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Last updated: 7 December 2021
Date:Wednesday 7 February 1945
Type:Silhouette image of generic DC3 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Douglas C-47B-20-DK (DC-3)
Operator:United States Army Air Force - USAAF
Registration: 43-49657
MSN: 26918/15473
First flight: 1944
Engines: 2 Pratt & Whitney R-1830-90C
Crew:Fatalities: 2 / Occupants: 4
Passengers:Fatalities: 35 / Occupants: 35
Total:Fatalities: 37 / Occupants: 39
Aircraft damage: Damaged beyond repair
Location:123 km (76.9 mls) W of Hechi (   China)
Phase: En route (ENR)
Departure airport:Hsian Airfield (SIA/ZLXG), China
Destination airport:Kunming-Wujiaba Airfield (KMG/ZPPP), China
The C-47B transport plane operated on a flight from Hsian to Kunming, China. There were four crew members and 35 Chinese passengers on board as the airplane took off about 15:00.
The airplane operated at a cruising altitude of 23.000 feet and above a solid overcast. At 19:15 the pilot ordered the flight surgeon and radio operator to bail out, apparently because the no. 1 engine was on fire. The airplane entered a spin and recovered. Both crew members bailed out and witnessed the airplane going down while trailing flames.

The USAAF operated out of a base at Hsian in 1945. The current name of this city is unclear. Xi'an seems unlikely given the location of the accident.

» Aviation Archaeological Investigation and Research (AAIR)


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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 Hsian Airfield to Kunming-Wujiaba Airfield as the crow flies is 1187 km (742 miles).
Accident location: Exact; as reported in the official accident report.

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
  • 1534th loss
  • 512th fatal accident
  • The worst accident (at the time)
  • 8th worst accident (currently)
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  • The worst accident (at the time)
  • 23rd worst accident (currently)
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