Accident Curtiss C-46D-15-CU Commando N79982, Thursday 4 January 1951
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Date:Thursday 4 January 1951
Time:02:28
Type:Silhouette image of generic C46 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different    
Curtiss C-46D-15-CU Commando
Owner/operator:Monarch Air Service
Registration: N79982
MSN: 33564
Year of manufacture:1945
Total airframe hrs:1257 hours
Engine model:Pratt & Whitney R-2800-51
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 48
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Destroyed, written off
Category:Accident
Location:Chicago-Midway Airport, IL (MDW) -   United States of America
Phase: Take off
Nature:Passenger - Non-Scheduled/charter/Air Taxi
Departure airport:Chicago-Midway Airport, IL (MDW/KMDW)
Destination airport:Newark International Airport, NJ (EWR/KEWR)
Investigating agency: CAB
Confidence Rating: Accident investigation report completed and information captured
Narrative:
The Curtiss Commando was overloaded by 1100 lb when takeoff from runway 31 was attempted using insufficient engine power (47 inches manifold pressure and 2700 RPM). The aircraft became airborne approximately half-way down the runway, which is 5,730 feet in length.
At the captain's command to raise the landing gear, the copilot moved the handle into the retract position and noticed at this time that the aircraft, now airborne, was turning slightly to the left and the airspeed indicator read approximately 85 mph. With the left wing down and with but a few feet of altitude, the copilot, realizing an emergency existed, immediately applied emergency takeoff power--55 inches manifold pressure. However, the C-46, still turning, struck several small aircraft parked on the west side of the airport, and continued beyond the airport boundary, striking a fence and railroad embankment. Both throttles were then closed by the captain, but the electrical system switches were not turned off. The aircraft came to rest beyond the embankment and about one-half mile west of the airport's west boundary on a heading of approximately 250 degrees. A fire developed immediately, but all passengers and crew were evacuated before it assumed major proportions.

PROBABLE CAUSE: "Loss of control of the aircraft due to faulty piloting technique and overloading of the aircraft."

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

Sources:

CAB File No. 1-0002
ICAO Aircraft Accident Digest No.2, Circular 24-AN/21 (45-46)

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