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Last updated: 6 December 2021
Date:Wednesday 4 June 1958
Type:Silhouette image of generic DC3 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Douglas C-53B (DC-3)
Operator:Capital Airlines
Registration: N49553
MSN: 4820
First flight: 1941
Crew:Fatalities: 1 / Occupants: 3
Passengers:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 0
Total:Fatalities: 1 / Occupants: 3
Aircraft damage: Damaged beyond repair
Location:Martinsburg Airport, WV (MRB) (   United States of America)
Phase: Unknown (UNK)
Departure airport:Washington-National Airport, DC (DCA/KDCA), United States of America
Destination airport:Martinsburg-Eastern West Virginia Regional Airport/Shepherd Field, WV (MRB/KMRB), United States of America
Flightnumber: 3
The DC-3 was on a training flight, practicing takeoffs and landings at Martinsburg. Following a single-engine approach to runway 08 the trainee tried to climb out, but the aircraft stalled and crashed into a wooded area.

Probable Cause:

PROBABLE CAUSE: "Following the trainee-pilot's failure to maintain minimum-control speed during an attempted go-around, the instructor-pilot failed to take control of the aircraft in sufficient time to prevent a critical loss of altitude. A contributing factor was the malfunction of the landing gear latch which delayed retraction of the landing gear and caused the distraction of the instructor-pilot for several seconds during a critical period of the go-around."

Distraction in cockpit
Loss of control

» ICAO Accident Digest, Circular 59-AN/54 (155-160)


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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 Washington-National Airport, DC to Martinsburg-Eastern West Virginia Regional Airport/Shepherd Field, WV as the crow flies is 101 km (63 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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