Transocean Aircraft Accidents
Transocean Air Lines        1946 - 1960
 
       
CASUALTIES
DATE
MODEL
PHOTO
LINK
REG #
INFORMATION
Passengers
Crew
1/27/1948
DC-4
 
N79990
Door blew off in flight between
Honolulu & Wake
0
0
8/15/1949
DC-4
 
N79998
Ditched off Shannon, Ireland Destroyed
7
1
8/7/1950
UC-64B
 
?
Icy Cape, Alaska. Destroyed
0
0
8/15/1950
UC-64
 
?
Umiat, Alaska. Destroyed
0
0
3/12/1951
C-46A
 
?
Umiat, Alaska. Destroyed
0
0
6/11/1951
YC-74
 
?
Point Lay, Alaska. Destroyed
0
0
7/15/1951
UC-64A
 
?
Umiat, Alaska. Destroyed
0
0
11/5/1951
2-0-2
 
N93039
Tucumcari, NM. Destroyed
1
0
12/30/1951
C-46F
X
N68963
Fairbanks, Alaska. Destroyed
2
2
3/20/1953
DC-4
 
N88942
Alvarado, CA. Destroyed
30
5
7/12/1953
DC-6A
 
N90806
more details:
CAB Accident Investigation Report

Aviation Safety Network

newspaper clipping of accident:  
Page 1, Page 2
50
8
6/10/1954
DC-4
 
?
Keflavik, Iceland. Taxi accident.
Damaged
0
0
10/1/1955
PBY-5A
 
(USN)
Ditched, Pacific Ocean, West of San
Francisco. Salvaged
0
0
1/27/1957
DC-4
 
?
Tokyo, Japan, Groundloop, Destroyed
0
0
 
 
 
 
Totals
90
16
Further information can be obtained by following links to the Aviation Accident Database
 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.
Transocean Air Lines' Safety Record
 Transocean has suffered but five crashes involving passenger fatalities.

 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.
text taken from Transocean, The Story of an Unusual Airline by Richard Thruelsen