Accident Douglas DC-3-382 NC1946,
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Date:Friday 16 January 1942
Type:Silhouette image of generic DC3 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different    
Douglas DC-3-382
Owner/operator:Transcontinental & Western Air - TWA
Registration: NC1946
MSN: 3295
Year of manufacture:1941
Engine model:Wright R-1820-G202A
Fatalities:Fatalities: 22 / Occupants: 22
Aircraft damage: Destroyed, written off
Location:53 km SW of Las Vegas, NV -   United States of America
Phase: En route
Nature:Passenger - Scheduled
Departure airport:Las Vegas McCarran Field, NV (LSV/KLSV)
Destination airport:Hollywood-Lockheed Air Terminal, CA (BUR/KBUR)
Investigating agency: CAB
Confidence Rating: Accident investigation report completed and information captured
The DC-3 collided with an almost vertical rock cliff, near the top of Potosi Mountain in the Spring Mountain Range. The point of impact was at an elevation of approximately 7,770 feet above sea level, about 80 feet below the top of the cliff, and abut 730 feet below the crest of the mountain, which has an elevation of about 8,500 feet above sea level.
American actress Carole Lombard (33) was killed in the accident.

PROBABLE CAUSE: "Upon the basis of the foregoing findings and of the entire record available at this time, we find that the probable cause of the accident to aircraft NC 1946 on January 16, 1942, was the failure of the captain after departure from Las Vegas to follow the proper course by making use of the navigational facilities available to him.
CONTRIBUTING FACTORS: 1. The use of an erroneous compass course.; 2. Blackout of most of the beacons in the neighborhood of the accident made necessary by the was emergency.; 3. Failure of the pilot to comply with TWA's directive of July 17, 1941, issued in accordance with a suggestion from the Administrator of Civil Aeronautics requesting pilots to confine their flight movements to the actual on-course signals."

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


CAB File No. 119-42

Revision history:


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