ASN Aircraft accident Curtiss C-46E-1-CS Commando N79978 Chatsworth, CA
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Status:Accident investigation report completed and information captured
Date:Tuesday 12 July 1949
Type:Silhouette image of generic C46 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Curtiss C-46E-1-CS Commando
Operator:Standard Airlines
Registration: N79978
MSN: 2936
First flight: 1945
Total airframe hrs:1515
Engines: 2 Pratt & Whitney R-2800-75-5E-8
Crew:Fatalities: 3 / Occupants: 4
Passengers:Fatalities: 32 / Occupants: 44
Total:Fatalities: 35 / Occupants: 48
Aircraft damage: Damaged beyond repair
Location:near Chatsworth, CA (   United States of America)
Phase: Approach (APR)
Nature:Domestic Scheduled Passenger
Departure airport:Albuquerque Municipal Airport, NM (ABQ/KABQ), United States of America
Destination airport:Hollywood-Lockheed Air Terminal, CA (BUR/KBUR), United States of America
Flightnumber: 897R
The Standard Airlines flight departed Albuquerque at 04:24 for a flight to Burbank. At 07:36 the crew were cleared to land at Burbank; nothing more was heard from the flight. It appeared that the Curtiss had crashed on approach, striking the ground at 1890 feet asl, some 430 feet below the crest of Santa Susana Pass.

Probable Cause:

PROBABLE CAUSE: "The pilot's action in descending below the prescribed minimum altitude while executing an instrument approach to the Burbank Airport."

Accident investigation:

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

Controlled Flight Into Terrain (CFIT) - Mountain

» Air Britain Casualty compendium (pt. 49)
» CAB File No. 1-0052
» Oakland Tribune California, 13 July 1949

Follow-up / safety actions
Standard Airlines was ordered to cease non-scheduled operations because of regulation violations.


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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 Albuquerque Municipal Airport, NM to Hollywood-Lockheed Air Terminal, CA as the crow flies is 1071 km (670 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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Curtiss C-46

  • 3341 built
  • 699th loss
  • 129th fatal accident
  • 7th worst accident (at the time)
  • 18th worst accident (currently)
» safety profile

 United States of America
  • 7th worst accident (at the time)
  • 98th worst accident (currently)
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