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Accident description
Last updated: 12 December 2017
Status:
Date:Tuesday 6 March 1962
Time:14:15
Type:Silhouette image of generic DC3 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Douglas C-47B-30-DK (DC-3)
Operator:South African Airways - SAA
Registration: ZS-DJC
C/n / msn: 32937/16189
First flight: 1945
Engines: 2 Pratt & Whitney R-1830-90C
Crew:Fatalities: 2 / Occupants: 4
Passengers:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 3
Total:Fatalities: 2 / Occupants: 7
Airplane damage: Damaged beyond repair
Location:11 km (6.9 mls) N of Seymour (   South Africa)
Phase: En route (ENR)
Nature:Domestic Scheduled Passenger
Departure airport:Grahamstown (FAGT), South Africa
Destination airport:Queenstown Airport (UTW/FAQT), South Africa
Flightnumber: 512
Narrative:
The DC-3 passenger plane operated flight SA-512 from Cape Town to Collondale, South Africa with several intermediate stops.
According to the co-pilot the aircraft flew below the clouds at about 300-500 ft above the ground. It was the pilot-in-command's intention to fly through the Katberg Pass below cloud and as the aircraft approached the mountains the cloud ceiling became lower and the pilot was faced with a critical situation. He called for METO (maximum except takeoff) power and in an attempt to clear the hills the right wing first made contact with the trees and then the right engine propeller cut into the rising ground.
The aircraft came to rest against a rock face approximately 250 yd from the initial point of impact with the trees and approximately 500 ft from the top of the hill.

Probable Cause:

PROBABLE CAUSE: "The accident was attributed to an error of judgement on the part of the pilot-in-command who attempted low visual flight, beneath the cloud base, near mountains in deteriorating weather conditions."

Sources:
» ICAO Accident Digest No.14 Volume I, Circular 71-AN/63 (18-20)


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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 Grahamstown to Queenstown Airport as the crow flies is 155 km (97 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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