ASN Aircraft accident Douglas DC-3-277B NC25684 Burbank-Hollywood, CA
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Status:Accident investigation report completed and information captured
Date:Wednesday 10 January 1945
Type:Silhouette image of generic DC3 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Douglas DC-3-277B
Operator:American Airlines
Registration: NC25684
MSN: 2215
First flight: 1940
Total airframe hrs:14888
Crew:Fatalities: 3 / Occupants: 3
Passengers:Fatalities: 21 / Occupants: 21
Total:Fatalities: 24 / Occupants: 24
Aircraft damage: Destroyed
Aircraft fate: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:near Burbank-Hollywood, CA (   United States of America)
Phase: En route (ENR)
Nature:Domestic Scheduled Passenger
Departure airport:Phoenix-Sky Harbor International Airport, AZ (PHX/KPHX), United States of America
Destination airport:Hollywood-Lockheed Air Terminal, CA (BUR/KBUR), United States of America
After making the standard instrument let-down approach to the Burbank Airport the airplane was observed to cross the airport at the ragged base of the clouds and was seen to start a left turn as if circling for a landing. Soon after making the turn the captain radioed the control tower that he could not maintain visual contact with the ground and as proceeding to his alternate, Palmdale. The United States Weather Bureau observations disclosed that below minimum weather conditions exist at Burbank at the time. The pilot had not been properly advised of the latest weather reports. The plane was not heard from or seen again until after daylight at which time the wreckage was sighted in the nearby foothills approximately 2-3/4 miles northeast of the airport.

Probable Cause:

PROBABLE CAUSE: "The possibility of an accident became a potentiality when the company ground personnel failed to obtain and transmit important weather to the pilot. Failure to obtain and transmit this information to the pilot constitutes negligence on the part of the company. This, however, did not relieve the pilot of his responsibility to conduct a safe flight although it did place him in a disadvantageous position. Had no properly execution the "missed-approach" procedure it is unlikely that the accident would have occurred. The Board, therefore, determines that the probable cause of this accident was "the pilot's attempt to use the standard 'missed-approach' procedure after having followed another course up to a point there it was impossible to apply this procedure safely."

Accident investigation:

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

Controlled Flight Into Terrain (CFIT) - Mountain

» CAB File No. 119-45
» San Mateo Times January 10,1945


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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 Phoenix-Sky Harbor International Airport, AZ to Hollywood-Lockheed Air Terminal, CA as the crow flies is 589 km (368 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
  • 1450th loss
  • 496th fatal accident
  • 11th worst accident (at the time)
  • 132nd worst accident (currently)
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