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Accident description
Last updated: 14 December 2017
Status:
Date:Saturday 25 January 1947
Time:11:41
Type:Silhouette image of generic DC3 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Douglas C-47A-85-DL (DC-3)
Operator:Spencer Airways
Registration: VP-YFD
C/n / msn: 19979
First flight: 1944
Engines: 2 Pratt & Whitney R-1830-92
Crew:Fatalities: 1 / Occupants: 5
Passengers:Fatalities: 11 / Occupants: 18
Total:Fatalities: 12 / Occupants: 23
Airplane damage: Damaged beyond repair
Location:London-Croydon Airport (   United Kingdom)
Phase: Takeoff (TOF)
Nature:International Scheduled Passenger
Departure airport:London-Croydon Airport (-/-), United Kingdom
Destination airport:Roma-Ciampino Airport (CIA/LIRA), Italy
Narrative:
The C-47 had just become airborne when it rolled right and left. The bank angle increased to 40 deg as the C-47 continued in a left turn at low altitude. Level attitude was regained near the airport boundary. The aircraft then swung to the right, bounced and collided head-on with a CSA Douglas C-47 (OK-WDB).
The registration was reportedly mispainted on the aircraft as VP-YFE.

Probable Cause:

PROBABLE CAUSE: "Loss of control by the Captain, who, when attempting to take-off a heavily loaded aircraft in poor visibility allowed it to become airborne in a semi-stalled condition. This must be attributed to an error of flying technique by a pilot who lacked Dakota experience. The possibility that the following were contributory causes cannot be dismissed: 1) The adhesion of some snow and/or frost to the lifting surfaces; 2) The impairment of the pilot's judgement through fatigue."



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Map
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 London-Croydon Airport to Roma-Ciampino Airport as the crow flies is 1425 km (891 miles).
Accident location: Approximate; accuracy within a few kilometers.

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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