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Last updated: 16 February 2019
Date:Wednesday 18 May 1955
Type:Silhouette image of generic DC3 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Douglas C-47B-40-DK (DC-3)
Operator:East African Airways Corp. - EAAC
Registration: VP-KKH
C/n / msn: 33568/16820
First flight: 1945
Total airframe hrs:7199
Engines: 2 Pratt & Whitney R-1830-90D
Crew:Fatalities: 4 / Occupants: 4
Passengers:Fatalities: 16 / Occupants: 16
Total:Fatalities: 20 / Occupants: 20
Aircraft damage: Destroyed
Aircraft fate: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:Mount Kilimanjaro (   Tanzania)
Crash site elevation: 4633 m (15200 feet) amsl
Phase: En route (ENR)
Nature:International Scheduled Passenger
Departure airport:Dar es Salaam International Airport (DAR/HTDA), Tanzania
Destination airport:Nairobi-West Airport (WIL/HKNW), Kenya
Flightnumber: 104
East African Flight EC104 departed Dar es Salaam (DAR) at 10:39 for the last leg of a flight to Nairobi (WIL). Last position report was at 11:56 when the pilot reported over Lake Jipe in visual flight on top of the clouds at FL105. Nothing more was heard from the flight. The wreckage was found on May 22, 1955 on the south-east slope of Mawenzi (one of the two peaks of Mount Kilimanjaro) at an elevation of 15200 feet.

Probable Cause:

PROBABLE CAUSE: "The pilot's decision to proceed on the direct track to Nairobi, and this consideration is not affected even if he intended to divert in the vicinity of Kilimanjaro. The meteorological conditions were marginal and his first mistake occurred in not discussing the weather with the meteorological forecaster. Had he done so he might well have decided to proceed via Tanga, although in making this decision he might have been influenced by the fact that there were no specific instructions regarding an alternate route. It must be remembered, however, that he was fairly new in the Corporation and he might have thought it impolite to depart from normal practice."

Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: Commission of Inquiry
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 57 days (2 months)
Accident number: 20/55
Download report: Final report

Controlled Flight Into Terrain (CFIT) - Mountain


photo of Douglas C-47B-40-DK VP-KKH
photo of Douglas C-47B-40-DK VP-KKH
photo of Douglas C-47B-40-DK VP-KKH
photo of Douglas C-47B-40-DK VP-KKH
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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 Dar es Salaam International Airport to Nairobi-West Airport as the crow flies is 669 km (418 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
  • 3229th loss
  • 1138th fatal accident
  • 133rd worst accident (at the time)
  • 224th worst accident (currently)
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