ASN Aircraft accident McDonnell Douglas DC-8-63CF N802WA Cold Bay, AK
ASN logo

Status:Accident investigation report completed and information captured
Date:Saturday 8 September 1973
Time:05:42 ADT
Type:Silhouette image of generic DC86 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
McDonnell Douglas DC-8-63CF
Operator:World Airways
Registration: N802WA
MSN: 46146/536
First flight: 1971
Total airframe hrs:10077
Engines: 4 Pratt & Whitney JT3D-
Crew:Fatalities: 3 / Occupants: 3
Passengers:Fatalities: 3 / Occupants: 3
Total:Fatalities: 6 / Occupants: 6
Aircraft damage: Damaged beyond repair
Location:near Cold Bay, AK (   United States of America)
Phase: En route (ENR)
Departure airport:Fairfield-Travis AFB, CA (SUU/KSUU), United States of America
Destination airport:Cold Bay Airport, AK (CDB/PACD), United States of America
Flightnumber: 802
The DC-8, operating on cargo flight for the Military Airlift Command from Travis AFB to Clark AFB via Cold Bay and Yokota AFB. The aircraft crashed into Mount Dutton at an altitude of 3500 feet.

Probable Cause:

PROBABLE CAUSE: "The captain's deviation from approved instrument approach procedures. As a result of the deviation the flight descended into an area of unreliable navigation signals and obstructing terrain."

Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: NTSB
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 242 days (8 months)
Accident number: NTSB/AAR-74-06
Download report: Final report

Follow-up / safety actions

NTSB issued 1 Safety Recommendation

Show all...


photo of DC-8-63CF-N802WA
accident date: 08-09-1973
type: McDonnell Douglas DC-8-63CF
registration: N802WA
photo of DC-8-63CF-N802WA
accident date: 08-09-1973
type: McDonnell Douglas DC-8-63CF
registration: N802WA

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 Fairfield-Travis AFB, CA to Cold Bay Airport, AK as the crow flies is 3538 km (2211 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.
languages: languages



  • 556 built
  • 36th loss
  • 25th fatal accident
  • 20th worst accident (at the time)
  • 32nd worst accident (currently)
» safety profile

The Aviation Safety Network is an exclusive service provided by:
Quick Links:

CONNECT WITH US: FSF Facebook FSF Twitter FSF Youtube FSF LinkedIn FSF Instagram

©2023 Flight Safety Foundation

701 N. Fairfax St., Ste. 250
Alexandria, Virginia 22314