Accident Douglas C-47A-90-DL (DC-3C) N63439,
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Date:Friday 6 April 1951
Type:Silhouette image of generic DC3 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different    
Douglas C-47A-90-DL (DC-3C)
Owner/operator:Southwest Airways
Registration: N63439
MSN: 20229
Year of manufacture:1944
Total airframe hrs:8132 hours
Engine model:Pratt & Whitney R-1830-92
Fatalities:Fatalities: 22 / Occupants: 22
Aircraft damage: Destroyed, written off
Location:Refugio Pass, CA -   United States of America
Phase: En route
Nature:Passenger - Scheduled
Departure airport:Santa Maria Airport, CA (KSMX)
Destination airport:Santa Barbara Municipal Airport, CA (SBA/KSBA)
Investigating agency: CAB
Confidence Rating: Accident investigation report completed and information captured
Southwest Airways Flight 7 originated at San Francisco, for Los Angeles, with stops scheduled at San Jose, Watsonville, Monterey, Paso Robles, San Lois Obispo, Santa Maria, Santa Barbara, and Oxnard. Departure from San Francisco was 18:00, 15 minutes behind schedule. Flight 7 proceeded in a routine manner and landed at Santa Maria at 20:10. All previous scheduled stops had been made with the exception of the one at San Luis Obispo which was passed over because of local weather. Departure from Santa Maria was at 20:18, 12 minutes behind schedule. Two minutes after takeoff from Santa Maria the flight radioed its on and off times to and from that station and gave an estimated arrival time of 20:39 at Santa Barbara. This was the last radio contact with the flight. The crew should have used the 4000 feet minimum altitude to remain VFR above the clouds, but instead where at 2740 feet MSL in instrument conditions. The aircraft struck the gradually rising slope of a ridge.

PROBABLE CAUSE: "The failure of the flight, for undetermined reasons, to maintain the specified minimum en route altitude of 4000ft for the route being flown."

Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: CAB
Report number: final report
Status: Investigation completed
Download report: Final report


CAB File No: 1-0019
ICAO Aircraft Accident Digest No.2, Circular 24-AN/21 (87-89)

Revision history:


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