Crash of a Douglas DC-7 on Peak Surveyor: 12 killed

Date & Time: Sep 14, 1979 at 2047 LT
Type of aircraft:
Operator:
Registration:
N4SW
Flight Phase:
Flight Type:
Survivors:
No
Site:
Schedule:
Redmond - Klamath Falls - Medford
MSN:
44287/538
YOM:
1954
Flight number:
Tanker 69
Crew on board:
2
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
10
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
12
Captain / Total flying hours:
8200
Captain / Total hours on type:
475.00
Copilot / Total flying hours:
3500
Copilot / Total hours on type:
250
Aircraft flight hours:
21025
Circumstances:
Using the call sign Tanker 69, the aircraft was on a company business flight from Redmond to Medford with an en route stop at Klamath Falls. At Redmond, about 600 gallons of 100/130-grade fuel were added to the 1,000 gallons on board, 8 employees were enplaned, and the aircraft departed Redmond for Klamath Falls about 1945. The purpose of the flight was to transport Butler employees to an end-of-season barbecue in Medford that had started between 1930 and 2000. Tanker 69 landed at Klamath Falls at 2029. Two additional Butler employees were enplaned, and the aircraft departed runway 14 at 2040. The flightcrew did not file a flight plan and the weather was such that none was required. Witnesses saw the aircraft begin a steep right turn about one mile south of the runway and momentarily disappear from their view behind hangars and airport buildings; it then proceeded on a westerly course. A few minutes later, a pilot located 11 miles west-southwest of the airport saw the aircraft pass overheard an altitude he estimated to be 750 feet above ground level. He said that the aircraft lights were on and that engine sounds were normal. About 2047, witnesses located 25 miles west-northwest of the airport heard sounds, which they first thought to be from a car or truck with loud mufflers. Subsequently, they determined that the sounds were an approaching aircraft. They heard engine sounds become 'choppy', resembling the noise made by a helicopter blade, and saw a fireball on Surveyor Peak, about 3,5 miles south of their location. Weyerhauser Company and Oregon State Forestry Department personnel located about 12 miles from Surveyor Peak also saw the fireball on the peak. After notifying authorities, they took firefighting equipment to the scene. The aircraft crashed at night during hours of darkness at an elevation of about 6,400 feet. The aircraft was totally destroyed and all 12 occupants were killed.
Probable cause:
The flight crew’s decision to undertake a direct point-to-point high-cruise-speed flight at low altitude. The crew’s judgment in the selection of a low-altitude flight profile may have been influenced by their familiarity with the terrain.
Final Report:

Crash of a Douglas DC-7CF in Barstow: 1 killed

Date & Time: Jun 22, 1979 at 2012 LT
Type of aircraft:
Registration:
N357AL
Flight Phase:
Flight Type:
Survivors:
Yes
MSN:
45229/904
YOM:
1957
Crew on board:
2
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
4
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
1
Circumstances:
Just after liftoff from Barstow-Daggett Airport, both engines n°3 and 4 lost power. The crew attempted an emergency landing when the airplane lost height and crashed in flames in an open field. A pilot was killed while five other occupants were injured. The aircraft was destroyed by a post crash fire. Illegal smuggling flight.
Probable cause:
Engine malfunction during initial climb due to inadequate preflight preparation. The following contributing factors were reported:
- Improper fuel grade,
- Improperly loaded aircraft, CofG,
- Failed to abort takeoff,
- Partial loss of power on two engines,
- Forced landing off airport on land,
- 2,981 lbs over maximum gross weight,
- N°3 & 4 engines showed severe detonation damages,
- Fueled with 100 octane,
- Smuggling flight.
Final Report:

Crash of a Douglas DC-7CF near Farmerville: 1 killed

Date & Time: Sep 6, 1978 at 0310 LT
Type of aircraft:
Registration:
N244B
Flight Phase:
Flight Type:
Survivors:
Yes
Schedule:
Willemstad - Almyra
MSN:
44876/673
YOM:
1956
Crew on board:
2
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
4
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
1
Circumstances:
While flying at low altitude in a limited visibility due to the night, the four engine airplane struck tree tops and crashed in a dense wooded area located 3 miles south of Farmerville, LA. The aircraft was destroyed by a post crash fire. Five occupants were injured while a passenger was killed. A load of about 10 tons of marijuana was found in the wreckage.
Probable cause:
Controlled collision with ground after the pilot misjudged altitude and clearance. An inadequate preflight preparation was considered as a contributing factor.
Final Report:

Crash of a Douglas DC-7C in Miami

Date & Time: Apr 30, 1978
Type of aircraft:
Operator:
Registration:
N356AL
Flight Type:
Survivors:
Yes
MSN:
45228
YOM:
1957
Crew on board:
0
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
0
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
0
Circumstances:
Suffered a landing accident at Miami-Intl Airport. There were no injuries but the aircraft was damaged beyond repair.

Crash of a Douglas DC-7CF in South Carolina

Date & Time: Dec 31, 1977
Type of aircraft:
Registration:
N73675
Flight Type:
Survivors:
Yes
MSN:
44878/681
YOM:
1956
Crew on board:
0
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
0
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
0
Circumstances:
Suffered an accident somewhere in South Carolina in 1977 (exact date remains unknown). No casualties.

Crash of a Douglas DC-7BF in Yakutat: 4 killed

Date & Time: Sep 12, 1977 at 0012 LT
Type of aircraft:
Operator:
Registration:
N6314J
Flight Phase:
Flight Type:
Survivors:
No
Schedule:
Yakutat - Anchorage
MSN:
45359/868
YOM:
1957
Location:
Crew on board:
4
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
0
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
4
Circumstances:
Shortly after takeoff from Yakutat Airport, while climbing to a height of 50 feet, one of the engine caught fire. The captain elected to return for an emergency landing when he lost control of the airplane that crashed in flames in a wooded area located 2,5 miles from the airport. The aircraft was destroyed and all four crew members were killed.
Probable cause:
Engine failure during initial climb due to inadequate maintenance and inspection. The following contributing factors were reported:
- Attempted operation with known deficiencies in equipment,
- Powerplant - exhaust system: stacks,
- Valve assemblies,
- Fire in engine,
- Improperly loaded aircraft, weight and CofG,
- Improper emergency procedures,
- Pilot fatigue,
- Aircraft approximately 1,745 pounds over max gross weight,
- Engine not feathered as the autofeather system was not connected,
- 100 octane fuel.
Final Report:

Crash of a Douglas DC-7CF on Mt Kenya: 4 killed

Date & Time: Oct 4, 1976
Type of aircraft:
Registration:
TZ-ARC
Flight Phase:
Flight Type:
Survivors:
No
Site:
Schedule:
Sharjah - Djibouti City - Nairobi
MSN:
45467/970
YOM:
1958
Country:
Region:
Crew on board:
4
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
0
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
4
Circumstances:
While descending to 15,000 feet in limited visibility, the four engine airplane struck the slope of Mt Kenya, about 135 km northeast of Nairobi-Wilson Airport. The wreckage was found few hours later and all four crew members were killed.
Probable cause:
Controlled flight into terrain after the crew initiated a premature descent.

Crash of a Douglas DC-7CF in Luton

Date & Time: Mar 3, 1974 at 0108 LT
Type of aircraft:
Operator:
Registration:
EI-AWG
Flight Type:
Survivors:
Yes
Schedule:
Dublin - Luton
MSN:
45471/965
YOM:
1958
Region:
Crew on board:
4
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
6
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
0
Captain / Total flying hours:
3334
Captain / Total hours on type:
1185.00
Copilot / Total flying hours:
1537
Copilot / Total hours on type:
144
Aircraft flight hours:
27838
Circumstances:
The aircraft was operating a charter flight from Dublin to Luton, loaded with newspapers and equipment necessary for the conveyance of horses back to Dublin. The passengers were six grooms who were intended to accompany the horses on the return flight. During the uneventful flight from Dublin to the Luton area the pilot received a surface wind forecast for Luton of 300/06 knots. At midnight contact was established with Luton Approach. The pilot was given the Luton landing conditions as: 'QNH 1013.5, CAVOK, (ceiling and visibility OK) surface wind practically calm' and asked if he would accept radar positioning for a visual approach to runway 08, to which he agreed. The radar positioning was terminated at 00.04 hrs when the aircraft was cleared to Luton tower frequency with 'Six track miles to run' and the runway in sight. When the pilot contacted Luton Tower at 00.05 hrs, he was cleared to land on runway 08 and given the surface wind as 300 degrees 04 knots. He acknowledged this last transmission and there was no further communication with the aircraft. The evidence indicates that the approach path and speed were normal. The commander did not notice the Indicated Air Speed (IAS) immediately before touchdown but recalled that the initial approach was made at approximately 130 knots IAS reducing to the target threshold speed of 115 knots as the flaps extended. The aircraft touched down at an IAS of 105 knots. The commander was of the opinion that, despite a tendency to float, the aircraft touched down at the correct distance down the runway, and, as soon as it had done so, he called for reverse thrust immediately the aircraft was on the runway. On receiving the commander's order, the engineer selected reverse thrust on numbers 2 and 3 engines followed by numbers 1 and 4 whilst monitoring the engine instruments. The commander was familiar with this method of selecting reverse which was the technique normally used in the company. The flight engineer did not see the blue warning lights illuminate to indicate that the propellers were moving into reverse pitch, he therefore selected Nos 1 and 4 propellers to forward pitch, with throttles closed, in case the reason for the malfunction was an electrical overload due to operation of all four feathering/reversing pumps at low engine rpm. The commander had also noticed that the blue lights had not illuminated and, seeing that Nos 1 and 4 propellers were selected to forward pitch, called 'reverse all engines'. In response to his order the engineer made the required selection and all four throttle levers were seen to be in the reverse quadrant by the operating crew, although no blue lights were noted. The aircraft was not decelerating during this period and that no reverse thrust was achieved. The commander ordered the engineer to 'put them in the middle', thus to cancel the reverse thrust selections. There were two short periods of engine acceleration during the landing roll. The commander assisted by the first officer applied the toe brakes, assessed them to be ineffective and, as the aircraft was still not decelerating, applied the emergency pneumatic brakes by turning the operating handle to 'on'. The commander did not notice any deceleration and, consequently, did not follow the procedure of selecting them alternatively to 'hold' and to 'on'. All four main wheels locked, the tyres burst and further retardation from the brakes was lost. Sparks and smoke were seen emanating from the area of the undercarriage when the aircraft approached the end of the runway. When it became apparent that the aircraft would overrun the runway the commander called to have the 'switches' put to 'OFF'. The flight engineer selected the ignition switches off before the aircraft left the end of the runway and ploughed across the overrun area. It was still travelling fast enough to follow a trajectory off the top of the bank at the end of the runway leaving no wheel marks down the slope. The aircraft stopped in soft ground 90 metres from the end of the runway at the foot of the bank having demolished part of the aerodrome fence and some of the approach lights. All persons on board abandoned the aircraft without delay. As the flight engineer was leaving via the right hand side crew door, he noticed a small fire under the number 3 engine. He returned to the cockpit, pulled the firewall shut-off controls and discharged a fire extinguisher to all four engines.
Probable cause:
Failure to achieve reverse thrust after touchdown and an inadvertent application of forward thrust during the landing roll. The resulting overrun was aggravated by the operation of the emergency pneumatic brakes which resulted in the bursting of all four main wheel tires with consequent loss of braking capacity.
Final Report:

Crash of a Douglas DC-7B in Trinidad

Date & Time: Dec 13, 1973
Type of aircraft:
Registration:
CP-1048
Survivors:
Yes
MSN:
45453/958
YOM:
1958
Country:
Crew on board:
4
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
29
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
0
Circumstances:
Following a normal landing at Trinidad-Jorge Heinrich Arauz Airport, the crew completed a 180 turn followed by a backtrack procedure to join the apron. Doing so, the visibility was reduced by dust which had been raised during the engine reverse operation. The crew failed to realize the aircraft departed the runway to the right when the right wing struck two parked tractors. Fuel tanks were punctured and a fire broke out. The crew immediately stopped the airplane and all 33 occupants evacuated the cabin. There were no injuries but the aircraft was destroyed by fire.

Crash of a Douglas DC-7CF near Miami: 3 killed

Date & Time: Jun 21, 1973 at 0426 LT
Type of aircraft:
Registration:
N296
Flight Phase:
Flight Type:
Survivors:
No
Schedule:
Miami - La Romana
MSN:
45466/955
YOM:
1958
Crew on board:
3
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
0
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
3
Captain / Total flying hours:
10000
Captain / Total hours on type:
3000.00
Copilot / Total flying hours:
1800
Aircraft flight hours:
25827
Circumstances:
The crew was completing a cargo flight from Miami to La Romana on behalf of Warnaco Inc. Shortly after a night takeoff from runway 27L at Miami-Intl Airport, while in initial climb, the crew encountered very bad weather conditions with heavy rain falls and turbulences. The airplane went out of control and crashed nose first in the Everglades National park, about 8,9 NM northwest of the airport. The aircraft was destroyed and all three crew members were killed.
Probable cause:
The loss of aircraft control, due either to turbulence or an in-flight fire or both. Inability of the crew to establish timely radio communications with the departure controller was a factor, because it delayed compliance with thunderstorm avoidance vectors
Final Report: