digplanet beta 1: Athena
Share digplanet:


Applied sciences






















Northwest Airlines Flight 4422
Accident summary
Date March 12, 1948
Summary Controlled flight into terrain (CFIT)
Site Mount Sanford, Alaska Territory
Passengers 24
Crew 6
Fatalities 30 (all)
Aircraft type Douglas C-54G-1-DO
Operator Northwest Airlines
Registration NC95422 (formerly 45-513)
Flight origin Shanghai, China
Stopover Anchorage, Alaska
Destination New York City, New York

On March 12, 1948, Northwest Airlines Flight 4422 (NC95422) crashed into Mount Sanford, Alaska, with a crew of six and 24 passengers.[1] The flight was a C-54 charter flying back to the United States from Shanghai. The aircraft refueled at Anchorage (Merrill Field) and took off at 8:12 p.m. to continue on to its destination, New York City (LaGuardia Airport). For reasons unknown, the aircraft deviated from the published airway and crashed into Mount Sanford.[2] After the initial impact the wreckage slid down for about 3000 feet before coming to rest.[1] There were no survivors. The passengers were American merchant mariners, crew members of the tanker SS Sunset, being ferried back home.[3]

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.[4]

In 1997 Millican and McGregor located a few pieces of wreckage but were unable to confirm it was from Northwest 4422. Only in 1999, after obtaining permission from the National Park Service and victims' relatives, were they able to remove wreckage confirming it was from Flight 4422.[5] No secret treasure was ever found. At the time of the crash it was determined the pilots were 23 miles (37 km) 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.[citation needed]

In addition to wreckage discovered in 1999, a mummified left hand and arm was found in the Alaska glacier. After nearly a decade, identifiable fingerprints were recovered from the remains by Edward Robinson.[6] The remains were then positively identified by Michael Grimm on September 6, 2007 using fingerprints,[7] making this the world's oldest known identification of post-mortem remains using fingerprint identification.[8] The limb was from Francis Joseph Van Zandt, a 36 year old merchant marine from Roanoke, Virginia, one of the passengers on Flight 4422. Subsequently, using DNA from a descendant of Van Zandt, Dr. Odile Loreille, an expert in DNA analysis, was also able to identify the remains using mitochondrial and Y-DNA identification.[9] Only the remains of Francis Joseph Van Zandt were ever recovered or identified. The bodies of the remaining 29 individuals still await possible recovery.[10]

See also[edit]

  • BSAA Star Dust accident - Airliner that crashed onto a mountain glacier in 1947 and remained undiscovered until 1998.


  1. ^ a b Accident description at the Aviation Safety Network
  2. ^ "CAB report for March 12, 1948 accident involving NC95422, Docket No. SA-168, File No. 1-0025." (PDF). Civil Aeronautics Board. Adopted July 23, 1948. Retrieved 2009-11-05.  (plain text version also available)
    (if links above fail to load report, visit http://dotlibrary.specialcollection.net and select "Historical Aircraft Accident Reports (1934-1965)", then retry report links)
  3. ^ *Bruce Felknor (June 21, 2000). "Tragic Voyage of the SS Sunset Crew". usmm.org. Retrieved 2009-11-05. 
  4. ^ Theresa Mattick (October 1999). "Finding Northwest Flight 4422". Air Line Pilot. p. 18. Retrieved 2009-11-05. 
  5. ^ "Major Airline Disasters: Involving Commercial Passenger Airlines 1920-2011". Airdisasters.co.uk. Retrieved 22 February 2013. 
  6. ^ "GW News Center". Gwu.edu. 2008-08-26. Retrieved 2013-10-14. 
  7. ^ [1][dead link]
  8. ^ "EVIDENTŽ Crime Scene Products – Merchant Marine Identification". Evidentcrimescene.com. Retrieved 2013-10-14. 
  9. ^ "Mummified remains from 1948 plane crash identified" (PDF). Associated Press. August 17, 2008. Retrieved 2009-11-05. "Nine years of sleuthing, advanced DNA science and cutting-edge forensic techniques have finally put a name to a mummified hand and arm found in an Alaska glacier. The remains belong to Francis Joseph Van Zandt, a 36-year-old merchant marine from Roanoke, Va., who was on a plane rumored to contain a cargo of gold when it smashed into the side of a mountain 60 years ago. Thirty people died in the crash." 
  10. ^ [2][dead link]

Coordinates: 62°12′47″N 144°07′37″W / 62.213°N 144.127°W / 62.213; -144.127

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Northwest_Airlines_Flight_4422 — Please support Wikipedia.
A portion of the proceeds from advertising on Digplanet goes to supporting Wikipedia.
11 videos found

Fsx Film | NorthWest Airlink KMIA-MYBS (Saab 340) (Full HD)

Really worked hard on this so plz give it a like and I know that I failed to not display the flying tips so forgive that guy but at least I flied betterish t...

END WAR Air Raids Kill No Al-Qaeda But Civilians; Angry People Deny Al-Qaeda's In The Area 01.21.10

How To Go To Heaven: http://www.jesus-is-savior.com/how_to_be_saved.htm http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?aid=16786&context=va The Yemen Hidden Agenda: ...

Al-Qaida link in failed plane attack in Detroit, Michigan

WASHINGTON U.S. officials say a Northwest Airlines passenger from Nigeria said he was acting on behalf of al-Qaida when he tried to blow up a flight Friday a...

1517 Glenmere Ct Edmond OK 73003 - Rhonda Bratton - Churchill Brown - Obeo Virtual Tour 832139

http://homesite.obeo.com/viewer/default.aspx?tourid=832139&refURL=youtube Contact: Rhonda Bratton Churchill Brown 405-755-4422 RhondaBratton1@me.com http://w...

McDonnell Douglas DC-9 landing in Philadelphia on Delta Airlines

Flight 1762 from Detroit. 11/14/10.

Landing in Honolulu

Northwest 757-300 from KLAX landing in PHNL.

Northwest 757-300 takes off from PDX

A Northwest 757-300 takes off from Portland to go to Honolulu.

Oklahoma City Oklahoma Home for Sale

http://www.PropertyPanorama.com/124255 is the place to go if you are seeking a Oklahoma City Oklahoma house for sale near Oklahoma City Oklahoma. If you are ...

Denver, Colorado Photos

Denver, Colorado is the largest city and the capital of the U.S. state of Colorado.. Denver is a consolidated city and county located in the South Platte Riv...

Delta MD11s at Portland (1997)

Visit our website http://www.justplanes.com This is from Pacific NW Video released in 1997.

11 videos found

We're sorry, but there's no news about "Northwest Airlines Flight 4422" right now.


Oops, we seem to be having trouble contacting Twitter

Talk About Northwest Airlines Flight 4422

You can talk about Northwest Airlines Flight 4422 with people all over the world in our discussions.

Support Wikipedia

A portion of the proceeds from advertising on Digplanet goes to supporting Wikipedia. Please add your support for Wikipedia!