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Last updated: 29 November 2021
Date:Friday 24 April 1964
Type:Silhouette image of generic DC7 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Douglas DC-7
Operator:Federal Aviation Agency - FAA
Registration: N68N
MSN: 44275/496
First flight: 1954
Crew:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 0
Passengers:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 0
Total:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 0
Aircraft damage: Destroyed
Aircraft fate: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:Phoenix-Deer Valley Airport, AZ (DVT) (   United States of America)
Phase: Takeoff (TOF)
Departure airport:Phoenix-Deer Valley Airport, AZ (DVT/KDVT), United States of America
Destination airport:-
The DC-7 was used for an experimental crash on takeoff. Fifteen dummies were aboard as the plane was remotely started for takeoff from Deer Valley Airport, AZ (DVT).
It was guided into a series of crash barriers with a monorail nose landing gear guidance system. The aircraft was accelerated under its own power by remote control for a distance of 4000 feet, reaching a velocity of 139 knots.
At the end of this acceleration run, the aircraft impacted against specially designed barriers which removed the landing gear, permitting the aircraft to become airborne until the moment of impact with wing and fuselage crash barriers.
The wing and fuselage barriers were designed to provide the following crash sequence:
First, the left wing was to impact against an earthen mound shaped to produce a simulated wing low accident. At the same time, the right wing was to impact telephone poles implanted vertically to simulate trees. These two types of impact were designed to study problems affecting fuel containment.
Next, the main fuselage was to impact against an 8 degree slope, to produce a crash with an 8 degree angle of impact. This slope was designed so that the aircraft could again become airborne after sliding a short distance along the ground.
Following this, the aircraft was to impact against a 20 degree slope, to simulate a crash with a steeper angle of impact, and come to rest on the face of this slope. These two fuselage impacts were designed to provide data to aid in defining the crash environment in crashes of varying severity, and to provide environmental tests of specific equipment aboard the aircraft.

Probable Cause:

It is concluded that:
1. The method of testing employed in this experiment produced a realistic crash environment. Consequently, the results of individual experiments are valid.
2. In crashes of aircraft with fuel tanks and structure similar to the DC-7 aircraft, the fuel spillage and spray patterns which result
from fuel tank damage will be similar to that obtained in this test, and will, to a large extent, surround the aircraft, both while it is in motion and after it comes to rest.
3. The ignition potential of reciprocating engines is such that any release of either fuel or oil during a crash to the extent experienced in this test may be expected to result in an immediate fire.

Deliberately crashed

» Full-scale dynamic crash test of a Douglas DC-7 aircraft / FAA, FAA-ADS-37


photo of Douglas-DC-7-N68N
accident date: 24-04-1964
type: Douglas DC-7
registration: N68N
photo of Douglas-DC-7-N68N
accident date: 24-04-1964
type: Douglas DC-7
registration: N68N
photo of Douglas-DC-7-N68N
accident date: 24-04-1964
type: Douglas DC-7
registration: N68N
languages: languages