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Date:Friday 7 January 1949
Type:Silhouette image of generic DC4 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Douglas C-54G-5-DO (DC-4)
Operator:United States Air Force - USAF
Registration: 45-543
MSN: 35996
First flight: 1945
Crew:Fatalities: 4 / Occupants: 4
Passengers:Fatalities: 2 / Occupants: 2
Total:Fatalities: 6 / Occupants: 6
Aircraft damage: Damaged beyond repair
Location:near Garstang (   United Kingdom)
Phase: En route (ENR)
Departure airport:Frankfurt-Rhein-Main AFB (FRF/EDAF), Germany
Destination airport:Burtonwood Airport (BUT/EGOB), United Kingdom
Douglas Skymaster 45-543 was participating in the Berlin Airlift. To undergo its 200 hour maintenance inspection, the airplane was to be ferried to Burtonwood (BUT). The aircraft took taken off at 13:12 from Rhein-Main AFB (FRF). The flight was uneventful and the pilot was cleared to make a VFR approach to Burtonwood. The airplane descended through the cloud and flew into the face of Stake House Fell. Investigation revealed that a strong signal from commercial radio station North of the Burtonwood base was interfering with the Burtonwood Range signal, causing the radio compass on board aircraft to continue to indicate that the base was to their North even after they had passed to the North of the Range Station.

» C-54 Skymaster 45-543 - Stake House Fell - 7th January 1949
» The Unheralded: Men and Women of the Berlin Blockade and Airlift/Edwin Gere


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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 Frankfurt-Rhein-Main AFB to Burtonwood Airport as the crow flies is 852 km (532 miles).
Accident location: Global; accuracy within tens or hundreds of kilometers.

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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