Accident Douglas DC-3A-191 NC16066,
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Date:Tuesday 29 November 1938
Type:Silhouette image of generic DC3 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different    
Douglas DC-3A-191
Owner/operator:United Airlines
Registration: NC16066
MSN: 1906
Year of manufacture:1937
Fatalities:Fatalities: 5 / Occupants: 7
Aircraft damage: Destroyed, written off
Location:1,2 km off Point Reyes, CA -   United States of America
Phase: En route
Nature:Passenger - Scheduled
Departure airport:Medford-Jackson County Airport, OR (MFR/KMFR)
Destination airport:Oakland Municipal Airport, CA (OAK/KOAK)
Investigating agency: CAB
Confidence Rating: Accident investigation report completed and information captured
A Douglas DC-3A passenger plane, operating as United Air Lines Trip 6, was involved in a ditching accident off Point Reyes, CA, USA. One pilot and one passenger were rescued. The other five occupants were killed.
Trip 6 was a scheduled service from Seattle, WA to San Diego, CA, with several intermediate stops. The airplane took off from Medford at 12:03 at night. En route from Medford to Oakland the crew failed to establish their precise position and ran out of fuel over sea. At 05:03 the Point Reyes lighthouse was sighted. The plane circled the lighthouse twice, dropping a flare each time. At 05:25 fuel was exhausted and the captain carried out a wheels-up ditching.
Passengers and crew immediately climbed on the top of the aircraft, through the emergency hatch in the pilot's cockpit. The aircraft rode the swells easily until the surf carried it shoreward, where it was severely battered and subsequently destroyed by the waves and rocks.

PROBABLE CAUSE: "Failure of the pilot to definitely establish the position of the aircraft through standard orientation procedures within a reasonable time after intersecting a leg of the Oakland radio range at 3:17 AM, and of company flight dispatchers, charged with the responsibilities of directing the operation of the trip, to properly safeguard the flight, resulting in forced landing of the aircraft at sea due to exhausted fuel supply."

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


The Crash of United Air Lines Trip #6
CAB Report


Revision history:


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