» ICAO Adrep Summary 6/98 (#47)


Photos

photo of Douglas DC-6B N861TA
photo of Douglas DC-6B N861TA
N861TA two years prior to being sold to Woods Air Fuel
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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 Nixon Fork Mine, AK to Palmer Municipal Airport, AK as the crow flies is 341 km (213 miles).

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