Accident Curtiss C-46D-5-CU Commando 44-77432, Wednesday 18 April 1945
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Date:Wednesday 18 April 1945
Type:Silhouette image of generic C46 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different    
Curtiss C-46D-5-CU Commando
Owner/operator:United States Army Air Force - USAAF
Registration: 44-77432
MSN: 32828
Year of manufacture:1944
Fatalities:Fatalities: 4 / Occupants: 5
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Destroyed, written off
Location:Austin-Bergstrom Field, TX -   United States of America
Phase: En route
Departure airport:Austin-Bergstrom Field, TX (KAUS)
Destination airport:Austin-Bergstrom Field, TX (KAUS)
The C-46 took off from Bergstrom Field on a glider-tow mission. It was towing a Waco CG-4A glider on takeoff from runway 17L when the no. 1 engine began cutting out. The instructor reduced power a little, which seemed to help.
The crew were nearing the point were they would release the glider when the no. 2 engine began to loose power. They radioed Bergstrom Field that they would be returning with one engine out after glider release. The controller at Bergstrom Field saw the engine was on fire and instructed the crew to release the glider immediately. The glider pilot had also noted the fire and released the glider himself. The C-46 continued for an emergency landing. The crew were not able to put out the fire. The instructor told the other crew members to bail out from low altitude (750 feet). One crew member made it out but his parachute failed to deploy in time. The airplane struck terrain and crashed in flames following separation of the no. 2 engine.


Fatal Army Air Forces Aviation Accidents in the United States, 1941-1945, Vol. 3: August 1944-December 1945 / Anthony J. Mireles

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