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Last updated: 15 October 2021
Date:Monday 4 August 1952
Type:Silhouette image of generic C46 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Curtiss C-46A-40-CU Commando
Operator:R. P. Weesner
Registration: N79096
MSN: 27038
First flight: 1944
Engines: 2 Pratt & Whitney R-2800-75
Crew:Fatalities: 2 / Occupants: 2
Passengers:Fatalities: 2 / Occupants: 2
Total:Fatalities: 4 / Occupants: 4
Aircraft damage: Damaged beyond repair
Location:Miami International Airport, FL (MIA) (   United States of America)
Phase: Approach (APR)
Departure airport:San Antonio (unknown airport), TX, United States of America
Destination airport:Miami International Airport, FL (MIA/KMIA), United States of America
N79096 arrived at San Antonio following a ferry flight from Burbank. The next day the airplane continued to Miami. Two nonrevenue passengers boarded the plane at San Antonio. The cabin of the aircraft contained no passenger seats. This equipment was to have been installed at Miami prior to placing the aircraft in service. The cockpit was equipped to accommodate a crew of three. One safety belt had been installed to accommodate one person riding in the cabin; however, no approved type seat was provided. At approximately 23:17 Miami tower received a broken radio transmission. An attempt to establish contact was unsuccessful until the following message was received. "Miami tower - NAN 79096 requesting emergency landing." Two-way contact was established and at approximately 23:18 the flight was cleared to land on runway 27L. The pilot then advised the tower that the elevator control linkage was broken and he would attempt to bring the aircraft in, using trim tabs only. His position was given as high over the west boundary of the airport at an altitude estimated by the tower operator as 3,000 feet. Since the use of runway 09R would permit an approach to be made over very thinly populated areas, it was suggested to the pilot that if it was satisfactory with him, runway 09R be used. The pilot advised the tower that the change of runways was satisfactory. The area was cleared of all traffic while the aircraft made a circuit of the field, letting down slowly with a wide approach to a long final. As the aircraft neared the approach end of the runway, it appeared to be lined up properly. As the aircraft neared the approach end of the runway and at an altitude of approximately 150 feet, the nose of the aircraft appeared to come up slightly, then crop about the same degree below the horizon. This was repeated several times, each time the maneuver becoming more violent, with the last pull-up very steep. At an altitude of approximately 150 feet the aircraft appeared to fall off slightly on the left wing, the nose dropped, and the aircraft struck the ground almost vertically. The fire which followed the crash was quickly extinguished by the airport fire-fighting equipment.

Probable Cause:

PROBABLE CAUSE: "Failure of the elevator control system in flight, resulting in loss of control of the aircraft during landing. The failure of the elevator control system was the result of poor workmanship and inadequate inspection during overhaul and modification."

Elevator issue
Loss of control

» CAB File No. 4-1158


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