ASN Aircraft accident Douglas C-47A-30-DL (DC-3) ZS-AVI Carolina Aerodrome
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Status:Accident investigation report completed and information captured
Date:Monday 15 September 1952
Type:Silhouette image of generic DC3 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Douglas C-47A-30-DL (DC-3)
Operator:South African Airways - SAA
Registration: ZS-AVI
MSN: 9630
First flight: 1943
Engines: 2 Pratt & Whitney R-1830-92
Crew:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 5
Passengers:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 14
Total:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 19
Aircraft damage: Damaged beyond repair
Location:Carolina Aerodrome (   South Africa)
Phase: Landing (LDG)
Nature:Domestic Non Scheduled Passenger
Departure airport:Livingstone Airport (LVI/FLLI), Zambia
Destination airport:Johannesburg-Palmietfontein Airport, South Africa
The crew became lost while on a flight to Palmietfontein. A landing was carried out at an unlighted airport during which the aircraft sustained irreparable damage.

Probable Cause:

PROBABLE CAUSE: "The primary cause of the accident was faulty navigation on the part of the captain of the aeroplane inasmuch as he set off on an incorrect course and thereafter his visual identification of towns en route was incorrect and based purely on assumptions. Had he checked his assumed ground speed between what he assumed to be Mahalapye and Warrbaths he would have found this to be approximately 318 mph which check would have altered him. The secondary cause was the failure of those responsible to alert Pietersburgh Aeradio Station and Beacon and the excessive degree of radio interference on the Rand on the evening of 15 September due to electrical storms. The tertiary cause was an attempted landing on an unidentified and unlighted aerodrome, of which the altitude was not known. Thereafter in a low approach the wheels of the aeroplane struck a rock outcrop approx. 1,25 miles from the aerodrome."

» ICAO Circular 38-AN/33 (117-120)


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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 Livingstone Airport to Johannesburg-Palmietfontein 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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