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Last updated: 23 October 2021
Date:Wednesday 4 November 1959
Type:Silhouette image of generic DC4 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Douglas C-54A-15-DC (DC-4)
Operator:Wheeler Airlines
Registration: CF-ILI
MSN: 10360
First flight: 1944
Total airframe hrs:30357
Crew:Fatalities: 5 / Occupants: 5
Passengers:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 0
Total:Fatalities: 5 / Occupants: 5
Aircraft damage: Destroyed
Aircraft fate: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:near Saint-Cléophas-de-Brandon, QC (   Canada)
Phase: En route (ENR)
Departure airport:Montreal-Dorval International Airport, QC (YUL/CYUL), Canada
Destination airport:Hall Beach Airport, NU (YUX/CYUX), Canada
Flight 1658 took off from Montreal runway 10 at 22:44 for a cargo flight to Hall Lake. Following takeoff the aircraft continued runway heading and climbed to 6000 feet. Course was then changed and the aircraft climbed on to 9000 feet, reaching this altitude at 22:59. Some 3 and a half minutes later the crew reported that they were in an emergency descent because of a no. 2 engine fire. Last radio contact was at 23:07 when the crew reported that the plane had lost its left wing and "was in a spin and going straight in". The DC-4 broke up in midair, causing wreckage to cover a 1,25 x 0,75 mile area.

Probable Cause:

PROBABLE CAUSE: "A fire of undetermined origin started in no.2 engine nacelle during the climb and developed to the stage where fire extinguishing equipment was inadequate to extinguish it. The following are considered to be primary contributing factors: 1) The deteriorated condition of the exhaust collector ring; 2) The probable deteriorated condition of the flexible wire braid hose assemblies; 3) The probable use of high power during the climb; 4) The possible failure of the fire detection and warning system to inform the pilot of the existance of a fire before it had penetrated the firewall and ignited the fuel feed system and oil tank to the rear of no.2 engine. During the rapid letdown, stresses were imposed on the weekened left wing by manoeuvre and/or gusts which were sufficient to sever the left wing spar. No subsequent action by the pilot could have brought the aircraft safely to the ground; neither was it possible to determine what effect a less rapid letdown would have had."

Engine fire
Wing failure
Loss of control

» ICAO Accident Digest, Circular 62-AN/57 (204-208)


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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 Montreal-Dorval International Airport, QC to Hall Beach Airport, NU as the crow flies is 2608 km (1630 miles).
Accident location: Approximate; accuracy within a few kilometers.

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