Narrative:The C-54 cargo plane was operating on a flight from Iquitos, Peru to Miami with intermediate stops at Cali and Panama City. The cargo of wild animals was loaded and the plane departed Iquitos at 13:25 GMT, landing at Cali four hours later. The plane was refueled and repairs were carried out on the no. 2 and 3 engines before it departed at 21:20 GMT. It arrived at Panama City at 23:20 and after refuelling the flight took off from runway 03 at 23:33 local time. During takeoff a malfunction occurred in the no. 2 engine, resulting in a fire in the accessory section of the engine. The fire intensified because oil or fuel leaked from severed lines. The fire and a fuel tank explosion destroyed some of the control surfaces, causing the plane to descend uncontrollably. The plane struck a mahogany tree at a height of about 70 feet and then several others before coming to rest 2,5 miles NE of runway 03.
PROBABLE CAUSE: "The Commission of Inquiry decided that this accident was probably caused by faulty maintenance."
» ICAO Circular 88-AN/74 (168-170)
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 Panama City-Tocumen International Airport to Miami International Airport, FL as the crow flies is 1852 km (1158 miles).