74 Years ago today: On 18 November 1947 an AB Trafik-Turist-Transportflyg Bristol 170 struck a mountain in Italy, killing 21 out of 25 occupants.

Date:Tuesday 18 November 1947
Type:Silhouette image of generic B170 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Bristol 170 Freighter XI
Operator:AB Trafik-Turist-Transportflyg
First flight:
Crew:Fatalities: / Occupants: 4
Passengers:Fatalities: / Occupants: 21
Total:Fatalities: 21 / Occupants: 25
Aircraft damage:Damaged beyond repair
Location:Santa Maria del Monte (   Italy)
Phase:En route (ENR)
Nature:Domestic Non Scheduled Passenger
Departure airport:Catania-Fontanarossa Airport (CTA/LICC), Italy
Destination airport:Roma-Ciampino Airport (CIA/LIRA), Italy

The Bristol 170 was chartered to return Swedish pilots back home from Ethiopia. They had ferried a group of SAAB B 17 bombers to Addis Ababa and were returning to Sweden. The airplane departed Catania (CTA) on the Island of Sicily at 14:28 for an over sea flight to Rome. After passing the Island of Stromboli, the aircraft strayed off course. Flying in clouds at 1040 m the Bristol touched treetops on Monte Carro. Trying to climb away, the pilot found himself on a collision course with the Santa Maria del Monte peak. While making a 180 degree turn, the left wing struck Monte Carro and was torn off, causing the aircraft to crash.

Probable Cause:

PROBABLE CAUSE: “There is no reason to believe that the engines or instrument were not operating normally. The cause of the accident must have been the pilot’s failure to realize that his craft was in mountainous territory. The surviving passengers could not give an account of what happened immediately prior to the accident as they all were asleep when it occurred.”