ASN Aircraft accident Curtiss C-46F-1-CU Commando N4717N Windsor Locks-Bradley Field, CT (BDL)
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Status:Accident investigation report completed and information captured
Date:Wednesday 4 March 1953
Type:Silhouette image of generic C46 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Curtiss C-46F-1-CU Commando
Operator:Slick Airways
Registration: N4717N
MSN: 22400
First flight: 1945
Total airframe hrs:43310
Engines: 2 Pratt & Whitney R-2800-75
Crew:Fatalities: 2 / Occupants: 2
Passengers:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 0
Total:Fatalities: 2 / Occupants: 2
Aircraft damage: Damaged beyond repair
Location:2,5 km (1.6 mls) SW of Windsor Locks-Bradley Field, CT (BDL) (   United States of America)
Phase: Approach (APR)
Departure airport:New York-Idlewild International Airport, NY (IDL/KIDL), United States of America
Destination airport:Windsor Locks-Bradley International Airport, CT (BDL/KBDL), United States of America
Flightnumber: 162-3
Bradley Field was the first intermediate stop of a cargo flight from New York to Chicago. On an IFR flight plan, the C-46 departed New York at 01:01 and climbed to the cruising altitude of 3,000 feet. At 01:39 the pilot advised Bradley Approach Control that the aircraft had just passed Hartford and that he would maintain 3,000 feet to the Bradley Field outer marker. The flight was then cleared for an instrument approach to runway 06. Weather information was given as: Wind indicating northeast calm, ceiling indefinite 500 feet, obscurement, visibility one and one-half miles, light rain and fog, altimeter 30.01 inches. The pilot was then requested to report over the outer marker when inbound and was advised that the Bradley Field glide path was inoperative until further notice. At 01:41, the pilot reported problems intercepting the localizer and decided to continue to make an ADF let-down. The flight reported over the outer marker at 01:44 and was cleared to land. The aircraft was seen and heard flying low to the southwest of Bradley Field. The airplane was flying at low altitude when the left wing struck a tree approximately 70 feet in height, and was torn off. The remaining portion of the wing then struck a second tree 112 feet further away, and was torn off. As the aircraft cut a swath through the trees, it described a complete roll to the left.

Probable Cause:

PROBABLE CAUSE: "After missing his first approach to the airport, the pilot displayed poor judgement in attempting a circle under the overcast in rain and at night, rather than execute a standard instrument approach."

Accident investigation:

Investigating agency: CAB
Status: Investigation completed
Accident number: final report
Download report: Final report

» CAB File No. 1-0015
» ICAO Accident Digest Circular 39-AN/34 (53-56)


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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 New York-Idlewild International Airport, NY to Windsor Locks-Bradley International Airport, CT as the crow flies is 170 km (106 miles).

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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