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Accident description
Last updated: 25 September 2017
Status:
Date:Saturday 23 November 1957
Time:20:00
Type:Silhouette image of generic DC3 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Douglas C-47D (DC-3)
Operator:Air National Guard
Registration: 43-49403
C/n / msn: 26664/15219
First flight: 1944
Engines: 2 Pratt & Whitney R-1830-90C
Crew:Fatalities: 4 / Occupants: 4
Passengers:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 7
Total:Fatalities: 4 / Occupants: 11
Airplane damage: Damaged beyond repair
Location:NW of Gustavus Airport, AK (GST) (   United States of America)
Phase: Approach (APR)
Nature:Military
Departure airport:Tacoma-McChord AFB, WA (TCM/KTCM), United States of America
Destination airport:Annette Island Airport, AK (ANN/PANT), United States of America
Narrative:
The Alaska Air National Guard C-47 was flying Army National civilian employees back home from San Francisco, CA. Intermediate stops were planned at Tacoma-McChord AFB, WA (TCM) and Annette Island Airport, AK (ANN) before it was to continue to Anchorage, AK.
High winds and severe turbulence prevented them from landing at Annette Island. The crew decided to divert to Gustavus, AK (GST) were the weather was reported clear for little or no wind. Low on fuel, the captain flew a short visual approach instead of flying an instrument approach. This would have taken him far out over Glacier Bay. He failed to land on the first attempt and again circled the field. It was dark and beginning to snow. The crew descended too low and the right wing caught a tall tree that made the aircraft start to spin. The C-47 nosed into the ground.

Classification:
VFR flight in IMC
Controlled Flight Into Terrain (CFIT) - Mountain

Sources:
» The Complete 1957 Plane Crash Story by Rita Wilson


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Map
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 Tacoma-McChord AFB, WA to Annette Island Airport, AK as the crow flies is 1075 km (672 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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