Accident Douglas DC-3B-202 NC17315,
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Date:Thursday 23 January 1941
Type:Silhouette image of generic DC3 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different    
Douglas DC-3B-202
Owner/operator:Transcontinental & Western Air - TWA
Registration: NC17315
MSN: 1930
Year of manufacture:1937
Engine model:Wright R-1820-G102
Fatalities:Fatalities: 2 / Occupants: 14
Aircraft damage: Destroyed, written off
Location:0,7 km W of Saint Louis Airport, MO -   United States of America
Phase: Approach
Nature:Passenger - Scheduled
Departure airport:Kansas City Municipal Airport, MO (MKC/KMKC)
Destination airport:Saint Louis-Lambert Municipal Airport, MO (STL/KSTL)
Investigating agency: CAB
Confidence Rating: Accident investigation report completed and information captured
The DC-3B operated TWA Trip 6 from Los Angeles, California to New York and departed on January 22, 1941 at 13:10 PST. The fight was routed via Phoenix, Arizona; El Paso, Texas; Albuquerque, New Mexico and Amarillo, Texas to Kansas City, Missouri where it arrived at 02:08 on January 23. A crew change took place before the flight was to continue to New York via Saint Louis, Missouri; Indianapolis, Indiana; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
The flight departed at 02:44 in instrument conditions and proceeded normally at the cruising altitude of 7000 feet. As the aircraft was descending towards Saint Louis, weather information was passed on the crew. Ceiling observed at 03:55 was 500 feet, visibility 1,5 mile in light drizzle and light fog. Scattered clouds were reported at 200 feet.
The captain commenced the final approach with the intention to land on the No.1 east-west runway. The aircraft broke out of the clouds at about 300 ft above the ground. The captain then aborted the approach and the aircraft crossed the east end of the runway diagonally from south to north.
Immediately after passing the west boundary of the airport, the captain started a left turn, apparently in order to make a landing from south to north on runway No.6. During this turn the wing brushed trees and the flight crew lost control. Parts were torn off as the aircraft carreened through several other trees. Just before the airplane came to rest it struck a high tension line and pole and the fuselage was broken in two near the center of the cabin.

PROBABLE CAUSE: "The action of the pilot in attempting a landing under adverse weather conditions in disregard of the minimums prescribed by the Civil Aeronautics Administration and in maneuvering for such a landing at a dangerously low altitude."

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


CAB Report

Revision history:


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