Accident description
Last updated: 25 November 2014
Status:Final
Date:Monday 2 October 1950
Time:23:53
Type:Curtiss C-46F-1-CU Commando
Operator:National Airlines
Registration: N1661M
C/n / msn: 22544
First flight: 1945
Crew:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 2
Passengers:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 0
Total:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 2
Airplane damage: Substantial
Airplane fate: Repaired
Location:Washington-National Airport, DC (DCA) (   United States of America) show on map
Phase: Landing (LDG)
Nature:Cargo
Departure airport:Newark International Airport, NJ (EWR/KEWR), United States of America
Destination airport:Washington-National Airport, DC (DCA/KDCA), United States of America
Narrative:
The C-46 departed Newark Airport at 22:40 VFR for Washington. The flight proceeded to Washington at an altitude of 6,000 feet. Over the Relay radio range intersection, the flight was cleared by the control tower to enter the traffic pattern for landing on runway 36. The wind was reported to be calm; visibility was 3 miles; and the sky was clear. A left traffic pattern was entered approximately 1 1/2 miles northeast of the field at an altitude of 1,200 feet. From there the flight proceeded westerly so as to circle the Washington National Airport to the left for an approach to runway 36. Just before passing over Hains Point, the Before Landing check was accomplished. The landing gear was extended; flaps were lowered one quarter; and air speed was reduced to between 130 and 135 mph. Immediately after the aircraft passed over Hains Point, at a point about one mile northeast of the approach end of runway 18, the crew stated that fuel pressure for the right engine dropped to zero and the right engine lost power. Power settings for the left engine were immediately increased to the maximum for continuous operation, and the landing gear and flaps were retracted. The copilot continued to fly the aircraft from the left side while the captain examined the cockpit with a flashlight to determine why the right engine had failed. No reason could be found in the cockpit for the engine failure and since the right engine did not restart, the captain feathered its propeller. By this time the aircraft had been flown beyond runway 18, and since it seemed that altitude could not be maintained, a left turn was made for landing on runway 15. Contact with runway 15 was made at its intersection with runway 18. The aircraft slid on the bottom surfaces of the fuselage, engine nacelles, and landing gear doors, for a distance of 1,750 feet, then came to rest on the runway 0660 feet from the end. There was no fire.

PROBABLE CAUSE: "The Board determines that the probable cause of this accident was the confusion of the crew because of lack of familiarity with the C-46 which resulted in a wheels-up landing half-way down the runway."

Sources:
» CAB File No: 1-0123


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Map
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 Newark International Airport, NJ to Washington-National Airport, DC as the crow flies is 317 km (198 miles).

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