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Accident description
Last updated: 19 October 2017
Status:
Date:Saturday 17 March 1945
Type:Silhouette image of generic CAT model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Consolidated PBY-5A Catalina
Operator:United States Navy
Registration: 46525
C/n / msn:
First flight:
Crew:Fatalities: 5 / Occupants: 8
Passengers:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 0
Total:Fatalities: 5 / Occupants: 8
Airplane damage: Damaged beyond repair
Location:Georgetown-Wideawake Field (ASI), Ascension Island (   St. Helena)
Phase: Takeoff (TOF)
Nature:Military
Departure airport:Georgetown-Wideawake Field (ASI/FHAW), St. Helena
Destination airport:?
Narrative:
On 17 March 1945, the PBY-5A Buno 46525 of VPB-45 was lost at 04:08 hrs in a crash during a night takeoff on a authorized operational mission from Wideawake Field, Ascension Island, for an anti submarine barrier patrol. 1380 gallons of gasoline and 4 x 350 lb Mk.41 depth charges were aboard. There was a 16-knots wind from 159 degrees magnetic, and runway in use was 139 degrees magnetic. Cross wind was apparently not corrected for and the plane drifted toward the left side of the runway as it continued the takeoff run. Slightly before becoming airborne, the port wing tip struck a fifteen foot vertical embankment on the left side of the runway. The outer eight feet of the port wing folded back and the plane climbed the embankment and cart wheeled over onto its back. Three bombs were thrown clear. The fourth remained in the wreckage, but did not explode. The PBY was completely destroyed by fire after the crash, five crew were killed. Three survivors were rescued from the wreckage, all wounded.

Sources:
» vpnavy.com
» Fleet Airwing 16 War Diary, March 1945
» VPB-45 War Diary, March 1945


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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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