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Last updated: 24 March 2019
Status:
Date:Wednesday 3 November 1965
Time:07:52
Type:Silhouette image of generic DC4 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Douglas C-54G (DC-4)
Operator:Fuerza Aérea Argentina - FAA
Registration: TC-48
C/n / msn: 35983
First flight: 1945
Crew:Fatalities: 9 / Occupants: 9
Passengers:Fatalities: 59 / Occupants: 59
Total:Fatalities: 68 / Occupants: 68
Aircraft damage: Missing
Aircraft fate: Presumed damaged beyond repair
Location:off Puerto Limon (   Costa Rica)
Phase: En route (ENR)
Nature:Military
Departure airport:Balboa-Howard AFB (HOW/MPHO), Panama
Destination airport:San Salvador-Comalapa International Airport (SAL/MSLP), El Salvador
Narrative:
On October 31, 1965, a Douglas C-54 transport plane of the Argentine Air Force, TC-48, departed Argentina on a flight to the United States and Canada. On board were 54 cadets of the military aviation school and other military personnel. The aircraft stopped at Mendoza, Antofagasta, Lima and Guayaquil. On the night of November 2nd the flight arrived at Howard Air Force Base in Panama.
The following day the aircraft left at 06:49 hours local time for a flight to San Salvador in El Salvador. The en route altitude was 6500 feet. The flight progressed over the Caribbean Sea until about an hour into the flight when the crew radioed that they had an engine fire in engine no.3. The no.4 engine had shut down for undetermined reasons and the crew requested an immediate landing.
The air traffic controller at Tegucigalpa radioed that they could divert to San José or Puerto Limon, Costa Rica.
The aircraft could not maintain altitude on two engines and failed to land.
A search operation was launched during which items of clothing, life vests and other debris were found. These belonged to the missing aircraft.

Sources:
» La Nacion - Nov 4, 1965
» El accidente del TC-48 / Víctor Ferrazzano, 2019 (ZIP file, 17 MB)


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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 Balboa-Howard AFB to San Salvador-Comalapa International Airport as the crow flies is 1141 km (713 miles).
Accident location: Global; accuracy within tens or hundreds of 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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Douglas DC-4

  • 1242 built
  • 263rd loss
  • 141st fatal accident
  • 2nd worst accident (at the time)
  • 6th worst accident (currently)
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