ASN Aircraft accident Douglas DC-2-115B ZS-DFW Kosti Airport (KST)
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Status:Accident investigation report completed and information captured
Date:Friday 29 August 1952
Type:Silhouette image of generic DC2 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Douglas DC-2-115B
Operator:Phoenix Airlines
Registration: ZS-DFW
MSN: 1322/F6
First flight: 1934
Crew:Fatalities: 2 / Occupants: 4
Passengers:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 0
Total:Fatalities: 2 / Occupants: 4
Aircraft damage: Damaged beyond repair
Location:Kosti Airport (KST) (   Sudan)
Phase: Landing (LDG)
Departure airport:Juba Airport (JUB/HSSJ), South Sudan
Destination airport:Wadi Halfa Airport (WHF/HSSW), Sudan
Two Phoenix Airlines DC-2 aircraft departed Palmietfontein on a cargo flight to Southend, UK on August 27, 1952. On the first leg to Bulawayo the crew of DC-2 ZS-DFX got lost and carried out a forced landing 20 miles west of Bulawayo because of fuel exhaustion. DC-2 ZS-DFW reached Bulawayo where two passengers decided not to complete the flight. ZS-DFW, overloaded at takeoff from Palmietfontein, was still overloaded when departing Juba at 15:45 on August 29. Bad weather forced the captain to divert. A diversion to El Obeid was not possible because of a lack of fuel, so at 20:40 the crew radioed to the Khartoum controller that they were going to divert to Kosti. The aircraft touched down on the NE-SE runway from the Southwest, overran, striking a strong steel tubular support for a windsock and came to rest in trees. Neither pilot appeared to be endorsed for DC-2 aircraft, but the co-pilot was entitled to fly in such a capacity without a DC-2 rating.

Probable Cause:

PROBABLE CAUSE: "The primary cause of the accident was that extremely bad weather forced the Captain of the aeroplane to divert from his original destination. No proper preparation had been made for a possible landing at an alternate airfield prior to commencement of flight. The secondary cause was due to the Captain's attempt to execute a landing at Kosti aerodrome which was not equipped with night landing facilities. The Captain landed on the runway but was unable to align himself with the centre line and in consequence ran off the runway and struck a steel windsock support and thereafter struck various obstructions such as trees which lay in the path."
CONTRIBUTORY CAUSES: "Because of radio interference due to a storm, proper use could not be made of the radio navigational facilities carried on the aircraft. The lack of appreciation by the Captain of his final responsibility for the operational control of the aircraft, which includes diversionary action, and his apparent failure to appreciate the purely advisory responsibility of Khartoum as a flight information centre."

Flightcrew un(der)qualified
Runway excursion

» ICAO Circular 38-AN/33

Follow-up / safety actions
Recommendation: All aeroplanes operating in the public transport category at night should be equipped with parachute flares.


photo of Douglas-DC-2-115B-ZS-DFW
accident date: 29-08-1952
type: Douglas DC-2-115B
registration: ZS-DFW

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 Juba Airport to Wadi Halfa Airport as the crow flies is 1875 km (1172 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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