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Northwest Airlines Flight 4422
MyWikiBiz, Author Your Legacy — Saturday March 08, 2014
|Date||March 12, 1948|
|Type||Controlled flight into terrain|
|Site||Mount Sanford, Alaska Territory|
|Aircraft type||Douglas DC-4|
On March 12, 1948, Northwest Airlines Flight 4422 (NC95422) crashed into Mount Sanford, Alaska, with a crew of six and 24 passengers. The flight was a DC-4 military charter en route back to the US from Shanghai and had just refueled at Anchorage (Merrill Field) before continuing on toward LaGuardia Airport where the flight concluded.
Many witnesses in the nearby town of Gulkana saw the crash, but the wreckage was lost for over 50 years. Snowstorms quickly buried its exact location in a mountain glacier. Over the years, various individuals, lured by rumors of a secret gold cargo shipment from China, searched the mountain and came home empty-handed. Northwest pilot Marc Millican and Delta pilot Kevin McGregor had been searching the mountain together and on their own since 1995.
In 1997 they located a few pieces of wreckage but were unable to confirm it was from Northwest 4422. Only in 1999, after obtaining permission from the park service and victims' relatives, were they able to remove wreckage confirming it was from Flight 4422. No secret treasure was ever found. At the time of the crash it was determined the pilots were 23 miles off course and may not have seen the mountain at night. An NTSB investigation in 1999 shows the propellers were spinning at high velocity when they struck the mountain, which supports this theory.
- ASN airline accident database
- Air Line Pilots Association article on crash
- Civil Aeronautics Board accident investigation report on Flight 4422 from the US Department of Transport historic files