|Northwest Airlines Flight 1 Fire
Miles City, MT
January 13, 1939
After a cargo pickup and refueling, Northwest Airlines Flight 1 left the Miles City, Montana airport at 9:14 p.m. on January 13, 1939 with two passengers onboard. Shortly after takeoff, at an altitude of five hundred feet, the aircraft began a short turn to the left, lost altitude rapidly, and descended almost to the ground. It then pulled up into a sharp climb, reached about 500 feet again, turned left again, and descended rapidly into a ravine approximately ½ mile southwest of the airport. An investigation discovered that an intense fire developed in the cockpit shortly after takeoff. It appeared to have started at the cross-feed fuel valve located between the pilot and co-pilot.