Narrative:Curtiss N10425 took off from Guatemala City runway 01 at 11:18. Takeoff was uneventful and the aircraft climbed on a 5deg heading at 120 knots airspeed. At 11:25, while climbing through about 3000 feet agl (8000 feet asl) the no. 1 engine oil temperature reached 102deg C and the oil pressure dropped to 50lb with the no. 1 engine backfiring a little later. Engine power was reduced to 1800rpm and power set to 30inches manifold pressure. The co-pilot requested a landing clearance for Guatemala City runway 19. Several minutes later the engine quit, forcing the crew to feather the prop. METO power and even takeoff power on the remaining engine couldn't prevent the aircraft from losing altitude. Descending through 1000 feet it became impossible to reach the airport; the crew prepared for a forced landing. At 200 feet altitude power on the no. 2 engine was reduced, but children were playing in the area made it impossible to land immediately. The flaps were extended and the crew decided to attempt a landing on a highway to avoid some houses. When the plane approached people were seen running toward the highway, so a landing between the highway and the houses was attempted. The aircraft struck power lines and trees and crashed into a residence, killing two people on the ground and injuring 3.
It appeared that the no. 1 engine had probably failed due to a fatigue failure of the engine's crankshaft.
PROBABLE CAUSE: "Inability of the aircraft to maintain single engine flight for reasons undetermined after failure of the other engine."
» ICAO Accident Digest No.9, Circular 56-AN/51 (219-223)
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 Guatemala City-La Aurora Airport to Belize City Municipal Airport as the crow flies is 408 km (255 miles).
This information is not presented as the Flight Safety Foundation or the Aviation Safety Networkĺs opinion as to the cause of the accident. It is preliminary and is based on the facts as they are known at this time.