Page:Aviation Accident Report, Western Air Lines Flight 1.pdf/3

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Flight Personnel

On Western Flight No. 1[1] of December 14, the crew consisted of Edward John Loeffler, captain; James Clifton Lee, first officer; Douglas Mortimer Soule, copilot-trainee; and Cleo Lorraine Booth, stewardess.

Captain Loeffler had logged approximately 2885 hours as pilot, 533 of which were as captain in DC3 equipment. He had also logged about 1518 hours as first officer in DC3 equipment. He held an airline transport pilot certificate with single and multi-engine land ratings, 160–3150 h.p. His last physical examination, required by the Civil Air Regulations, was taken on October 8, 1942 at Glendale, California. He had been employed by Western since July 11, 1940.

First officer Lee had been employed by Western since August 31, 1942. He held a commercial pilot certificate with instrument and flight instructor ratings and had accumulated approximately 596 hours of flying time, 126 of which were accumulated while serving as first officer for Western. His last physical examination was taken in Los Angeles, California, on September 2, 1942.

Copilot-Trainee Soule held a commercial pilot certificate with an instrument rating. He had accumulated about 537 hours, including 11 hours while serving as co-pilot trainee for Western. He received his last physical examination at Salt Lake City on November 19, 1942.

Stewardess Booth had been employed by Western since April 7, 1942.

It appears from the evidence that the flight crew of the airliner held the proper certificates, were in proper physical condition, and, by reason of their training and experience, were qualified for the flight with the equipment involved.

The Aircraft

The airplane, NC16060, was a Douglas DC3A, powered with two Pratt and Whitney S1C3G engines, equipped with Hamilton Standard, constant speed full-feathering propellers. It was manufactured by the Douglas Aircraft Company, Inc. in December 1936 and was purchased by Western in May 1938. A total of 14,773 hours had been logged for the aircraft, of which 3266 were since the last major overhaul. The aircraft and its equipment had been approved by the Civil Aeronautics Administration for air carrier operation, with 21 passengers and a crew of four. The take-off weight at the time of departure from Salt Lake City was 24,478 pounds; the authorized maximum take-off weight was 25,346[2] pounds.

  1. Hereinafter referred to as "Western #1"
  2. The normal maximum is 25,200 pounds; however, where de-icer equipment is installed, the additional 146 pounds are allowable.