When the U.S. Civil Aeronautics Board issued its Accident Investigation Report on the crash of Northwest Airlines Flight 4422--a DC-4 demolished by impact and fire when it hit the slope of Mt. Sanford, Alaska, on March 12, 1948--the agency declared that the wreckage was "inaccessible from either the ground or the air."
On the morning following the crash, during a flight over the area, a group of accident investigation officials spotted the burned wreckage of the northwest aircraft. According to the cab report, the wreckage was located in a "small glacial cirque, the walls of which were avalanche slopes." Snow and ice were constantly falling into the cirque from an overhanging glacier, and it was obvious that the wreckage, identified by the northwest airlines insignia on the vertical fin, would be completely covered within a matter of days.