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Accident description
Last updated: 19 October 2017
Status:
Date:Wednesday 23 February 1955
Time:ca 09:20
Type:Silhouette image of generic DC3 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Douglas C-47B-15-DK (DC-3)
Operator:Central African Airways
Registration: VP-YKO
C/n / msn: 26554/15109
First flight: 1944
Engines: 2 Pratt & Whitney R-1830-90C
Crew:Fatalities: 1 / Occupants: 5
Passengers:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 21
Total:Fatalities: 1 / Occupants: 26
Airplane damage: Damaged beyond repair
Location:Salisbury Airport (HRE) (   Zimbabwe)
Phase: Initial climb (ICL)
Nature:Domestic Scheduled Passenger
Departure airport:Salisbury Airport (HRE/FVHA), Zimbabwe
Destination airport:Lusaka Airport (LUN/FLLS), Zambia
Flightnumber: 626
Narrative:
Central African Airways Flight 626 had just lifted off runway 09 at Salisbury when smoke entered the cockpit. The gear had just been retracted, but the pilot-in-command decided to belly land the aircraft immediately on the remaining runway. The propellers broke off. The no. 1 prop sliced through the fuselage, killing the flight engineer. The DC-3 overran the runway and came to rest across a railway line.

Probable Cause:

PROBABLE CAUSE: "The cause of the accident was the presence of smoke in the flight crew compartment in sufficient quantity to make the captain apprehensive of fire and to cause him to land the aircraft immediately with the undercarriage retracted. The only defect revealed by subsequent investigation of the airframe, engine and accessories, was a fractured rubber hose on the port engine connecting the rocker box of one of the lower cylinders to the collector box. It is the option of the Investigating Officers that oil leaking from this fracture was carried by the airflow on to the exhaust collector ring and generated smoke. Tests carried out later on the same type of aircraft proved conclusively that smoke generated in this region will travel freely to the flight crew compartment via the wheel bay and interior of the centre section leading edge."

Classification:
Runway excursion

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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 Salisbury Airport to Lusaka Airport as the crow flies is 402 km (251 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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