Page:Aviation Accident Report, Western Air Lines Flight 1.pdf/2

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File No. 2905-42
Docket No. SA-78

Flight No. 1 of Western Air Lines, en route from Salt Lake City, Utah, to Burbank, California, via Las Vegas, Nevada, met with an accident approximately 3 miles southeast of Fairfield, Utah, at about 1:22 a.m. (MWT)[1] on December 15, 1942. Thirteen passengers and four crew members were fatally injured; while the remaining two passengers were seriously injured. The Douglas DC3A aircraft, NC 16060, operating in scheduled air carrier service, was completely demolished.


The Santa Monica Office of the Civil Aeronautics Board (hereinafter referred to as the Board) received notification at approximately 9:30 a.m. on December 15 that the aircraft was missing and after the wrecked aircraft was located, the Board immediately initiated an investigation in accordance with the provisions of Section 702(a)(2) of the Civil Aeronautics Act of 1938, as amended (hereinafter referred to as the Act). An air safety investigator of the Board arrived at the scene of the accident about 12:30 a.m., December 16. The wreckage of the airliner had been roped off and was under guard of the State Police and an armed guard of the United States Army. The Army guard remained there until December 17, the State Police until December 19, when civilian guards were employed and guarded the wreckage until the completion of the investigation.


In connection with the investigation, a public hearing was held in Salt Lake City, Utah, on December 21 and 22, 1942. Mr William K. Andrews, Chief, Investigation Section, Safety Bureau of the Board, served as presiding officer, and the following personnel of the Safety Bureau participated in the hearing: R. A. Reed, Senior Air Safety Investigator; A. E. Cabana, Air Safety Investigator; and W. E. Koneczny, Aircraft Specialist. Upon the basis of all the evidence accumulated during the investigation, the Board now makes its report, in accordance with the provisions of the Act.

Air Carrier

At the time of the accident Western Air Lines, Inc.,[2] a Delaware corporation, was operating as an air carrier under a certificate of public convenience and necessity and an air carrier operating certificate, both issued pursuant to the Act. These certificates authorized it to engage in air transportation with respect to persons, property and mail-between various points, including Burbank, California, Las Vegas, Nevada, and Salt Lake City, Utah.

  1. All time referred to herein is Mountain War Time, unless otherwise specified.
  2. Hereinafter referred to as "Western"