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Last updated: 24 September 2020
Date:Friday 30 October 1959
Type:Silhouette image of generic DC3 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Douglas C-47A-90-DL (DC-3)
Operator:Piedmont Airlines
Registration: N55V
C/n / msn: 20447
First flight: 1944
Engines: 2 Pratt & Whitney R-1830-92
Crew:Fatalities: 3 / Occupants: 3
Passengers:Fatalities: 23 / Occupants: 24
Total:Fatalities: 26 / Occupants: 27
Aircraft damage: Damaged beyond repair
Location:Bucks Elbow Mountain, VA (   United States of America)
Phase: Approach (APR)
Nature:Domestic Scheduled Passenger
Departure airport:Washington-National Airport, DC (DCA/KDCA), United States of America
Destination airport:Charlottesville-Albemarle Airport, VA (CHO/KCHO), United States of America
Flightnumber: 349
The DC-3 was flying an instrument approach to Charlottesville, 8 to 11 miles west of the manoeuvring area prescribed by the instrument approach procedure. During the inbound portion of the procedure turn the aircraft struck the rocky slope of a 3100 feet mountain at an elevation of about 2600 feet.

Probable Cause:

PROBABLE CAUSE: "A navigational omission which resulted in a lateral course error that was not detected and corrected through precision instrument flying procedures. A contributing factor to the accident may have been pre-occupation of the captain resulting from mental stress."

Controlled Flight Into Terrain (CFIT) - Mountain

» ICAO Circular 64-AN/58 (68-75)


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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 Washington-National Airport, DC to Charlottesville-Albemarle Airport, VA as the crow flies is 145 km (91 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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Douglas DC-3

  • ca 13.000 built
  • 3449th loss
  • 1281st fatal accident
  • 43rd worst accident (at the time)
  • 90th worst accident (currently)
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