Bureau of Aircraft Accidents Archives
Bureau d'Archives des Accidents d'Avions

Crash of a Douglas C-47A-90-DL near Limone Piemonte: 21 killed

Accident description

  • Oct 24, 1954 at 1750 LT
  • 43-16044
  • Flight
  • Military
  • No
  • Mountains
  • Rome – Lyon – Manston
  • 20510
  • 1944
  • Limone Piemonte, Piedmont
  • Italy
  • Europe
  • 3
  • 3
  • 18
  • 18
  • 0
  • 21
  • The aircraft left Rome-Ciampino Airport in the afternoon on a flight to Manston, Kent, with an intermediate stop at Lyon-Bron Airport. While cruising at an altitude of 8,500 feet over the Italian Alps, the crew encountered poor weather conditions when the airplane hit the slope of a mountain at 1750LT. As it failed to arrive in Lyon, SAR operations were conducted but the wreckage was found a week later only in an isolated area located about 12 km west of Limone Piemonte, east of the Argentera Mountain Range. The aircraft was destroyed upon impact and all 21 occupants have been killed.
  • It was determined that the crew failed to prepare the flight properly and according to procedures. For unknown reason, the altitude mentioned on the flight plan was 8,200 feet, which is insufficient to pass over the Alps. A gap of 13 degrees was also noted on the heading (flight path), maybe due to the fact that the crew mistook the Poretta and Bastia beacons, close to each other. Also, it was noted that a wind was blowing at 45 knots from the southwest, which probably contributed to deviate the aircraft from the prescribed flight path.