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Date:Wednesday 29 August 1956
Type:Silhouette image of generic DC6 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Douglas DC-6B
Operator:Canadian Pacific Air Lines - CPAL
Registration: CF-CUP
MSN: 43843/324
First flight: 1953
Engines: 4 Pratt & Whitney R-2800
Crew:Fatalities: 4 / Occupants: 8
Passengers:Fatalities: 11 / Occupants: 14
Total:Fatalities: 15 / Occupants: 22
Aircraft damage: Damaged beyond repair
Location:Cold Bay, AK (   United States of America)
Phase: Approach (APR)
Nature:International Scheduled Passenger
Departure airport:Vancouver International Airport, BC (YVR/CYVR), Canada
Destination airport:Cold Bay Airport, AK (CDB/PACD), United States of America
Flightnumber: 307
Canadian Pacific Flight 307 (a DC-6 named "Empress of Mexico City") took off from Vancouver at 13:47 BST for a flight to Hong Kong with stops at Cold Bay and Tokyo. Cold Bay weather reported to the crew was indefinite ceiling, 500 feet sky obscured; visibility 1,5 miles; light drizzle, fog; temperature 47F; dewpoint 46F; wind WNW 21 knots. At 20:35 the crew reported over the Cold Bay range station outbound on a standard instrument approach to runway 14. The procedure turn inbound was completed at 20:42. When the aircraft broke through the clouds it may have been too close in and high. Combined with an excessive groundspeed due to quartering tailwind, this may have caused the pilot-in-command to decide to go-around.
Power was applied and flaps raised fully (instead of retracted to 20 degrees). The aircraft then struck the ground in a descending left turn and caught fire.

Probable Cause:

PROBABLE CAUSE: "The full retraction of the wing flaps at low altitude during a circling approach without necessary corrective action being taken by the crew."

» ICAO Accident Digest No.8, Circular 54-AN/49 (123-125)


photo of Douglas-DC-6B-CF-CUP
accident date: 29-08-1956
type: Douglas DC-6B
registration: CF-CUP
photo of Douglas-DC-6B-CF-CUP
accident date: 29-08-1956
type: Douglas DC-6B
registration: CF-CUP

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 Vancouver International Airport, BC to Cold Bay Airport, AK as the crow flies is 2717 km (1698 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-6

  • 704 built
  • 29th loss
  • 23rd fatal accident
  • 20th worst accident (at the time)
  • 47th worst accident (currently)
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