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Accident description
Last updated: 14 December 2017
Status:
Date:Saturday 19 March 1960
Time:21:10 UTC
Type:Silhouette image of generic C46 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Curtiss C-46A-60-CS Commando
Operator:Sociedad Aeronautica Medellin - SAM
Registration: HK-516
C/n / msn: 2927/384
First flight: 1945
Total airframe hrs:15876
Engines: 2 Pratt & Whitney R-2800-51
Crew:Fatalities: 3 / Occupants: 4
Passengers:Fatalities: 22 / Occupants: 42
Total:Fatalities: 25 / Occupants: 46
Airplane damage: Damaged beyond repair
Location:11 km (6.9 mls) NW of Planeta Rica (   Colombia)
Phase: Approach (APR)
Nature:Domestic Scheduled Passenger
Departure airport:San Andres Island-Sesquicentenario Airport (ADZ/SKSP), Colombia
Destination airport:Medellín-Enrique Olaya Herrera Airport (EOH/SKMD), Colombia
Flightnumber: 901
Narrative:
SAM Flight 901 departed San Andres Island for a flight to Medellin. no. 1 engine problems (overspeeding) developed after 19:42 GMT. The crew radioed Medellin that they were returning to Planeta Rica, but the plane crashed 11 km NW of Planeta Rica.

Probable Cause:

PROBABLE CAUSE: "The accident was attributed to an error of judgement in that the pilot decided to land at an airport which was closed and where no radio aid was available at the time when he was in visual flight at an adequate altitude and close to several airports offering good characteristics and suitable weather conditions. In addition, the pilot underestimated the malfunction that at the time had developed in the left engine. The following contributing factors intervened: 1) Malfunction in the carburetor of the left engine resulting in intermittent overspeeding and slight coughing; 2) Adverse weather conditions (namely thick mist, rain, hail and electric storm) which prevailed in the area and in the vicinity of Planeta Rica Airport at the time of the accident; 3) The lack of communications which prevented the pilot from being briefed on the weather conditions at Planeta Rica Airport and from being informed of the absence of tower or radio facility services owing to the time-table in force at the airport."



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Map
This map shows the airport of departure and the intended destination of the flight. The line between the airports does not display the exact flight path.
Distance from San Andres Island-Sesquicentenario Airport to Medellín-Enrique Olaya Herrera Airport as the crow flies is 970 km (606 miles).
Accident location: Exact; deduced from official accident report.

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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Curtiss C-46

  • 3341 built
  • 822nd loss
  • 159th fatal accident
  • 28th worst accident (at the time)
  • 35th worst accident (currently)
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 Colombia
  • 8th worst accident (at the time)
  • 37th worst accident (currently)
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