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Last updated: 3 December 2021
Date:Thursday 14 November 1946
Time:ca 18:50
Type:Silhouette image of generic DC3 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Douglas C-47A-90-DL (DC-3)
Operator:KLM Royal Dutch Airlines
Registration: PH-TBW
MSN: 20122
First flight: 1944
Total airframe hrs:2019
Engines: 2 Pratt & Whitney R-1830-92
Crew:Fatalities: 5 / Occupants: 5
Passengers:Fatalities: 21 / Occupants: 21
Total:Fatalities: 26 / Occupants: 26
Aircraft damage: Destroyed
Aircraft fate: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:Amsterdam-Schiphol Airport (AMS) (   Netherlands)
Crash site elevation: -3 m (-10 feet) amsl
Phase: Approach (APR)
Nature:International Scheduled Passenger
Departure airport:London-Croydon Airport (-/-), United Kingdom
Destination airport:Amsterdam-Schiphol International Airport (AMS/EHAM), Netherlands
A Douglas C-47A, operating a passenger service from London-Croydon Airport, crashed while on final approach to Amsterdam-Schiphol Airport, killing all 26 on board.
Visibility at Schiphol Airport was limited due to fog. The captain circled the airport three times without acquiring visual contact with the ground. He likely then observed the runway and airport lights. Not being lined up with runway 23, the pilot made a steep left-hand turn. The aircraft then struck the ground in a 65° pitch and 45° left hand bank attitude.

Flight testing of the DC-3 aircraft had shown it was vulnerable during low speed steep turns, as the aircraft could enter an asymmetrical stall.

Probable Cause:

It was a.o. concluded that the captain was not sufficiently familiar with the specific flight characteristics of the DC-3 during low speed turns. Also, the captain was to sufficiently proficient in carrying out approaches and landings in the given weather circumstances.

Flightcrew un(der)qualified
Loss of control

» Dakota : DC-3/C47's onder Nederlandse vlag
» The Civil Aircraft Registers of the Netherlands / H. Dekker


photo of Douglas-C-47A-PH-TBW
accident date: 14-11-1946
type: Douglas C-47A (DC-3)
registration: PH-TBW
photo of Douglas-C-47A-PH-TBW
accident date: 14-11-1946
type: Douglas C-47A (DC-3)
registration: PH-TBW

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 London-Croydon Airport to Amsterdam-Schiphol International Airport as the crow flies is 349 km (218 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
  • 2418th loss
  • 758th fatal accident
  • 16th worst accident (at the time)
  • 90th worst accident (currently)
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  • The worst accident (at the time)
  • 4th worst accident (currently)
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