DC-6 Resolution Crash Site
Posted by: budd-rdc
N 37° 24.310 W 122° 19.530
10S E 559694 N 4140033
Quick Description: This crash site is located in El Corte de Madera Creek Open Space Preserve, San Mateo County, California. It is on the Resolution Trail, named after the crashed DC-6. Nearby Vista Point was cleared by bulldozers to serve as the base for rescue and recovery operation.
Location: California, United States
Date Posted: 8/17/2005 8:20:27 PM
Waymark Code: WM7E
Summary of the crash from (visit link
Date / Time: Thursday, October 29, 1953 / 8:44 p.m.
Operator / Flight No.: British Commonwealth Pacific Airlines / Flight 304-44
Location: Near Half Moon Bay, Calif.
Details and Probable Cause: Named Resolution, the four-engine Douglas DC-6 airliner (VH-BPE) was flying to San Francisco from Sydney, Australia, via Honolulu, and carrying 11 passengers and a crew of eight.
Shortly after crossing over the California coast, while flying in fog, the airplane crashed into a redwood forest on a mountain ridge 7-1/2 miles southeast of Half Moon Bay on its initial approach to the San Francisco Airport.
The plane struck the shoulder of King’s Mountain at an altitude of 1,950 feet and broke up, scattering burning wreckage over a half-mile area in Corte Madera Canyon.
Rescuers sighted the wreckage at approximately 10:10 a.m. the next morning and determined that all 19 persons aboard the British Commonwealth Pacific Airlines DC-6 had perished in the crash.
Among those killed was American pianist William Kapell, 31, who was thought by many to be one of the greatest pianists of the 20th century. Kapell was returning to the United States following a three-month concert tour in Australia.
The accident was attributed to human error: The flight crew failed to follow the appropriate procedures for an instrument approach to the airport.
The worst aviation disaster in San Mateo County history.
Fatalities: 19 -- all 11 passengers and 8 crew members.
Logging requirement: please take a photo of your GPSr with the coordinates showing. There's no need to take photos of the debris - this is to discourage people from disturbing them further.