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B377-15954

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Boeing 377-10-30 construction number 15954, original registration N74608.

Operated by Northwest Orient Air Lines as Stratocruiser Tokyo. This aircraft took of as Northwest Flight 2 from Seattle at 08:06 on 2 April 1956 but ran into trouble after the flaps were retracted at 2,000 ft. The aircraft encountered severe buffeting and a tendency to roll left. Assuming the flaps to be in an asymmetric condition, the captain reduced power but this did not help. Plans were made to divert to McChord AFB, but the aircraft was losing altitude, and was not able to reach the base. Instead, the aircraft was ditched in Puget Sound and sank 15 minutes later. Four of the 32 passengers and one of the flight crew of six were killed.

The cause of the accident was attributed to the engine cowl flaps being left in the open position by the flight engineer, and the captain not correctly identifying the problem in the short space of time available to him.

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