ASN Aircraft accident Douglas DC-3A-197 NC16074 Knight, WY
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Status:Accident investigation report completed and information captured
Date:Sunday 17 October 1937
Type:Silhouette image of generic DC3 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Douglas DC-3A-197
Operator:United Airlines
Registration: NC16074
MSN: 1914
First flight: 1936
Crew:Fatalities: 3 / Occupants: 3
Passengers:Fatalities: 16 / Occupants: 16
Total:Fatalities: 19 / Occupants: 19
Aircraft damage: Destroyed
Aircraft fate: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:32 km (20 mls) S of Knight, WY (   United States of America)
Crash site elevation: 3048 m (10000 feet) amsl
Phase: En route (ENR)
Nature:Domestic Scheduled Passenger
Departure airport:Cheyenne Airport, WY (CYS/KCYS), United States of America
Destination airport:Salt Lake City Municipal Airport, UT (SLC/KSLC), United States of America
Flightnumber: 1
A Douglas DC-3A passenger plane, operating United Air Lines Trip 1, was destroyed when it crashed into slope of Haydens Peak, WY on the Humpy Ridge. All 19 on board were killed.
Trip 1 originated in Newark, NJ at 08:00 EST, and was scheduled to terminate at Oakland, CA at 01:18 PST. Several intermediate stops were planned. The flight departed Cheyenne Airport, WY (CYS) at 18:26 MST.
Adverse weather conditions existed along the route to Salt Lake City Municipal Airport, UT (SLC). Trip 1 encountered light to moderate snow and light rime ice. About 21:00 local time, the airplane was over mountainous terrain and flew into the side of a mountain at an elevation of about 10.000 feet. The wreckage was located the following morning.

Probable Cause:

It is the opinion of the Investigating Board that the probable cause of this accident was a combination of the following three factors:
(1) Static conditions encountered in the last portion of the flight which rendered the reception of radio range signals unintelligible;
(2) The continuation of the flight into mountainous country at an altitude below the higher mountains without the aid of ground visibility or radio signals to definitely identify position;
(3) A change in the weather caused by the approach of an unpredicted cold front.

Accident investigation:

Investigating agency: CAB
Status: Investigation completed
Accident number: final report
Download report: Final report

Controlled Flight Into Terrain (CFIT) - Mountain

» CAB Report


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This map shows the airport of departure and the intended destination of the flight. The line between the airports does not display the exact flight path.
Distance from Cheyenne Airport, WY to Salt Lake City Municipal Airport, UT as the crow flies is 599 km (374 miles).

This information is not presented as the Flight Safety Foundation or the Aviation Safety Network’s opinion as to the cause of the accident. It is preliminary and is based on the facts as they are known at this time.
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Douglas DC-3

  • ca 13.000 built
  • 6th loss
  • 4th fatal accident
  • The worst accident (at the time)
  • 256th worst accident (currently)
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