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19th of June 2010

Updated: Jun 19

A 1944-built Douglas C-47 was scheduled to carry out a 35-minute sightseeing flight from (and back to) Berlin Schoenefeld Airport (Germany) with a crew of three, and 25 passengers. After the necessary checklists were completed, and the start clearance received, the engines (Pratt & Whitney R-1830-92) were started. The right-hand engine first, followed by the left-hand engine.

The aircraft in its final position (© Mike Schulz)


5 minutes later taxi clearance was received and the aircraft started to taxi to Runway 25. While approaching the runway ATC cleared the aircraft for immediate take-off. The throttles were advanced by the first officer (pilot flying) to get 30 inches of manifold pressure, when this was reached the throttles were pushed forward until the manifold pressure was 41 inches as the aircraft accelerated down the runway. The tail lifted off and at a speed of 85 knots, the aircraft lifted off the runway. When a positive rate of climb was indicated the first officer called for gear retraction. As the captain leaned forward to select the gear up, a series of loud bangs were heard from the lefthand engine. A loss of power in the left engine became apparent, the captain check the engine instruments and noticed all left-hand engine instruments indicated full deflection momentarily, all indications then returned to normal. With the exception of the manifold pressure, which was down to 30 inches. A quick glance by the captain at the engine learned that the engine was vibrating and it emitted another bang, Throttle movement to maximum power had no effect, and manifold pressure remained at 30 inches.

The aircraft is being recovered (Source; www.baaa-acrom.com (© Stephan Karl)


The speed at the time was 85 knots and the aircraft barely climbed while full right rudder was required to maintain directional control. The captain then decided to shut the left-hand engine down, after which he assumed the role of pilot flying, while the aircraft was in a shallow left turn the speed had dropped to 80 knots.

A sudden jolt was felt, and the airspeed dropped sharply while the aircraft developed a tendency to roll left, In an attempt to keep the airspeed above 65 knots the right-hand throttle was pushed full-forward, but to no avail, the aircraft entered a steep descent.

A short while later the aircraft touched down on soft ground with the tail wheel, when the engines contacted the oil coolers were ripped off the engines. The aircraft slid across an access road and hit a metal fence, coming to a stop after a 125 slide on its belly. 7 of the occupants received varying injuries. Damage to the aircraft was extensive;

  • Right-hand wing torn-off between aileron and engine

  • Right-hand propellor separated

  • Left-hand propellor damaged blades The damaged right-hand wing

  • Structural damage to belly (source aviationtag.com © unknown) and tail section

Damage to the aircraft was so extensive it was not repaired.

The accident site (Source avherald.com © BFU)


** Editorial note **

V2 Aviation - Training & Maintenance has not been able to obtain an investigation report on this accident. This blog is therefore based on several internet sources. should there be an inconsistency in the blog don't hesitate to get in touch with us. There are two possibilities to do that, via the comments function at the bottom of this page or via the contact page of the website.

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