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Last updated: 11 August 2020
Status:Final
Date:Thursday 30 October 1941
Time:22:10
Type:Silhouette image of generic DC3 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Douglas DC-3-277B
Operator:American Airlines
Registration: NC25663
C/n / msn: 2207
First flight: 1940
Total airframe hrs:3868
Engines: 2 Wright R-1820-G102
Crew:Fatalities: 3 / Occupants: 3
Passengers:Fatalities: 17 / Occupants: 17
Total:Fatalities: 20 / Occupants: 20
Aircraft damage: Destroyed
Aircraft fate: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:W of St. Thomas, ON (   Canada)
Phase: En route (ENR)
Nature:Domestic Scheduled Passenger
Departure airport:Buffalo Airport, NY, United States of America
Destination airport:Detroit (unknown airport), MI, United States of America
Flightnumber: 1
Narrative:
The aircraft operated on American Airlines Flight 1 from New York to Chicago, Illinois with intermediate stops at Newark, New Jersey; Buffalo, New York; Detroit, Michigan; and South Bend, Indiana. Flight 1 departed from Buffalo at 21:07.
When Flight 1 arrived in the vicinity of the point where the accident occurred, the plane commenced to descend, circling to the right and apparently banked normally for the radius and speed of the turns. The diameter of the initial circle was approximately 1-1/2 miles; thereafter during the descent the radius progressively diminished. After completing approximately four circles, the airplane recovered from the spiral in close proximity to the ground, zoomed to an altitude of about 200 to 500 feet and probably stalled.
It then dived to the ground, striking in a nose-down attitude at an angle of approximately 70 degrees with the horizontal, and immediately burst into flames.

Probable Cause:

PROBABLE CAUSE: Undetermined

Accident investigation:
cover
Investigating agency: CAB
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 134 days (4 months)
Accident number: File No. 5669-41
Download report: Final report

Classification:
Cause undetermined
Loss of control

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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
  • 33rd loss
  • 18th fatal accident
  • 2nd worst accident (at the time)
  • 224th worst accident (currently)
» safety profile

 Canada
  • The worst accident (at the time)
  • 23rd worst accident (currently)
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