ASN Aircraft accident Douglas DC-3-216 N142D New Orleans International Airport, LA (MSY)
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Status:Accident investigation report completed and information captured
Date:Thursday 20 March 1969
Type:Silhouette image of generic DC3 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Douglas DC-3-216
Operating for:W. Jackson
Leased from:Avion Airways
Registration: N142D
MSN: 1946
First flight: 1937
Crew:Fatalities: 3 / Occupants: 3
Passengers:Fatalities: 13 / Occupants: 24
Total:Fatalities: 16 / Occupants: 27
Aircraft damage: Damaged beyond repair
Location:New Orleans International Airport, LA (MSY) (   United States of America)
Phase: Approach (APR)
Nature:Domestic Non Scheduled Passenger
Departure airport:Memphis International Airport, TN (MEM/KMEM), United States of America
Destination airport:New Orleans International Airport, LA (MSY/KMSY), United States of America
William Jackson of Travel Associates leased DC-3 N142D from Avion Airways for the purpose of transporting sportsmen from Memphis to Belize. The aircraft departed Memphis at 04:36 on an IFR flight to New Orleans. At 06:35 the crew contacted New Orleans approach control: "... out of three point four for three thousand." The approach controller told the crew to maintain 3000 feet and proceed direct to the ILS outer compass locator. He gave the weather as "sky partially obscured visibility 1/16 fog and smoke, altimeter 30.00, runway 10 runway visual range less than 600 feet". The pilot elected to carry out the approach despite the fact that minimum visibility for an approach was 2400 feet and that the centerline lights were inoperative. After being given vectors for the runway 10 approach he decided to carry out a low pass and continue if runway lights became visible. Apparently the pilot continued the descent. The aircraft contacted the runway very hard 1198 feet past the threshold, bounced and after power was applied, the DC-3 struck the ground again 3100 feet further on. The airplane cartwheeled and caught fire.

Probable Cause:

PROBABLE CAUSE: "The controlled descent of the aircraft into known below minima weather conditions and the failure of the crew to discontinue the landing attempt upon reaching the decision height. Contributing to the cause are existing regulations which permit an approach to be initiated in conditions well below minima, lack of clarity in the regulations in describing missed approach procedures while following visual cues to the runway, misinterpretation by the crew of information received from the approach controller (in this case, the legality of landing in low visibility conditions), improper crew action at the time of initial runway contact , and poor crew judgement partially induced by fatigue, and the lack of management required for such an operation."

Accident investigation:

Investigating agency: NTSB
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 300 days (10 months)
Accident number: NTSB/AAR-70-03
Download report: Final report

Insufficient rest / fatigue
Controlled Flight Into Terrain (CFIT) - Ground

Follow-up / safety actions
Three safety recommendations were issued with regards landing minima. One of the recommendation stated that FAR 91.117 be amended to the effect that no descent below 200ft shall be performed unless landing minima are present.

NTSB issued 1 Safety Recommendation

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photo of Douglas-DC-3-216-N142D
accident date: 20-03-1969
type: Douglas DC-3-216
registration: N142D

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 Memphis International Airport, TN to New Orleans International Airport, LA as the crow flies is 558 km (349 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
  • 3949th loss
  • 1568th fatal accident
  • 295th worst accident (at the time)
  • 334th worst accident (currently)
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