Date & Time: Jan 16, 1942 at 1920 LT
Type of aircraft:
Douglas DC-3
Operator:
Registration:
NC1946
Flight Phase:
Flight
Survivors:
No
Schedule:
New York – Saint Louis – Albuquerque – Winslow – Las Vegas – Burbank – Los Angeles
MSN:
3295
YOM:
1941
Flight number:
TW003
Crew on board:
3
Crew fatalities:
3
Pax on board:
19
Pax fatalities:
19
Other fatalities:
0
Total fatalities:
22
Captain / Total flying hours:
12024
Captain / Total hours on type:
3500
Copilot / Total flying hours:
1330
Copilot / Total hours on type:
650
Circumstances:
About fifteen minutes after take off from Las Vegas Airport, while leveling off by night, the aircraft hit the slope of Mt Potosi located 51 km southwest of Las Vegas. All 22 occupants were killed. At the time of the accident, the aircraft was cruising at an altitude of 7,700 feet while the summit of the mountain is about 8,500 feet. The visibility was reduced by night. Among the victims was the American actress Carole Lombard, aged 33.
Crew:
Wayne C. Williams, pilot,
M. A. Gillette, copilot,
Alice Frances Getz, stewardess.
Source & photos:
http://www.lostflights.com/Commercial-Aviation/11642-TWA-TWA-Douglas-DC-3/5007934_mqCvFr
Probable cause:
Upon the basis of the foregoing findings and of the entire record available at this time, investigation board found that the probable cause of the accident was the failure of the captain after departure from Las Vegas to follow the proper course by making use of the navigational facilities available to him.
Contributing factors:
- The use of an erroneous compass course,
- Blackout of most of the beacons in the neighborhood of the accident,
- Failure of the pilot to comply with TWA's directive of July 17, 1941, issued in accordance with a suggestion from the Administrator of Civil Aeronautics requesting pilots to confine their flight movements to the actual on-course signals.
Final Report:
NC1946.pdf1.44 MB