ASN Aircraft accident Curtiss C-46A-45-CU Commando N608Z Detroit-Metropolitan Airport, MI (DTW)
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Date:Wednesday 30 December 1964
Type:Silhouette image of generic C46 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Curtiss C-46A-45-CU Commando
Operator:Zantop Air Transport
Registration: N608Z
MSN: 30328
First flight: 1944
Total airframe hrs:7385
Engines: 2 Pratt & Whitney R-2800-51
Crew:Fatalities: 4 / Occupants: 4
Passengers:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 0
Total:Fatalities: 4 / Occupants: 4
Aircraft damage: Damaged beyond repair
Location:3,5 km (2.2 mls) SW of Detroit-Metropolitan Airport, MI (DTW) (   United States of America)
Phase: Approach (APR)
Departure airport:Cleveland-Hopkins International Airport, OH (CLE/KCLE), United States of America
Destination airport:Detroit-Metropolitan Wayne County Airport, MI (DTW/KDTW), United States of America
The C-46 Commando had been cleared for a runway 3L ILS approach at Detroit in poor weather (sky obscured, visibility 1 mile, light drizzle). During the approach, at 1,5 miles right of the ILS course and 1 mile NE of the Outer Marker, the aircraft suddenly entered a 45-degree banked left turn. The bank angle exceeded 60 deg as the plane crossed the localizer course from left to right. The aircraft struck several 84 feet tall trees in an 8deg nose down and 30deg right bank attitude, struck the ground and disintegrated.
In the investigation an incapacitation of the captain was considered, but not supported by post-mortem examination.

Probable Cause:

PROBABLE CAUSE: "Loss of control during night instrument approach in adverse weather for an undetermined reason."


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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 Cleveland-Hopkins International Airport, OH to Detroit-Metropolitan Wayne County Airport, MI as the crow flies is 152 km (95 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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