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Last updated: 13 August 2020
Date:Monday 26 June 1989
Type:Silhouette image of generic DC3 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Douglas C-47A-65-DL (DC-3C)
Operator:California Air Tours
Registration: N8042X
C/n / msn: 19041
First flight: 1943
Total airframe hrs:10762
Engines: 2 Pratt & Whitney R-1830-94
Crew:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 1
Passengers:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 0
Total:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 1
Aircraft damage: Substantial
Aircraft fate: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:8 km (5 mls) S off Petersburg, AK (   United States of America)
Phase: Initial climb (ICL)
Departure airport:Petersburg Municipal Airport, AK (PSG/PAPG), United States of America
Destination airport:Ketchikan International Airport, AK (KTN/PAKT), United States of America
Climbing through 200-300 feet after takeoff a portion of the right aileron fabric separated. Then the pilot's control wheel became free. Although the mechanic in the right seat told him that his controls were functioning normally, the pilot disagreed and he ditched the aircraft.

Probable Cause:

PROBABLE CAUSE: "The pilot's improper decision to ditch the aircraft when it could have been flown back to the airport using the right seat controls. Contributing factor(s) was: the failure and separation of a portion of the right aileron fabric and the pilot's excessive force applied to the control wheel which resulted in overstressing the aileron control chain.

Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: NTSB
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 2 years and 7 months
Accident number: SEA89FA122
Download report: Summary report



» ICAO Adrep Summary 1/94 (#81)


photo of Douglas-DC-3C-N8042X
accident date: 26-06-1989
type: Douglas DC-3C
registration: N8042X

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 Petersburg Municipal Airport, AK to Ketchikan International Airport, AK as the crow flies is 177 km (110 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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