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Status:Final
Date:Friday 1 December 1944
Time:02:58
Type:Silhouette image of generic DC3 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Douglas DC-3-209
Operator:Transcontinental & Western Air - TWA
Registration: NC17322
MSN: 1968
First flight: 1937
Total airframe hrs:22180
Engines: 2 Wright R-1820-G202A
Crew:Fatalities: 2 / Occupants: 3
Passengers:Fatalities: 6 / Occupants: 20
Total:Fatalities: 8 / Occupants: 23
Aircraft damage: Damaged beyond repair
Location:10 km (6.3 mls) from Hollywood-Lockheed Air Terminal, CA (BUR) (   United States of America)
Phase: Approach (APR)
Nature:Domestic Scheduled Passenger
Departure airport:San Francisco Municipal Airport, CA (SFO/KSFO), United States of America
Destination airport:Hollywood-Lockheed Air Terminal, CA (BUR/KBUR), United States of America
Flightnumber: 18
Narrative:
TWA's Flight 18 departed from San Francisco at 12:54 a.m. on the first leg of a transcontinental flight to New York. The first scheduled landing was Burbank. The flight was cleared to Burbank Airport for a standard instrument approach. During the approach the plane descended under instrument conditions to such a low altitude as to clip the tree tops and strike a power line pole and then crashed. In a normal approach the plane would have flown over this point at an altitude of about 1650 feet above the ground.

Probable Cause:

PROBABLE CAUSE: "On the basis of the evidence available the Board finds that the probable cause of this accident was the pilot's deviation from the standard instrument approach procedure when he descended below the established safe minimum altitude. A contributing factor was the company's failure to enforce adherence to company procedures."

Classification:
Controlled Flight Into Terrain (CFIT) - Ground

Sources:
» CAB File No. 3236-44


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Map
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 San Francisco Municipal Airport, CA to Hollywood-Lockheed Air Terminal, CA as the crow flies is 521 km (326 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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