ASN Aircraft accident Douglas C-47A-80-DL (DC-3) NC53218 Richmond-Byrd Field, VA (RIC)
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Status:Accident investigation report completed and information captured
Date:Thursday 16 May 1946
Type:Silhouette image of generic DC3 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Douglas C-47A-80-DL (DC-3)
Operator:Viking Air Transport
Registration: NC53218
MSN: 19626
First flight: 1944
Total airframe hrs:1180
Engines: 2 Pratt & Whitney R-1830-92
Crew:Fatalities: 2 / Occupants: 2
Passengers:Fatalities: 25 / Occupants: 25
Total:Fatalities: 27 / Occupants: 27
Aircraft damage: Damaged beyond repair
Location:10 km (6.3 mls) S of Richmond-Byrd Field, VA (RIC) (   United States of America)
Phase: Approach (APR)
Nature:Domestic Non Scheduled Passenger
Departure airport:Richmond International Airport (Byrd Field), VA (RIC/KRIC), United States of America
Destination airport:Atlanta Municipal Airport, GA (ATL/KATL), United States of America
The DC-3 landed at Richmond-Byrd Field (RIC) with indications of engine problems. The crew however, decided to continue to Atlanta immediately because of worsening weather conditions. Engine trouble after takeoff forced the crew to return to Byrd Field. The aircraft was not properly lined up on the first attempt to land and maneuvered for another attempt. One of the engines ran rough and was shut down. The aircraft lost control, stalled and crashed. It appeared that the pilot had shut down the wrong, no. 2, engine when a crack had developed in the no. 6 cylinder of the no. 1 engine.

Probable Cause:

PROBABLE CAUSE: "The inability of the pilot to maintain adequate control of the aircraft to effect an emergency single-engine instrument approach under adverse weather conditions. Contributing factors were: The decision of the pilot to continue the flight into weather conditions when the considered unsafe; the negligence of the pilot in failing to have an inspection of the aircraft engines made prior to departure from Richmond, the action of the pilot in shutting down the wrong engine when experiencing excessive vibration from a power plant; and the pilot's neglect in failing to retract the landing gear during an emergency go-around."

Accident investigation:

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

Shutdown of wrong engine
Loss of control

» Air Britain Casualty compendium (pt. 43)
» CAB File No. 634-46


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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 Richmond International Airport (Byrd Field), VA to Atlanta Municipal Airport, GA as the crow flies is 768 km (480 miles).
Accident location: Approximate; accuracy within a few kilometers.

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
  • 2332nd loss
  • 734th fatal accident
  • 13th worst accident (at the time)
  • 81st worst accident (currently)
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