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Accident description
Last updated: 24 October 2017
Status:
Date:Friday 23 April 1948
Type:Silhouette image of generic C46 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Curtiss C-46
Operator:Heyl Ha'Avir (Israeli Air Force)
Registration: RX-138 ?
C/n / msn:
First flight:
Crew:Fatalities: 2 / Occupants: 2
Passengers:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 0
Total:Fatalities: 2 / Occupants: 2
Airplane damage: Damaged beyond repair
Location:Mexico City (   Mexico)
Phase: Takeoff (TOF)
Nature:Military
Departure airport:Mexico City International Airport (MEX/MMMX), Mexico
Destination airport:?
Narrative:
Because of the 1948-1949 Arab-Israeli conflict the USA had enforced an arms embargo on a.o. Israel. Thus, the Panamanian airline LAPSA (Lineas Aéreas de Panama) was used as a cover for the acquisition of ten C-46 and three L-049 Constellations, by Israeli agents in the USA during late 1947/early 1948. Five C-46's left the U.S. for Panama, making an intermediate stop at Mexico City. On takeoff from Mexico City, one of the C-46's failed to lift off the runway and crashed.
Co-pilot Ernest Glen King (30) killed. Pilot William Guy Gerson (34) survived, but died of injuries following night.

Sources:
» Aeroflight, Real 101 Sqn website
» machal.org.il
» El Siglo de Torreón 25 April 1948, p9


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This information is not presented as the Flight Safety Foundation or the Aviation Safety Network’s opinion as to the cause of the accident. It is preliminary and is based on the facts as they are known at this time.
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