Saturday, 27th of December, 1947
An Air India Douglas C-48C (DC-3), registration VT-AUG, operating a domestic scheduled passenger flight from Karachi International Airport (KHI/OPKC), Pakistan, to Bombay-Santacruz Airport (BOM/VABB), India, crashed into Korangi Creek, Pakistan.
The four crew and nineteen passengers perished. (23 fatalities)
The crash remains the 15th deadliest crash on Pakistani soil.
The aircraft was on a return flight from Karachi to Bombay at night. Just prior to flight the captain called the mechanic to the cockpit because of an instrument light failure. Fuses were changed and the lights operated satisfactorily. Shortly afterwards the captain again called for the mechanic, as only one landing light would operate, but he decided, however, to conduct the flight with only this one light. The captain remarked he thought he could smell burning.
Weather conditions at the time were wind west 10-15 kts, gusty, dust haze, visibility horizontally 1,100 yards to one mile, vertically and obliquely bad. About ten minutes after takeoff the aircraft was seen to be gradually losing height over the marine base at Karachi and crashed nearby with engines under power, hitting the ground at an angle of 30 degrees whilst in a violent side slip to starboard. All nineteen passengers and four crew were killed.
This aircraft had experienced a considerable amount of trouble with its electrical equipment with a large number of fuses and bulbs replaced, also there had been an unusual number of instrument replacements.
– Cause: “The captain losing control in conditions of bad visibility resulting in the aircraft flying into the ground. The loss of control was most likely caused by inadequate illumination of the flying instruments due to faults in the lighting system. The captain was seriously at fault in deciding to takeoff for a night flight in bad visibility after his instrument panel lighting had proved unserviceable, and before a thorough check be made.”