ASN Aircraft accident Douglas DC-7 N6328C Arden, NV
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Status:Accident investigation report completed and information captured
Date:Monday 21 April 1958
Type:Silhouette image of generic DC7 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Douglas DC-7
Operator:United Airlines
Registration: N6328C
MSN: 45142/745
First flight: 1956
Crew:Fatalities: 5 / Occupants: 5
Passengers:Fatalities: 42 / Occupants: 42
Total:Fatalities: 47 / Occupants: 47
Collision casualties:Fatalities: 2
Aircraft damage: Destroyed
Aircraft fate: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:near Arden, NV (   United States of America)
Phase: En route (ENR)
Nature:Domestic Scheduled Passenger
Departure airport:Los Angeles International Airport, CA (LAX/KLAX), United States of America
Destination airport:New York-Idlewild International Airport, NY (IDL/KIDL), United States of America
United Air Lines Flight 736, a Douglas DC-7, took off from Los Angeles, California at 07:37 on an IFR flight to New York-Idlewild Airport with a planned cruising altitude of FL210.
At about 07:45 a US Air Force North American F-100F-5-NA Super Sabre fighter (56-3755) took off from Nellis Air Force Base on an instrument training flight. During the exercise the flight was executing a simulated jet penetration in the area of Las Vegas, NV. At 08:30 the fighter plane pilot reported that they were descending from FL280 near the KRAM radio station. At the same time, United flight 736 was approaching the Las Vegas VOR. Both aircraft collided at FL210, 9 miles south west of the Las Vegas VOR station on Victor Airway 8. Initial contact occurred between the leading edge of the DC-7 right wing and the leading edge of the F-100 right wing, 132 inches outboard of the aircraft centreline. It was determined that the DC-7 was flying at about 312 knots on a 23 degree heading and the F-100 at 444 knots on a 145 degree heading. Assuming a small descent angle of the F-100, the closure speed was about 665 knots. Both planes crashed out of control.

Probable Cause:

PROBABLE CAUSE: "A high rate of near head-on closure at high altitude; human and cockpit limitations; and the failure of Nellis Air Force Base and the Civil Aeronautics Administration to take every measure to reduce a known collision exposure."

Accident investigation:

Investigating agency: CAB
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 263 days (9 months)
Accident number: final report
Download report: Final report

Mid air collision
Loss of control

» ICAO Accident Digest, Circular 59-AN/54 (121-128)


photo of Douglas-DC-7-N6328C
accident date: 21-04-1958
type: Douglas DC-7
registration: N6328C

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 Los Angeles International Airport, CA to New York-Idlewild International Airport, NY as the crow flies is 3948 km (2468 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-7

  • 339 built
  • 6th loss
  • 4th fatal accident
  • 2nd worst accident (at the time)
  • 7th worst accident (currently)
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 United States of America
  • 15th worst accident (at the time)
  • 64th worst accident (currently)
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