Accident description
Last updated: 24 April 2014
Status:
Date:Sunday 7 April 1957
Type:Curtiss C-46A-45-CU Commando
Operator:Varig
Registration: PP-VCF
C/n / msn: 30283
First flight: 1944
Engines: 2 Pratt & Whitney R-2800-51
Crew:Fatalities: 5 / Occupants: 5
Passengers:Fatalities: 35 / Occupants: 35
Total:Fatalities: 40 / Occupants: 40
Airplane damage: Damaged beyond repair
Location:Bage Airport, RS (BGX) (   Brazil) show on map
Phase: Approach (APR)
Nature:Domestic Scheduled Passenger
Departure airport:Bagé-Comandante Gustavo Kraemer Airport, RS (BGX/SBBG), Brazil
Destination airport:Porto Alegre-Salgado Filho International Airport, RS (POA/SBPA), Brazil
Narrative:
Soon after takeoff a fire developed in the left main gear wheel well. The pilot however, thought the fire had started in the engine, feathered the no. 1 engine and returned to the traffic pattern for a landing circuit. On finals he tried to lower the gear, but didn't succeed. To avoid a belly landing, the pilot applied full power and tried to go around for another approach to land. Over the runway 05 and 23 intersection the aircraft's left wing separated from the fuselage, causing the plane crash.

PROBABLE CAUSE: "A fire in the undercarriage housing and consequent breaking-off of the left wing in flight.
A contributing cause was an error in judgement. The pilot failed to assess the intensity of the fire in the undercarriage housing, having thought that by applying the procedure prescribed in 'Regulations for C-46', the fire had been extinguished or had become inconsequential."

Events:



Sources:
» ICAO Accident Digest No.9, Circular 56-AN/51


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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 Bagé-Comandante Gustavo Kraemer Airport, RS to Porto Alegre-Salgado Filho International Airport, RS as the crow flies is 320 km (200 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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Curtiss C-46

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