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Accident description
Last updated: 23 March 2018
Date:Monday 20 September 1943
Type:Silhouette image of generic DC3 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Douglas C-53D Skytrooper (DC-3)
Operator:United States Army Air Force - USAAF
Registration: 42-68729
C/n / msn: 11656
First flight: 1932
Engines: 2 Pratt & Whitney R-1830-92
Crew:Fatalities: 4 / Occupants: 4
Passengers:Fatalities: 21 / Occupants: 21
Total:Fatalities: 25 / Occupants: 25
Airplane damage: Damaged beyond repair
Location:Laurinburg-Maxton AAB, NC (MXE) (   United States of America)
Phase: Takeoff (TOF)
Departure airport:Laurinburg-Maxton AAB, NC (MXE/KMEB), United States of America
Destination airport:Louisville-Godman AFB, KY, United States of America
Shortly after lifting off the runway, the pilot saw a C-47 coming straight at him. The C-47 was towing a glider, which released immediately after the glider pilot saw the planes were on collision course. Both pilots of the C-47 and C-53 took evasive action. The C-53 pulled hard left. He was unable to maintain control and the plane stalled. It entered a spin, crashed and caught fire.

Near miss
Loss of control

» Fatal Army Air Forces Aviation Accidents in the United States, 1941-1945, Vol. 2: July 1943-July 1944 / Anthony J. Mireles
» Aviation Archaeological Investigation and Research (AAIR)


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This information is not presented as the Flight Safety Foundation or the Aviation Safety Network’s opinion as to the cause of the accident. It is preliminary and is based on the facts as they are known at this time.
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Douglas DC-3

  • ca 13.000 built
  • 348th loss
  • 116th fatal accident
  • 3rd worst accident (at the time)
  • 113th worst accident (currently)
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