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Last updated: 26 September 2021
Date:Saturday 12 September 1959
Type:Silhouette image of generic DC4 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Douglas DC-4
Operator:Pan American World Airways (Pan Am)
Registration: N88900
MSN: 10504
First flight: 1944
Crew:Fatalities: 3 / Occupants: 3
Passengers:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 0
Total:Fatalities: 3 / Occupants: 3
Aircraft damage: Damaged beyond repair
Location:near Mercedes (   Honduras)
Phase: En route (ENR)
Departure airport:San Salvador/Ilopango International Airport (SAL/MSSS), El Salvador
Destination airport:Miami International Airport, FL (MIA/KMIA), United States of America
Because of late arrival of the plane and cargo loading equipment problems, the DC-4, named "Clipper Fearless", departed San Salvador 5 hours late - at 03:45. Some 43 miles north San Salvador the aircraft was seen flying up a ravine, barely clearing treetops. The aircraft crashed a little further on, about 23 miles left of the normal course.

Probable Cause:

PROBABLE CAUSE: "The flight deviated from intended course and struck a mountain, for reasons unknown."


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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 Salvador/Ilopango International Airport to Miami International Airport, FL as the crow flies is 1621 km (1013 miles).
Accident location: Global; accuracy within tens or hundreds of kilometers.

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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