Figure: Eastern Air Lines DC-3, from the National Air and Space Museum (Andrew Thomas, 1 March 2010)

Eddie Sez:

The Civil Aeronautics Board was pretty brutal in their treatment of this captain and I suppose it is justified. He should have been more vigilant checking the weather. He should have flown a better circling approach during his first attempt. He should have made a better decision rather than attempt a straight-in landing with a 13-knot tailwind. And he should have put the airplane onto a proper glide path and at the proper speed while on that approach. All that is true. But underlying it all is the need to make the schedule happen, to satisfy the Point A to Point B mantra of our profession. Based on the weather at this airplane's alternates, they should not have taken off at all.

What follows are quotes from the relevant regulatory documents, listed below, as well as my comments in blue.

Accident Report


[CAB 4983-45, pg. 1]


[CAB 4983-45, pp. 3-8]

Probable Cause

[CAB 4983-45, pg. 10] The Board determines that the probable cause of this accident was the decision of the pilot in attempting a landing from an approach which was too high and too fast.

See Also

Pilot Psychology / Safety > Comfort > Reliability

Procedures & Techniques / Landing


Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB) Accident Investigation Report, Eastern Air Lines - New York, New York, December 30, 1945, File No. 4983-45, Released June 14, 1946