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Last updated: 11 April 2021
Status:Final
Date:Friday 23 February 1945
Time:02:25
Type:Silhouette image of generic DC3 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Douglas DC-3-277
Operator:American Airlines
Registration: NC18142
C/n / msn: 2138
First flight: 1939
Total airframe hrs:17296
Engines: 2 Wright R-1820-G102
Crew:Fatalities: 2 / Occupants: 3
Passengers:Fatalities: 15 / Occupants: 19
Total:Fatalities: 17 / Occupants: 22
Aircraft damage: Damaged beyond repair
Location:9 km (5.6 mls) SW of Rural Retreat, VA (   United States of America)
Phase: En route (ENR)
Nature:Domestic Scheduled Passenger
Departure airport:Washington-National Airport, DC (DCA/KDCA), United States of America
Destination airport:Nashville-Berry Field, TN (BNA/KBNA), United States of America
Flightnumber: 9
Narrative:
American Airlines Flight 3 en route from New York to Los Angeles departed at 21:39 on February 22, 1945. Departure from Washington had been at 00:11 on February 23. The last radio message from the flight was at 02:05 at 4,000 feet over Pulaski, Virginia. The DC-3 continued, passing through rain and clouds and encountering considerable turbulence. The airplane flew over mountainous terrain and struck the wooded summit of Glade Mountain at approx 3910 feet amsl.

Probable Cause:

PROBABLE CAUSE: "The pilot's failure to properly plan the flight and remain at a safe instrument altitude under existing conditions. A contributing cause of the accident was the company's laxity in dispatching and supervising the flight."

Classification:
Controlled Flight Into Terrain (CFIT) - Mountain

Sources:
» CAB File No. 875-45


Photos

photo of Douglas-DC-3-277-NC18142
accident date: 23-02-1945
type: Douglas DC-3-277
registration: NC18142
 

Map
This map shows the airport of departure and the intended destination of the flight. The line between the airports does not display the exact flight path.
Distance from Washington-National Airport, DC to Nashville-Berry Field, TN as the crow flies is 896 km (560 miles).
Accident location: Approximate; accuracy within a few kilometers.

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Douglas DC-3

  • ca 13.000 built
  • 1580th loss
  • 508th fatal accident
  • 60th worst accident (at the time)
  • 303rd worst accident (currently)
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