Accident Douglas DC-3A-269 NC21712,
ASN logo

Date:Thursday 30 October 1941
Type:Silhouette image of generic DC3 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different    
Douglas DC-3A-269
Owner/operator:Northwest Airlines
Registration: NC21712
MSN: 2124
Year of manufacture:1939
Engine model:Pratt & Whitney R-1830-SC3-G
Fatalities:Fatalities: 14 / Occupants: 15
Aircraft damage: Destroyed, written off
Location:Moorhead, MN -   United States of America
Phase: Approach
Nature:Passenger - Scheduled
Departure airport:Minneapolis-Wold-Chamberlain Field, MN (MSP/KMSP)
Destination airport:Fargo-Hector Field, ND (FAR/KFAR)
Investigating agency: CAB
Confidence Rating: Accident investigation report completed and information captured
Crashed in fog due to icing. Twelve passengers and three crew were on board. The pilot Clarence Bates was the only survivor.
Northwest Airlines Trip 5 originated at Chicago Municipal Airport, Illinois with Seattle, Washington as its destination. Intermediate stops were scheduled at Minneapolis, Minnesota; Fargo, North Dakota; Billings, Montana; Butte, Montana and Spokane, Washington.

Probable Cause:
The failure of the aircraft, when the inboard portions of the wing were stalled, to respond to the application of full power in the manner reasonably to be expected in the light of the aeronatical knowledge then available.

Contributing factors:
1. Accumulation of ice on the wings and other surfaces of the airplane, increasing the stalling speed and the drag of the airplane on the power required to maintain flight.
2. Failure of the captain, due to his having lost confidence in the airspeed meters, to realize his close approach to a stalled condition.
3. Action of the captain in descending to attempt a landing at Fargo with known icing conditions and critical ceiling conditions, instead of proceeding to an available alternative.
4. Failure of the dispatcher to recognize the seriousness of weather conditions in the vicinity of Fargo and to direct the pilot to proceed to his alternate.

Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: CAB
Report number: SA-53
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 3 months
Download report: Final report



photo (c) Harvey Bernard; Minneapolis-St. Paul Airport, MN (MSP/KMSP)

Revision history:


The Aviation Safety Network is an exclusive service provided by:
Quick Links:

CONNECT WITH US: FSF on social media FSF Facebook FSF Twitter FSF Youtube FSF LinkedIn FSF Instagram

©2024 Flight Safety Foundation

1920 Ballenger Av, 4th Fl.
Alexandria, Virginia 22314