ASN Aircraft accident Curtiss C-46F-1-CU Commando N67941 Great Falls-Malmstrom AFB, MT
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Status:Accident investigation report completed and information captured
Date:Wednesday 14 August 1963
Type:Silhouette image of generic C46 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Curtiss C-46F-1-CU Commando
Operator:Aaxico Airlines
Registration: N67941
MSN: 22391
First flight: 1945
Total airframe hrs:25571
Crew:Fatalities: 1 / Occupants: 2
Passengers:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 0
Total:Fatalities: 1 / Occupants: 2
Aircraft damage: Damaged beyond repair
Location:56 km (35 mls) ENE of Great Falls-Malmstrom AFB, MT (   United States of America)
Phase: En route (ENR)
Departure airport:Great Falls-Malmstrom AFB, MT (GFA/KGFA), United States of America
Destination airport:Rapid City-Ellsworth AFB, SD (RCA/KRCA), United States of America
Curtiss C-46 N67941 took off from Malmstrom AFB at 14:14 for a flight to Ellsworth AFB. During the climb to altitude, the no. 2 engine overheated. The main-master rod bearing failure forced the crew to shut the engine down a little later. The plane had not obtained sufficient altitude to pass safely over the mountainous terrain, so a turn was made to go back to Malmstrom. The aircraft continued to lose altitude and airspeed, forcing the crew to alter course to fly along a canyon, the floor of which permitted a greater degree of terrain clearance. Once in the canyon however, surrounding terrain soon surmounted the altitude of the aircraft, necessitating the landing on a ploughed field. After touchdown the C-46 struck the earth dam of a small reservoir.

Probable Cause:

PROBABLE CAUSE: "The failure of the captain to effect a proper and timely assessment of a power plant malfunction, followed by improper judgement and technique during a single-engine emergency operation."

Accident investigation:

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

» CAB Accident Report File No. 1-0010
» ICAO Accident Digest No.15 - Volume I, Circular 78-AN/66 (86-92)


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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 Great Falls-Malmstrom AFB, MT to Rapid City-Ellsworth AFB, SD as the crow flies is 724 km (452 miles).
Accident location: Approximate; accuracy within a few kilometers.

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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