Re: Ditching

From:         gfoley@freenet.columbus.oh.us (Gerard Foley)
Organization: The Greater Columbus Freenet
Date:         16 Jan 95 21:39:10 
References:   1
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    In the late 1930's a United DC3 flying towards Los Angeles made
a wrong turn at a radio range intersection and flew northwest over
the Pacific.  The captain, a WWI German veteran, reported all his 
instruments were defective.  A new controller came on duty and
asked directly for the magnetic compass heading.  He then convinced
the crew that they should make a 180 turn and follow the radio
range back to shore.  They ran out of fuel approaching the beach
and made a perfect ditching a little way offshore, at night.  
The captain got everyone out the cockpit windows to the top 
of the plane.  Everyone but the captain and one passenger were
washed off and drowned before the plane was found.  It was
brought ashore with the cabin dry the next day.
    For years after that United crews were required to give
their magnetic compass headings whenever they reported over a
checkpoint.
    I suspect the aircraft was restored to service, but I don't
know.
Gerry