Date & Time: Nov 26, 1962 at 0350 LT
Type of aircraft:
Curtiss C-46 Commando
Fairbanks – Miami – Kingston – Bogotá
Crew on board:
Pax on board:
The Curtiss C-46 operated on a ferry flight from Fairbanks to Bogotá via Miami and Kingston, carrying four spare engines and spare parts. The plane arrived at Kingston on November 25, 17:01 GMT. Following refueling of the aircraft, fuel was observed venting from the right front tank. This caused a delay in departure. At 08:47 GMT the next day, the C-46 lifted off from runway 29 after a long takeoff run and was cleared to climb ahead to 1500 feet. The plane started to turn left on crossing the coastline. Three minutes after takeoff, while still in a shallow climbing left-hand turn, the aircraft flew onto the southern face of Port Henderson Hills at a height of 700 feet. After scraping along rough ground over the brow of the hill, the aircraft fell down a steep precipice and caught fire.
The aircraft was turned during the climb after takeoff at a height insufficient to clear rising ground. The ability of the pilot to avoid the hill may have been affected by some mechanical or other failure, although the occurrence of such a failure was not established. A contributing factor was that the carriage of one pilot was inadequate for the safe operation of an aircraft of this type.