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Aviation Accident


NTSB Identification: DCA86AA012
The docket is stored on NTSB microfiche number 29185.
Accident occurred Tuesday, December 31, 1985 in DEKALB, TX
Aircraft: DOUGLAS DC-3, registration: N711Y
Injuries: 7 Fatal, 2 Serious.
AT 1708:48, WHILE CRUISING AT 6000', A PILOT OF N711Y ADVISED ATC, 'I THINK I'D LIKE TO TURN AROUND, HEAD FOR TEXARKANA HERE, I'VE GOT A LITTLE PROBLEM.' HE WAS PROVIDED A VECTOR & ADVISED OF CLOSEST AIRPORTS. SHORTLY AFTER, HE STATED HE WOULD BE UNABLE TO REACH THE AIRPORTS. AT 1711:49, HE SAID THERE WAS SMOKE IN THE COCKPIT. WHILE LANDING IN A FIELD AT 1714, THE AIRCRAFT HIT WIRES & A POLE THEN CONTINUED INTO TREES WHERE IT WAS EXTENSIVELY DAMAGED BY IMPACT & FIRE. THE CREW EGRESSED THRU THE COCKPIT WINDOWS. THE PASSENGERS DID NOT ESCAPE. DURING FLIGHT, THE CREW WAS UNABLE TO START THE CABIN HEATER; DESPITE REPEATED ATTEMPTS BY THE CAPTAIN. SMOKE THEN ENTERED THE CABIN. FRESH AIR VENTS & COCKPIT WINDOWS WERE OPENED, BUT SMOKE BECAME DENSE. THE CREW HAD DIFFICULTY SEEING. THE OXYGEN SYSTEM & HAND HELD FIRE EXTINGUISHERS WERE NOT USED. FASTENERS FOR THE HEATER DOOR WERE FOUND UNFASTENED. EXAMINATION INDICATED THE FIRE ORIGINATED IN THE AFTCABIN AREA, RIGHT HAND SIDE, AT OR NEAR THE FLOOR LINE. THE IGNITION AND FUEL SOURCES WERE NOT DETERMINED.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:

  • FUSELAGE,CABIN..FIRE
  • REASON FOR OCCURRENCE UNDETERMINED

Contributing Factors:
  • FUSELAGE,CABIN..SMOKE
  • FUSELAGE,CREW COMPARTMENT..SMOKE
  • EMERGENCY PROCEDURE..NOT FOLLOWED..PILOT IN COMMAND
  • CHECKLIST..NOT USED
  • OXYGEN SYSTEM..NOT USED
  • OBJECT..WIRE,TRANSMISSION
  • OBJECT..UTILITY POLE
  • TERRAIN CONDITION..TREE(S)
Full narrative is not available