Episode 6 – The 1946 Mistberget & Gauli Glacier Controlled Flight Into Terrain (CFIT) crashes


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By Plane Crash Diaries and Desmond Latham. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.
It’s time for that terrible acronym – CFIT – which means Controlled Flight into Terrain. That’s where the pilot is unable to see the terrain for whatever reason, and believes that he or she is higher than they are, or somewhere else, or the equipment on board has failed and altitude readings are wrong. This often happens unfortunately when a let down is being flown – which is a technique that allows a pilot to pass hills and other obstructions before they are let down to a low altitude. There are few other reasons for controlled flight into terrain, including suicide which was the case with the infamous German wings accident of 2015 where mentally unhinged First Officer locked the captain out of the cockpit and proceded to fly a packed Airbus A320-211 into a Swiss mountainside. All 144 passengers and crew were killed in what was not pilot error – it was pilot suicide. One of the earliest examples that led to changes in training took place on 7th August 1946 on the Mistberget Mountain in Norway. It involved British European Airways Flight 530, which was a Douglas C-47 Skytrain. Three of the five crew on board died, but 10 passengers survived. It’s known as the Mistberget Accident. A few months later another CFIT accident took place in Switzerland involving a C-53 Skytrooper passenger variant of the Douglas DC-3 on the 18h November 1946. This is an important event and had multinational repercussions and also led to the turning point in alpine rescue.

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