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Last updated: 5 June 2020
Status:
Date:Wednesday 16 April 1969
Type:Silhouette image of generic C46 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Curtiss C-46 Commando
Operator:WIGMO
Registration: 9T-PLJ ?
C/n / msn: 26710 ?
First flight: 1943
Crew:Fatalities: 3 / Occupants: 3
Passengers:Fatalities: 42 / Occupants: 42
Total:Fatalities: 45 / Occupants: 45
Aircraft damage: Damaged beyond repair
Location:River Congo (   Democratic Republic of the Congo)
Phase: Approach (APR)
Nature:Domestic Scheduled Passenger
Departure airport:Kinshasa-N'Djili Airport (FIH/FZAA), Democratic Republic of the Congo
Destination airport:Kananga Airport (KGA/FZUA), Democratic Republic of the Congo
Narrative:
The pilot reported a landing gear malfunction shortly after takeoff from Kinshasa-N'Djili Airport (FIH) on a flight to Kananga (KGA). The airplane crashed into River Congo while attempting to return.
The flight was a scheduled run by one of four C46 planes operated by Liechtenstein-registered company WIGMO (Western International Ground Maintenance Organization). The CIA-backed company maintained aircraft for the Congolese Air Force and provided transport.

Unconfirmed reports suggest that WIGMO bought the airplane from Transair Sweden in 1966. Registered SE-CFG the airplane had been withdrawn from use following an accident on March 6, 1966 when the C-46 suffered structural damage following a landing accident at Bunia, DRC.



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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 Kinshasa-N'Djili Airport to Kananga Airport as the crow flies is 792 km (495 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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Curtiss C-46

  • 3341 built
  • 966th loss
  • 250th fatal accident
  • 7th worst accident
» safety profile

 Democratic Republic of the Congo
  • The worst accident (at the time)
  • 4th worst accident (currently)
» safety profile