73 Years ago today: On 23 February 1945 an American Airlines Douglas DC-3-277 flew into a mountain near Rural Retreat, VA; killing 17 of the 22 occupants.
|Date:||Friday 23 February 1945|
|C/n / msn:||2138|
|Total airframe hrs:||17296|
|Engines:||2 Wright R-1820-G102|
|Crew:||Fatalities: 2 / Occupants: 3|
|Passengers:||Fatalities: 15 / Occupants: 19|
|Total:||Fatalities: 17 / Occupants: 22|
|Airplane damage:||Damaged beyond repair|
|Location:||9 km (5.6 mls) SW of Rural Retreat, VA ( United States of America)|
|Phase:||En route (ENR)|
|Nature:||Domestic Scheduled Passenger|
|Departure airport:||Washington-National Airport, DC (DCA/KDCA), United States of America|
American Airlines Flight 3 en route from New York to Los Angeles departed at 21:39 on February 22, 1945. Departure from Washington had been at 00:11 on February 23. The last radio message from the flight was at 02:05 at 4,000 feet over Pulaski, Virginia. The DC-3 continued, passing through rain and clouds and encountering considerable turbulence. The airplane flew over mountainous terrain and struck the wooded summit of Glade Mountain at approx 3910 feet amsl.
PROBABLE CAUSE: “The pilot’s failure to properly plan the flight and remain at a safe instrument altitude under existing conditions. A contributing cause of the accident was the company’s laxity in dispatching and supervising the flight.”