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DC-4 N4726V  

Who: 

An Douglas DC-4 - the same exact plane used in the filming of "The High and the Mighty"

Total Persons on Board:

9 - Three crewmen, and 6 passengers.

Flight Crew
Capt. Harry Baker, 59, of Fallen, Nevada, a veteran of 23,000 flying hours,
Jerry McGovern, about 40, of
Muskegon, Mich., co-pilot
R. W. Storey, about 40, in
Concord, Calif., navigitor
Passengers
Jerry Cope, 41, of Hermosa Beach, CA Irene Cope, about 38, of Hermosa Beach Christopher Cope, 7, of Hermosa Beach
Sharon Cope, 6, of Hermosa Beach George W. Printz, about 44, a radio technician from Walnut Creek, CA Robert A. Cabral,
about 25, of San Francisco

When:

March 28, 1964

Weather:

Clear

Flight Route:

Enroute from Honolulu, Hawaii, to Los Angeles, California

Area Believed Crashed:

The missing plane was last reported to be about 700 miles west of San Francisco (at N29-20 135W)

Reason for flight:

Chartered transportation

Type Plane:

An ex-military Douglas C-54A, powered by four Pratt & Whitney R-2000 engines, and owned by the Facilities Management Corporation of Los Angeles.

Search efforts: 

At 5:54 in the morning, Pacific Standard Time, and eight hours into the anticipated 11 hour, 40 minute flight, a "Mayday" call from the pilot was heard reporting the aircraft's position, and that the plane had a serious fire in engine #2. He further said that "...we may have to put it in."

The United States Coast Guard conducted a five-day search for the missing DC-4, and the aircraft carrier U.S.S. Kearsarge, its aircraft, and three other surface vessels searched a 100-mile wide corridor of ocean, but no traces of either the aircraft or its occupants were ever found.

Coast Guard Lt. Robert Finan said search vessels and planes had picked up the mysterious signals race shortly after the plane went down. 

"Everyone we've got out there looking has heard the signals," said Finan. "But they're too weak for us to get bearings from.  We think there's an excellent chance the signal is coming from the emergency type transmitter the plane had aboard."

Controversy: 

Later investigation revealed engine #2 had a recurring oil leak in its propeller governor assembly on an earlier flight that had resulted in the airliner being temporarily grounded. The cause of the in flight fire remained undetermined.

 

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This page last updated Saturday, November 22, 2014

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