ASN Aircraft accident Douglas DC-3-201F NC28384 Oxon Hill, MD
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Status:Accident investigation report completed and information captured
Date:Tuesday 13 January 1948
Type:Silhouette image of generic DC3 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Douglas DC-3-201F
Operator:Eastern Air Lines
Registration: NC28384
MSN: 4092
First flight: 1941
Total airframe hrs:29974
Engines: 2 Wright R-1820-G202A
Crew:Fatalities: 2 / Occupants: 3
Passengers:Fatalities: 3 / Occupants: 6
Total:Fatalities: 5 / Occupants: 9
Aircraft damage: Damaged beyond repair
Location:Oxon Hill, MD (   United States of America)
Phase: Approach (APR)
Nature:Domestic Scheduled Passenger
Departure airport:Winston-Salem-Smith-Reynolds Airport, NC (INT/KINT), United States of America
Destination airport:Washington-National Airport, DC (DCA/KDCA), United States of America
Eastern Flight 572 departed Houston, TX on January 12 for a flight to Washington (DCA). Intermediate stops were planned at Atlanta (ATL), Greenville (PGV) and Winston-Salem (INT). At 03:06, January 13, the DC-3 took off from Winston-Salem. It proceeded at the altitude of 9,000 feet to Washington. The crew received several descent instructions and at 04:27, the flight reported its position to the Washington control tower, stating that it was over Doncaster at 3,000 feet. It was instructed by the tower to maintain 2,500 feet, and to report again when it was over Mt. Vernon, 9 miles south of the Washington National Airport. A brief climb was then necessary to 3500 feet in order to maintain enough separation with another Eastern plane which was on a converging course at the same altitude near Mount Vernon. Flight 572 was then cleared back to its previous approach altitude of 2,500 feet. At 04:33, flight 572 was again cleared to the airport by the Washington Tower, and advised to report when leaving 2,500 feet, when leaving Mt. Vernon, and when VFR. At 04:38, the flight was requested to report the altitude of the base of the clouds. The pilot hurriedly responded,"standby." Nothing more was heard from the flight. It appeared that the right wing tip had struck the top of a sycamore tree, 106 feet (32 m) above sea level, collided with two other trees and struck the ground in an inverted position. It came to rest on the extended centerline of runway 36, 5.2 miles (8,3 km) south of the airport.

Probable Cause:

PROBABLE CAUSE: "The Board determines that the probable cause of this accident was the failure of the flight to follow prescribed instrument procedure and to maintain a safe altitude during the course of an instrument approach to the Washington National Airport."

Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: CAB
Status: Investigation completed
Accident number: final report
Download report: Final report

Controlled Flight Into Terrain (CFIT) - Ground

» CAB File No. 1-0003


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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 Winston-Salem-Smith-Reynolds Airport, NC to Washington-National Airport, DC as the crow flies is 410 km (256 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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