ASN Aircraft accident Douglas DC-3-178 N16030 Fonseca
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Status:Accident investigation report completed and information captured
Date:Friday 9 June 1950
Time:19:00 EST
Type:Silhouette image of generic DC3 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Douglas DC-3-178
Operator:New Tribes Mission
Registration: N16030
MSN: 1546
First flight: 1936
Total airframe hrs:36534
Crew:Fatalities: 3 / Occupants: 3
Passengers:Fatalities: 12 / Occupants: 12
Total:Fatalities: 15 / Occupants: 15
Aircraft damage: Damaged beyond repair
Location:31 km (19.4 mls) ENE of Fonseca (   Colombia)
Phase: En route (ENR)
Nature:Int'l Non Scheduled Passenger
Departure airport:Kingston Airport (KIN/MKJP), Jamaica
Destination airport:Maracaibo-Grano de Oro Airport (ORO/SVMO), Venezuela
The DC-3, operated by New Tribes Mission, departed Miami at 10:45 for Kingston, Jamaica and Maracaibo, Venezuela. It arrived at Kingston at 15:12 and departed at 15:45 on an IFR plan of four hours to cruise at 9,500 feet direct to Maracaibo. At 18:52 the flight advised Balboa that it was "over the coast line at 5,000 feet and descending VFR." This was the last message received from the aircraft which never arrived at Maracaibo. An intensive search from the air was made without success until about June 28, when it was discontinued. However the New Tribes Mission continued the air search using a Stinson aircraft out of Maracaibo. Their search from this point was unsuccessful and on July 5 their base of operations was moved from Maracaibo to Fonseca, Colombia. At this point it was learned from natives of an outlying Indian village that a plane had been seen on the evening of June 9 headed in a southerly direction. On July 6 the Mission search plane sighted wreckage near the top of a mountain at an elevation of 4,400 feet approximately 42 miles west of the direct Kingston-Maracaibo course. The rescue party found out that the plane had hit a tree about 15 feet above the ground on the very top of a mountain in the Serrania de Valledupar Range, shearing off the left wing at the joint next to the engine. Ten feet further the right wing as sheared off at the joint next to the engine. The plane then crashed inverted and caught fire.

Probable Cause:

PROBABLE CAUSE: "The Board finds that there is not sufficient evidence upon which to make a determination of probable cause."

Accident investigation:

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



photo of Douglas-DC-3-178-N16030
accident date: 09-06-1950
type: Douglas DC-3-178
registration: N16030
photo of Douglas-DC-3-178-N16030
accident date: 09-06-1950
type: Douglas DC-3-178
registration: N16030

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 Kingston Airport to Maracaibo-Grano de Oro Airport as the crow flies is 973 km (608 miles).

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
  • 2850th loss
  • 990th fatal accident
  • 184th worst accident (at the time)
  • 361st worst accident (currently)
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  • 7th worst accident (at the time)
  • 63rd worst accident (currently)
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