ASN Aircraft accident Douglas C-54A-1-DO (DC-4) NC91009 Seattle/Tacoma International Airport, WA (SEA)
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Status:Accident investigation report completed and information captured
Date:Sunday 30 November 1947
Type:Silhouette image of generic DC4 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Douglas C-54A-1-DO (DC-4)
Operator:Alaska Airlines
Registration: NC91009
MSN: 7453
First flight: 1943
Total airframe hrs:5548
Engines: 4 Pratt & Whitney R-2000-7
Crew:Fatalities: 1 / Occupants: 3
Passengers:Fatalities: 7 / Occupants: 25
Total:Fatalities: 8 / Occupants: 28
Ground casualties:Fatalities: 1
Aircraft damage: Damaged beyond repair
Location:Seattle/Tacoma International Airport, WA (SEA) (   United States of America)
Phase: Landing (LDG)
Nature:Domestic Non Scheduled Passenger
Departure airport:Anchorage-Merrill Field, AK (MRI/PAMR), United States of America
Destination airport:Seattle-Boeing Field International Airport, WA (BFI/KBFI), United States of America
Flightnumber: 009
Flight 009 departed from Anchorage at 08:04, November 27, 1947, for Seattle. At 10:33, the flight arrived at Yakutat for a refueling stop, but remained there two days because of unfavorable weather. At 04:14, November 29, the flight departed for Seattle with a refueling stop planned at Port Hardy, Canada. Weather at Port Hardy was below minimums, so the captain decided to turn back and landed at Annette Island at 08:35. The following morning at 10:41 Flight 009 departed from Annette for Seattle. The flight arrived over the Seattle radio range station at 3,000 feet on its initial approach to the Boeing Airport at 13:57. An instrument approach for landing at Boeing Field was made, but not completed because of the low ceiling and visibility, so the flight returned to an altitude of 1,500 feet. The second instrument approach was made for a landing at Seattle-Tacoma Airport's runway 20 which is 5,611 feet long. Because the DC-4 was not properly aligned with the runway, the pilot maneuvered until it touched down left wing-low 2,748 feet beyond the approach end of the runway. The plane did not slow down enough and power was applied to the no. 4 engine to attempt a groundloop. It went off the end of the runway, crossed 229 feet of wet ground, and then rolled down a 24-foot embankment. At the bottom of the embankment it struck a ditch which sheared off the left lending gear and the left wing. The aircraft continued on to the intersection of the Des Moines Highway and South 188th Street where it collided with a moving automobile. Spilled gasoline was ignited, and the wreckage was enveloped in flames.

Probable Cause:

PROBABLE CAUSE: "The Board determines that the probable cause of this accident was the landing of the airplane too far from the approach end of a wet runway and at a speed too great to accomplish a full stop on the runway."

Accident investigation:

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

Runway excursion

» Air Britain Casualty compendium (pt. 47)
» CAB report File No. 1-0094


photo of Douglas-C-54A-NC91009
accident date: 30-11-1947
type: Douglas C-54A (DC-4)
registration: NC91009

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 Anchorage-Merrill Field, AK to Seattle-Boeing Field International Airport, WA as the crow flies is 2296 km (1435 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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