Transocean Aircraft Accidents

During almost 14 years of continuous and concentrated aviation and airline activity, totaling in excess of 70 million aircraft miles, more than a billion and a half passenger miles, and over 85 million cargo-ton miles (often in areas with few or non-existent navigational aids or ground installations), Transocean's total casualties were 90 passengers and 16 crew.

Considering the pioneering nature of much of Transocean's flying, in peacetime and in war, this record alone is a measure of the unparalleled dedication to safety and service which made Transocean one of the greatest airlines - though certainly the least recognized - in U. S. air transport history.

Further information can be obtained by following links to the Aviation Accident Database

 

Date

1/27/1948

8/15/1949

8/7/1950

8/15/1950

3/12/1951

6/11/1951

7/15/1951

11/5/1951

12/30/1951

3/20/1953

7/12/1953

6/10/1954

10/1/1955

1/27/1957

 

Model

DC-4

DC-4

UC-64B

UC-64

C-46A

YC-74

UC-64A

2-0-2

C-46F

DC-4

DC-6A

 

 

 

 

 

DC-4

PBY-5A

DC-4

 

Reg #

N79990

N79998

?

?

?

?

?

N93039

N68963

N88942

N90806

 

 

 

 

 

?

(USN)

?

 

Information

Door blew off in flight between Honolulu & Wake

Ditched off Shannon, Ireland Destroyed

Icy Cape, Alaska. Destroyed

Umiat, Alaska. Destroyed

Umiat, Alaska. Destroyed

Point Lay, Alaska. Destroyed

Umiat, Alaska. Destroyed

Tucumcari, NM. Destroyed

Fairbanks, Alaska. Destroyed

Alvarado, CA. Destroyed

more details:
CAB Accident Investigation Report

Aviation Safety Network

newspaper clipping of accident:  
Page 1Page 2

Keflavik, Iceland. Taxi accident. Damaged

Ditched, Pacific Ocean, West of San  Francisco. Salvaged

Tokyo, Japan, Groundloop, Destroyed
 

 

Passengers

0

7

0

0

0

0

0

1

2

30

50

 

 

 

 

 

0

0

0

90

 

Crew

0

1

0

0

0

0

0

0

2

5

8

 

 

 

 

 

0

0

0

16

Casualties

Transocean has suffered but five crashes involving passenger fatalities     Totals

The first accident involved the DC-4 which ran out of fuel over the Atlantic off Shannon, Ireland, and was forced to ditch with a subsequent loss of seven of its DP passengers and a crew man.

A second crash occurred when a 202, flying a load of military personnel cross-country from Oakland, attempted to make a landing at Tucumcari, New Mexico, during a November, 1951 snowstorm. Nelson himself joined the investigation which followed the crash.


"The pilot had plenty of gas to go on to Amarillo, or back to Albuquerque-with satisfactory weather conditions at both those points-but he was apparently determined to get into Tucumcari. When the 202 got over Tucumcari, the tower told them that the weather had depreciated and the ceiling was something like 125 feet-below minimum limits.


"Despite this, the pilot went down and made nearly five passes at the field in practically zero-zero conditions. Finally, on his last pass, he apparently saw the runway going crossways and a little downwind, so he made a steep bank to turn around and come back and try to land. During the turn he hooked a wing on the ground and the wing broke off just outboard of the engine. The airplane hit again on that stub of the broken wing and cart-wheeled, broke off the nose just behind the cockpit, spun around, and then went sailing backward about 400 or 500 feet. There were 26 passengers and a crew of three aboard and everybody got out but one boy, who had been sitting in the center of the cabin where the fuselage broke open. He was so severely hurt that he later died.


"When they fished the pilot out they found him upside down in his cockpit. He was upside down and the rest of the
airplane was right side up. I think the low loss of life in that crash was attributable to the fact that the impact of the crash was cushioned by the passenger seats as the airplane slid backward along the ground. This is a terrific argument for having a backward-seating arrangement in airplanes – in case of a crash you get your body load distributed over the entire seat."

Transocean's third crash involving passenger fatalities occurred during December, 1952, when a Transocean-operated transport flying for the Japanese Airline hit a peak in Japan in bad weather. Twenty-three Japanese passengers and three Americans were killed in the crash.  A fourth Transocean plane – a C-46 freighter carrying no passengers-crashed on a flight from Point Barrow to Fairbanks, Alaska, during December, 1951.  Rescue parties finally found the plane and the flyers on a peak some 4,300 feet high 30 miles northwest of Fairbanks. The pilot had apparently flown into the mountain during a snow squall. Nelson has never discovered what caused the accident, except that the C-46 was too low in the wrong place.

The fourth serious TAL accident occurred in April, 1953, when a DC-4 on a flight from Roswell, New Mexico, to Guam with a group of military personnel crashed during an approach to Oakland Airport, where the plane was scheduled to make a crew change. Although there was a high overcast at the time, conditions were otherwise favorable and the plane gave no indication, during the radio contacts controlling its approach, that it was in any trouble. An extensive investigation following the crash failed to determine the cause of the accident. Harvey Rogers, Transocean's chief pilot and one of the country's most experienced flyers, was at the controls at the time of the accident.