ASN Aircraft accident Douglas C-124A Globemaster II 51-149 Iwo Jima Air Base (IWO)
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Date:Sunday 20 November 1955
Type:Douglas C-124A Globemaster II
Operator:United States Air Force - USAF
Registration: 51-149
MSN: 43483
First flight:
Engines: 4 Pratt & Whitney R-4360-20WA
Crew:Fatalities: 9 / Occupants: 9
Passengers:Fatalities: 2 / Occupants: 2
Total:Fatalities: 11 / Occupants: 11
Aircraft damage: Destroyed
Aircraft fate: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:Iwo Jima Air Base (IWO) (   Japan)
Crash site elevation: 115 m (377 feet) amsl
Phase: Initial climb (ICL)
Departure airport:Iwo Jima Air Base (IWO/RJAW), Japan
Destination airport:Tachikawa Air Base (RJTC), Japan
A Douglas C-124A Globemaster II transport plane operated on a routine mission from Tachikawa Air Base, Japan to Iwo Jima Air Base and back. The flight to Iwo Jima was uneventful.
After 24,892 lb of cargo had been loaded on the plane, the crew received clearance to take off from runway 07. Runway 07 was a 9800 feet long asphalt runway. The airplane lifted off the ground at 3500 feet from the approach end of the runway. The undercarriage was retracted and the airplane reached 100 feet at 6600 feet down the runway. At this time the aircraft was observed making a violent bank to the left with a change in engine sound. The left wing pod made initial contact with the ground, tearing itself from the aircraft. The aircraft continued in a left turn and dived into the ground 6950 feet from the approach end and 296 feet left of the runway. The aircraft was consumed by fire. One passenger surived the crash, but died of his injuries on December 6, 1955.

Probable Cause:

It is believed an electrical short in the nr.1 engine propeller system caused the reverse circuit to be energized forcing the blades past the low limit electrical stop to the maximum reverse blade angle against the mechanical stop.


Engine reverse issue
Loss of control

» Fred Watkins
» US Crashes 1950-2002 / Jan van Waarde
» The Victoria Advocate - Nov 20, 1955


photo of Douglas-C-124A-Globemaster-II-51-149
accident date: 20-11-1955
type: Douglas C-124A Globemaster II
registration: 51-149

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 Iwo Jima Air Base to Tachikawa Air Base as the crow flies is 1220 km (763 miles).
Accident location: Exact; deduced from official accident report.

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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