ASN Aircraft accident Curtiss C-46A-50-CU Commando N66559 Saint Petersburg, FL
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Date:Friday 20 March 1953
Type:Silhouette image of generic C46 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Curtiss C-46A-50-CU Commando
Operator:Aerovias Sud Americana
Registration: N66559
MSN: 30504
First flight: 1944
Engines: 2 Pratt & Whitney R-2800-51
Crew:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 3
Passengers:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 0
Total:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 3
Aircraft damage: Damaged beyond repair
Location:Saint Petersburg, FL (   United States of America)
Phase: Initial climb (ICL)
Departure airport:Tampa International Airport, FL (TPA/KTPA), United States of America
Destination airport:Guatemala City-La Aurora Airport (GUA/MGGT), Guatemala
No. 2 engine backfiring forced the crew to divert to Tampa following the feathering of the propeller. A ground check and runup failed to show any problems. Although there was no indication, the crew had to shut the no. 2 engine down again when tower controllers reported smoke coming from the engine on takeoff. A single engine approach to St Petersburg was flown, but the aircraft overshot the approach. Full power was added to go around. The Curtiss stalled with the flaps still down, crashing into a wooded area.

Loss of control

» Air Britain Casualty compendium (pt. 55)


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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 Tampa International Airport, FL to Guatemala City-La Aurora Airport as the crow flies is 1692 km (1057 miles).

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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