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Accident description
Last updated: 30 November 2015
Date:Sunday 20 February 1944
Type:Silhouette image of generic C46 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Curtiss C-46A-10-CU Commando
Operating for:Western Air Lines
Leased from:United States Army Air Force - USAAF
Registration: 41-12363
C/n / msn: 26490
First flight: 1943
Engines: 2 Pratt & Whitney R-2800-51
Crew:Fatalities: 4 / Occupants: 4
Passengers:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 0
Total:Fatalities: 4 / Occupants: 4
Airplane damage: Damaged beyond repair
Location:32 km (20 mls) SE of Palmdale, CA (   United States of America)
Phase: Approach (APR)
Departure airport:Wickenburg Municipal Airport, AZ, United States of America
Destination airport:Long Beach Municipal Airport, CA (LGB/KLGB), United States of America
The C-46 took off from Wickenburg, AZ at 07:43 on a training flight. The crew were performing an instrument let down to Long Beach when it flew into the side of Pallet Mountain at an altitude of 7300 feet. The wreckage was found on February 26, 1944.

Controlled Flight Into Terrain (CFIT) - Mountain

» Aviation Archaeological Investigation and Research (AAIR)
» Plane wreck is located (Nevada State Journal, 1944-02-27)
» Aircraft Wrecks in the Mountains and Deserts of the American West
» Fatal Army Air Forces Aviation Accidents in the United States, 1941-1945, Vol. 2: July 1943-July 1944 / Anthony J. Mireles


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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 Wickenburg Municipal Airport, AZ to Long Beach Municipal Airport, CA as the crow flies is 491 km (307 miles).

This information is not presented as the Flight Safety Foundation or the Aviation Safety Networkĺs 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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