ASN Aircraft accident Curtiss C-46F Commando CC-CAZ Santiago-Los Cerrillos Airport (ULC)
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Date:Tuesday 25 May 1971
Type:Silhouette image of generic C46 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Curtiss C-46F Commando
Operator:Aerolineas Flecha Austral - ALFA
Registration: CC-CAZ
MSN: 50
First flight: 1944
Engines: 2 Pratt & Whitney R-2800-51M1
Crew:Fatalities: 3 / Occupants: 3
Passengers:Fatalities: 1 / Occupants: 1
Total:Fatalities: 4 / Occupants: 4
Aircraft damage: Destroyed
Aircraft fate: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:2 km (1.3 mls) SSE of Santiago-Los Cerrillos Airport (ULC) (   Chile)
Phase: Initial climb (ICL)
Departure airport:Santiago-Los Cerrillos Airport (ULC/SCTI), Chile
Destination airport:Arica-Chacalluta Airport (ARI/SCAR), Chile
The Curtiss C-46 cargo plane was destroyed when it crashed shortly after takeoff from runway 03 at Santiago-Los Cerrillos Airport (ULC), Chile. The no. 2 engine failed immediately after takeoff and the airplane was not able to climb to a safe height. It crashed and broke up.

Probable Cause:

From the analysis of the accident the following was concluded (translated from Spanish):
1) The aircraft could have taken more load than specified in the loading manifest document and before the engine failure, the other engine operating at full power, was unable to maintain the minimum control speed with one engine and low height. For that reason, it might have been necessary for the pilot to lose height during the turn to maintain control of the airplane.
2) The airplane could have been loaded correctly as specified in the documents and having a failure of the right engine (which was reported by the pilot of the aircraft to request permission to land). While the pilot effected a maneuver to turn back to the runway, the other engine could have failed, but it was not possible to verify this because of the state of destruction of the engines.
3) The aircraft could have taken off without the operational load limits but with the right engine stopped and the other running at full speed, the pilot could have slowed down under the minimum control speed with one engine, which would result in a loss of control and impact with terrain.
None of the three possibilities could be investigated for lack of evidence.


Loss of control

» A 40 años del accidente del Curtiss C-46F CC-CAZ (Modo Charlie)
» Jacques Lagas: el olvidado héroe chileno de la revolución cubana (El Ciudadano, 26-10-2009)


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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 Santiago-Los Cerrillos Airport to Arica-Chacalluta Airport as the crow flies is 1679 km (1050 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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