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Date:Wednesday 1 July 1942
Time:ca 12:00
Type:Silhouette image of generic DC3 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Douglas C-49E (DC-3)
Operator:United States Army Air Force - USAAF
Registration: 42-56093
MSN: 1976
First flight: 1937
Crew:Fatalities: 2 / Occupants: 2
Passengers:Fatalities: 19 / Occupants: 19
Total:Fatalities: 21 / Occupants: 21
Aircraft damage: Destroyed
Aircraft fate: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:Welon, WV (   United States of America)
Phase: En route (ENR)
Departure airport:Battle Creek-WK Kellogg Regional Airport, MI (BTL/KBTL), United States of America
Destination airport:Cincinnati Municipal Airport, OH (LUK/KLUK), United States of America
The Douglas C-49E transport plane was approaching Cincinnati-Lunken Field in poor weather conditions. The first three attempts to land failed. On the fourth attempt the speed was too high and the airplane impacted the runway violently. The captain increased engine power and decided to continue to Florence, South Carolina. A few minutes later, while cruising in bad weather conditions, the aircraft banked left and right and eventually went out of control. From a height of 250 metres, it dove into an open field and was destroyed by impact and post impact fire. All 21 occupants were killed.

Probable Cause:

According to the Board of investigations, it appears that the aircraft lost parts of wings and elevators when it dove into the ground, most probably due to forces exceeding their design.
For undetermined reasons, captain decided to continue the flight to Florence following a missed landing at Cincinnati Airport. Due to a heavy landing, the wings' and elevators' structure was slightly damaged and moderate to severe turbulences in the region also contributed to the wings' and elevator' structural weakness.
Poor discipline and judgment is also reproached to both pilots as they should complete the landing procedure at Cincinnati and perform an inspection of the aircraft, which was not performed.
Accumulation of ice on carburettors associated to a certain torsion during the hard landing is considered as a contributory factor as the carburettor did not work properly during the last segment of the flight.

» 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 Battle Creek-WK Kellogg Regional Airport, MI to Cincinnati Municipal Airport, OH as the crow flies is 361 km (225 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
  • 55th loss
  • 25th fatal accident
  • 3rd worst accident (at the time)
  • 203rd worst accident (currently)
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