A very similar DC-6 accident, with the compass system as the probable cause, occured on the east coast.
Early Sperry remote compass systems utilized three phase AC
current for operation (provided by an inverter...IE
: a DC motor driving an AC
generator, not a static inverter) and every once in awhile, one of the phases would fail, providing an erroneous compass reading.
While flying the DC-6B, I experienced three such failures, and in each case, the compass (RMI
) indicated a 120 degree bearing error.