Accident Curtiss C-46F Commando CC-CAZ, Tuesday 25 May 1971
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Date:Tuesday 25 May 1971
Type:Silhouette image of generic C46 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different    
Curtiss C-46F Commando
Owner/operator:Aerolineas Flecha Austral - ALFA
Registration: CC-CAZ
MSN: 50
Year of manufacture:1944
Engine model:Pratt & Whitney R-2800-51M1
Fatalities:Fatalities: 4 / Occupants: 4
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Destroyed, written off
Location:2 km SSE of Santiago-Los Cerrillos Airport (ULC) -   Chile
Phase: Initial climb
Departure airport:Santiago-Los Cerrillos Airport (ULC/SCTI)
Destination airport:Arica-Chacalluta Airport (ARI/SCAR)
The Curtiss C-46 cargo plane was destroyed when it crashed shortly after takeoff from runway 03 at Santiago-Los Cerrillos Airport (ULC), Chile. The no. 2 engine failed immediately after takeoff and the airplane was not able to climb to a safe height. It crashed and broke up.

From the analysis of the accident the following was concluded (translated from Spanish):
1) The aircraft could have taken more load than specified in the loading manifest document and before the engine failure, the other engine operating at full power, was unable to maintain the minimum control speed with one engine and low height. For that reason, it might have been necessary for the pilot to lose height during the turn to maintain control of the airplane.
2) The airplane could have been loaded correctly as specified in the documents and having a failure of the right engine (which was reported by the pilot of the aircraft to request permission to land). While the pilot effected a maneuver to turn back to the runway, the other engine could have failed, but it was not possible to verify this because of the state of destruction of the engines.
3) The aircraft could have taken off without the operational load limits but with the right engine stopped and the other running at full speed, the pilot could have slowed down under the minimum control speed with one engine, which would result in a loss of control and impact with terrain.
None of the three possibilities could be investigated for lack of evidence.


A 40 años del accidente del Curtiss C-46F CC-CAZ (Modo Charlie)
Jacques Lagas: el olvidado héroe chileno de la revolución cubana (El Ciudadano, 26-10-2009)


Revision history:


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