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Last updated: 27 November 2021
Date:Friday 14 September 1979
Type:Silhouette image of generic DC7 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Douglas DC-7
Operator:Butler Aircraft Company
Registration: N4SW
MSN: 44287/538
First flight: 1954
Total airframe hrs:21025
Engines: 4 Wright R-3350
Crew:Fatalities: 2 / Occupants: 2
Passengers:Fatalities: 10 / Occupants: 10
Total:Fatalities: 12 / Occupants: 12
Aircraft damage: Destroyed
Aircraft fate: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:39 km (24.4 mls) NW of Klamath Falls, OR (   United States of America)
Crash site elevation: 1951 m (6401 feet) amsl
Phase: En route (ENR)
Departure airport:Klamath Falls-Kingsley Field, OR (LMT/KLMT), United States of America
Destination airport:Medford (unknown airport), OR, United States of America
Flightnumber: 69
DC-7 "Tanker 69" departed Redmond, OR a company business flight to Medford, OR, with an en route stop at Klamath Falls, OR.
The aircraft struck trees on the crest of Surveyor Mountain and crashed. The aircraft departed Redmond for Klamath Falls about 19:45 and arrived there at 20:29. Two passengers enplaned and the aircraft departed runway 14 at Klamath Falls at 20:40.The aircraft struck trees on the crest of the 6400 feet high Surveyor Mountain about 7 minutes after takeoff.

Probable Cause:

PROBABLE CAUSE: "The flight crew's decision to undertake a direct point-to-point high-cruise-speed flight at low altitude. The crew's judgment in the selection of a low-altitude flight profile may have been influenced by their familiarity with the terrain."

Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: NTSB
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 270 days (9 months)
Accident number: NTSB/AAR-80-09
Download report: Final report

Controlled Flight Into Terrain (CFIT) - Mountain

» NTSB-AR-80-09


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This information is not presented as the Flight Safety Foundation or the Aviation Safety Network’s opinion as to the cause of the accident. It is preliminary and is based on the facts as they are known at this time.
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Douglas DC-7

  • 339 built
  • 62nd loss
  • 23rd fatal accident
  • 12th worst accident
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