Accident Curtiss C-46F-1-CU Commando N1693M, Thursday 23 April 1953
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Date:Thursday 23 April 1953
Type:Silhouette image of generic C46 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different    
Curtiss C-46F-1-CU Commando
Owner/operator:American Air Transport
Registration: N1693M
MSN: 22498
Year of manufacture:1945
Total airframe hrs:7477 hours
Engine model:Pratt & Whitney R-2800
Fatalities:Fatalities: 2 / Occupants: 4
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Destroyed, written off
Location:12 km E of Selleck, WA -   United States of America
Phase: En route
Departure airport:Cheyenne Airport, WY (CYS/KCYS)
Destination airport:Seattle-Boeing Field International Airport, WA (BFI/KBFI)
Investigating agency: CAB
Confidence Rating: Accident investigation report completed and information captured
Curtiss C-46 N1693M was being ferried from Columbia, SC to Seattle for the purpose of later conducting a Civil Air Movement of military personnel. The flight arrived at Cheyenne at 18:35 for refueling. Departure from Cheyenne was delayed owing to repair of the left navigation light and the flight took off at 20:43. The flight proceeded uneventfully. Near Yakima the crew were cleared to descend from FL120 to FL100. Upon reporting over Yakima at 00:26, it was further cleared to descend to and maintain 8,000 feet. The pilot contacted Seattle Center at 00:47 and reported over Easton at 8,000 feet, inbound to Boeing Field. Seattle Center replied: "Nectar one six nine three metro you are cleared to cross Hobart at 8,000 Seattle at or above 4,000 maintain 4,000 no delay expected contact Seattle Approach Control over Hobart for further clearance over." The pilot read back: "Roger, cleared to ... cross there four thousand or above the range station, ah, four thousand, report Hobart to you." A correction, "negative report Hobart to Seattle Approach Control," was then immediately transmitted. The pilot replied, "Hobart to Seattle Approach Control Roger." These contacts were made at approximately 00:48. There was no record of further transmission from the aircraft.
The aircraft descended below the minimum altitude of 8,000 feet and crashed near the crest of a mountain at 4,000 feet MSL. The aircraft first struck a large tree located approximately 210 feet east of the crest of Cedar Mountain at about the 4,000-foot level. The plane crashed into trees and cut a 950-foot swath on both sides of the crest. On April 14 a DC-3 of Miami Airlines had also crashed on Cedar Mountain.

PROBABLE CAUSE: "The pilot's misunderstanding of the clearance, failure to check en route altitude against available charts, and descent below prescribed minimum en route altitude. The fact that the controller did not detect the first of two errors made by the pilot was a contributing factor."

Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: CAB
Report number: final report
Status: Investigation completed
Download report: Final report


CAB File No. 1-0045
ICAO Accident Digest Circular 39-AN/34 (72-74)

Revision history:


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