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Last updated: 19 October 2021
Date:Sunday 9 December 1956
Time:ca 19:10
Type:Canadair DC-4M2 North Star
Operator:Trans-Canada Air Lines - TCAL
Registration: CF-TFD
MSN: 128
First flight:
Engines: 4 Rolls-Royce Merlin 622
Crew:Fatalities: 3 / Occupants: 3
Passengers:Fatalities: 59 / Occupants: 59
Total:Fatalities: 62 / Occupants: 62
Aircraft damage: Damaged beyond repair
Location:Mount Slesse, BC (   Canada)
Phase: En route (ENR)
Nature:Domestic Scheduled Passenger
Departure airport:Vancouver International Airport, BC (YVR/CYVR), Canada
Destination airport:Calgary Municipal Airport, AB (YYC/CYYC), Canada
Flightnumber: 810-9
Flight 810-9 departed Vancouver at 18:10 and was cleared by Air Traffic Control to Calgary via Mud Bay, Abbotsford and Cultus Lake (Red 75 and Red 44). The flight made the normal position reports giving altitude and reported icing beginning at 16000 feet, moderate turbulence 16000 feet to 18000 feet, heavy jolts at 19000 feet and at 18:48 requested clearance to 21000 feet. At 18:52, Flight 810 reported a fire in the no. 2 engine, that this engine had been shut down and that the aircraft was returning to Vancouver via Cultus and Abbotsford. Shortly afterwards the flight reported difficulty in maintaining height and requested clearance to descend on Green 1. The last altitude reported by Flight 810 was just above 15000 feet which would be maintained if possible. At 19:10 hours Flight 810 reported passing Hope, the altitude was not given but clearance to descend to 10000 feet was requested. ATC cleared Flight 810 to cross the Vancouver range at 8000 feet or above. Flight 810 acknowledged and this was the last radio contact. Nothing more was heard of the aircraft until a part was discovered by mountaineers on 12 May 1957, when they were climbing Mt. Slesse, at approximately the 7600-foot level, adjacent to the third highest peak.

Probable Cause:

PROBABLE CAUSE: "The cause for the aircraft being at an altitude low enough to strike Mount Slesse is undetermined, but there is a high probability that the aircraft, while flying on 3 engines, encountered either severe icing, turbulence, subsidence, or a combination of all three, or suffered some other difficulty of such a sudden or dire nature that the crew were unable to communicate with any agency or control the aircraft. For undetermined reasons the aircraft was not on Green Airway No. 1 to which it had been cleared by Air Traffic Control. The following factors contributed to the accident: a) Loss of engine power No. 2 engine shut-down, fire suspected.; b) Existence in the area of known subsidence, severe turbulence, and moderate to severe icing probably in the lower levels."

Controlled Flight Into Terrain (CFIT) - Mountain

» ICAO Accident Digest No.9, Circular 56-AN/51 (16-25)

Follow-up / safety actions
It was recommended a.o. that pilots be encouraged to dump fuel in emergency situations.


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This map shows the airport of departure and the intended destination of the flight. The line between the airports does not display the exact flight path.
Distance from Vancouver International Airport, BC to Calgary Municipal Airport, AB as the crow flies is 681 km (426 miles).
Accident location: Approximate; accuracy within a few kilometers.

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