Accident Douglas DST-144 (DC-3) NC16002,
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Date:Tuesday 28 December 1948
Type:Silhouette image of generic DC3 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different    
Douglas DST-144 (DC-3)
Owner/operator:Airborne Transport
Registration: NC16002
MSN: 1496
Year of manufacture:1936
Total airframe hrs:28257 hours
Engine model:Wright R-1820-G102A
Fatalities:Fatalities: 32 / Occupants: 32
Aircraft damage: Aircraft missing, written off
Location:off Florida, USA [Gulf of Mexico] -   Atlantic Ocean
Phase: En route
Nature:Passenger - Non-Scheduled/charter/Air Taxi
Departure airport:San Juan-Isla Grande Airport (SIG/TJIG)
Destination airport:Miami International Airport, FL (MIA/KMIA)
Investigating agency: CAB
Confidence Rating: Accident investigation report completed and information captured
The DC-3 departed San Juan for Miami with some known problems in the electrical system and nearly discharged batteries. Takeoff clearance was given provided that the crew contacted San Juan Tower after take off to file an IFR flight plan. This was not done. The aircraft continued to Miami however at 8500 feet cruising altitude. Last radio contact was with New Orleans at 04:13 when the pilot reported 50 miles South of Miami. Nothing more was heard from the flight. It is thought that the aircraft had already passed Florida at the Keys and was flying west over the Gulf of Mexico until fuel became exhausted. Radio contact was probably no longer possible due to electrical problems and exhausted batteries.

Two bodies were found, 80-90 km south off Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, on January 4, 1949. Newspaper reports at the time suggested that these may have been passengers on the missing DC-3. This was not confirmed however.

PROBABLE CAUSE: "The Board lacks sufficient information in this case to determine the probable cause."

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


El Tiempo 5 January 1949, p8
CAB File No. 1-0118
The Bermuda Triangle Mystery- Solved / L.D. Kusche


Revision history:


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