Date & Time: Jan 14, 1942 at 2000 LT
Type of aircraft:
Douglas B-18 Bolo
Operator:
Registration:
37-619
Flight Phase:
Flight
Survivors:
Yes
Schedule:
Westover - Westover
MSN:
2619
YOM:
1937
Crew on board:
7
Crew fatalities:
2
Pax on board:
0
Pax fatalities:
0
Other fatalities:
0
Total fatalities:
2
Circumstances:
The aircraft left Westover AFB at the end of the afternoon for a maritime patrol flight off the east US coast as a German submarine have been located in this region. After an uneventful mission, the crew returned to his base in the evening. While approaching the coast, the crew noted that weather conditions deteriorated and that visibility was low due to clouds till 4,000 feet. The captain decided to continue the flight under the cloud layer but did not realize that the wind was strong. While cruising by night and in snow falls, the twin engine aircraft hit tree tops and crashed in a wooded area on Mt Waternomee located in the White Mountain National Forest. SAR teams arrived on the scene two hours later and were able to evacuate five injured crew while two others were killed.
Probable cause:
According to US military experts, it appears that the accident was caused by the fact that crew was not conscious of his real position due to poor weather conditions. Crew tought they were approaching Westover AFB by the South as they were approaching by the North due to strong winds. Due to poor weather conditions, all ground beacons and markers were out of service and the visibility was reduced due to the night assiociated to snow falls. In such conditions, the crew did not have any sufficient visual ground or sky heavenly references.