Date & Time: Nov 4, 1944 at 1730 LT
Type of aircraft:
Scheduled Revenue Flight
San Francisco – Burbank - New York
United States of America
Crew on board:
Pax on board:
Aircraft flight hours:
Flight 8 took off at 1600 and proceeded according to plan to a cruising altitude of 10,000 feet for Burbank on an instrument clearance. It reported over Fresno on schedule cruising at 10,000 feet and estimated Bakersfield at 1735. At 1712 the crew was last contacted by the company and given a routine message which was acknowledged. Thereafter, at intervals of a few minutes, numerous unsuccessful attempts were made to contact the flight. At no time did the captain report any difficulty with the airplane or comment on the weather. While cruising in poor weather conditions (thunderstorm and severe turbulence), the aircraft went out of control, got inverted and dove into the ground prior to crash in a field. All 24 occupants were killed.
On the basis of all the evidence available the Board determines that the probable cause of this accident was the failure of the airplane's structure as a result of severe turbulence, in important contributing cause was the fact that the airplane was undoubtedly in an abnormal attitude of flight, i.e., inverted, at the instant of structural failure. The cause of the airplane becoming inverted has not been determined.